Somewhere, deep in the heart of Moscow, there's a giant room (at least I think in this theory).....with four huge whiteboards. There's timelines and suggested epic climaxes, which lead onto phase two and news media recommendations. The Ukraine episode? Mostly scripted and viewable on this whiteboard arrangement.
This past week?
A couple of European military individuals were conducting an approved mission to observe and simply report, within the borders of Ukraine....without weapons or armed guards. They were stopped, and grabbed. Today? Most sit in a guarded area and are considered prisoners.....accused of spying. Generally, I'm of the mind that their bosses in Europe and NATO.....really have a limited grasp of the declining stability of Ukraine, and this was a major screw-up. Holding them? Well, it makes the pro-Russian Ukrainians look like thugs. But, there's going to be some talks and some admittance of stupidity upon NATO's part.....to get them out.
A TV station grabbed? Well....yeah. The pro-Russian guys got themselves into the media control business, and it simply makes sense. How long will it stay in operation? That's a good question. I imagine that it'll run 1980s shows for the most part to fill up time and just pretend to be operational when they don't have the smart guys to do it.
General reaction around Europe this week? "Consequences" is the term being thrown around....mostly at Russia. Doesn't matter when European country or media unit covering Ukraine.....there's general some feeling that Russia will lose on some type of ground. As of yet, they've not been able to identify what exactly Russia will lose. Other than grabbing or freezing private Russian funding in Cyprus, or halting BMW parts going into Russia.....it's hard to see Russia suffering. You have to remember....most Russians have a family history of suffering....and they've been doing it a thousand years.....so this European threat is mostly empty-handed.
This past week.....an open letter from three hundred German intellectuals (at least they claim such status).....went to Russia's Putin, and mostly identified the European stance with NATO and the EU to be wrong. After reading the English translation of the letter....I'd say they mostly want 'talks', with more 'talks'. They are unhappy with German media reporting....thinking it's highly unfair on Russia's account. And the end result kinda read like a Wizard of Oz moment.....people cooperating peacefully with each other. I would point out that none of the three hundred German intellectuals live in a marginal lifestyle, with limited income, and all enjoy the benefit of a stabilized infrastructure without thugs walking by their house or apartment building.
The forty million Euro of German arms sales to Russia? Well, it was a nice tidy story. Then you start to price pistols, rifles, ammo and such....especially of a German origin. Then you realize that it's probably three or four truckloads of gear at best. If it'd been seven hundred million.....maybe it'd be a big deal. But forty million Euro worth? Either it went to the Russian Special Forces folks, or to Putin's personal bodyguards....my humble opinion.
The US stance? There's six hundred US Army paratroopers on an exercise in Poland currently. Nothing remarkable, and I doubt that they could do much other than pose for pictures, and at least make the average Polish guy feel ten percent safer. The permanent presence? They've agreed on 150 US Army troops staying around as advisers. There's hints of more permanent operations....maybe a fighter wing. If half of Ukraine falls into a new status of Russia-Ukraine.....this US stance becomes a magnet for long-term trouble.
So we come to another week of raw action, and political jockey efforts. If you sit and notice Russian TV....Putin does an audience participation episode about every three days now. He sits in the middle of two hundred regular people.....answers a few questions with a well thoughtful position, readily identifies Russian priorities, and establishes a presence in the room. Audience members tend to sit and agree with his position. He has no special interests......he has only Russian interests. Europe, The EU, NATO, and the US.....are the bad guys. He emphasizes their wrong position, how they disrespect Russians (the people, not the country), and it's only logical on the actions he's taken. Russians survive well.....without the help of a big European commercial sector or non-Russian banks, and he'll lay this out in a very simplified way. You might find twenty percent of Russian society questioning this whole mess....but they aren't being heard.
More of the same? Yeah. This isn't some simple conclusion episode. Ukraine uncertainty is page one chaos and news...for the remainder of 2014.