The war in Ukraine is continuing and although there was a ceasefire agreement it has been totally ignored by both sides. In fact, the region around Donetsk is hotting up and the pro-Russian forces are gaining ground using the heavy weapons, tanks, artillery and missile launchers, that have obviously been given to them by Russia. Also, the reports that Russian irregular troops (without insignia) are fighting on the insurgents side is clearly true. From Donetsk down to the south at Mariupol near the Crimean border there is heavy fighting and many casualties. After Russia took over the Crimea from Ukraine, can the West afford to allow Pres. Putin of Russia to gobble up more territory?
Putin knows that Pres. Obama is weak and will not take any strong action. It may be that eastern Ukraine is a Russian-speaking region, but this does not justify the Russian take-over. Perhaps Ukraine should never have had the borders it does, but if we go around re-drawing the map of Europe to satisfy linguistic and ethnic homogeneity, we will be back in the pre-WWII era and probably into WWIII. The international principle of the inviolability of national borders must be preserved and actions such as the those of Hitler in 1939 to take-over the Sudentenland of Czechoslovkia and those of Putin in 2014 to take-over eastern Ukraine could have similar consequences. There are many countries in Europe that have had their borders moved and that have national minorities outside them, including Hungary, Romania, Germany, and of course the Balkans. If Putin is allowed to get away with taking over a slice of Ukraine by force, then each of these countries are likely to wake up one day and demand their own “slices” back.
There was a Security Conference in Munich at which the main protagonists in this Ukraine crisis met and negotiated. So far it looks as if nothing was resolved. Apparently the Obama Administration has finally woken up from its slumbers and realized that there is a major crisis afoot (they have been concentrating on how many houses Israel is building in the West Bank). US Secty. of State Kerry has announced that they are “considering” arming Ukraine with heavy weapons to counteract the rebels armed by Russia and possibly sending in a NATO force to protect Ukraine’s integrity. A bit late. The Europeans are scared to up the ante and upset Comrade Putin. Now there are new talks scheduled for Belarus next week. If they had taken resolute action in the beginning perhaps we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now, with the situation so far gone. But, if you were Putin would you take Obama’s blusterings seriously. Obviously the Iranians don’t.