Ukraine still simmers and despite so many foreign policy pundits wailing about Putin’s imminent military invasion of eastern Ukraine, so far Putin seems to be holding back. The interim quasi-government in Kiev made some military moves in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, trying to reestablish control and so far Russia issued calls for more talks with Western leaders to defuse the situation, insisting they can not control the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The Kiev government’s actions increased the instability and with the deaths in Odessa of pro-Russian demonstrators, more violence seems a given. Pro-Russian demands for Russian protection escalated, but Putin seems hesitant to initiate an all-out military intervention into eastern Ukraine.
Nightwatch offers a succinct analysis and report on current developments, citing the deaths of pro-Russian demonstrators in Odessa on Saturday, which resulted from clashes with Kiev supporters.
The West continues to bounce, continuing with what JK referred to as “trampoline sanctions”, as the Russian spokesman suggested we might want to use a trampoline to get to the ISS space station a few days ago. Stratfor breaks down the imposition of sanctions against Russia with a good background on sanctions – “The US Opts for Ineffective Sanctions on Russia”.
The Indepdendent in UK reports: “Ukraine crisis: Kremlin insists it cannot control pro-Russian separatists and calls for dialogue with West”.
Expect John Kerry to bounce higher, grasping at moonbeams…… more hollow sanctions. The Ukraine unrest looks likely to heat up. Putin might decide to intervene directly if more pro-Russians die in clashes with Kiev forces. It seems obvious that Russia would rather fight this as a proxy war , without directly engaging Russian forces.