Kyiv, pronounced KEEV, not like Chicken Kiev, is the capital city of Ukraine, with 2.7 million people. Metro Atlanta is now north of 4-million, with the city of Atlanta proper closing on 600,000. Kyiv, the probable target of a pending Russian invasion, is more than four times larger than Georgia’s capital city.
Russia ‘de-annexed’ the 2.4-million people and 10,400 square mile peninsula of Crimea in 2014, claiming some prime real estate. Think Florida, with a bit colder climate. Crimea also has two coasts, on the Baltic Sea and the Sea of Azov, and has been a longtime vacation spot, as well as ancestral home to hundreds of thousands of ethnic Russians. Crimea serves as both a Russian bread basket, with rich flat farmlands, and as a source of iron ore and other strategic minerals.
The Russian Ukraine expansion is as much about energy supply and natural gas, as it is claimed to be about Russian national security. Ukraine has an army and its own national defense, but it in no way threatens Russian, nor is it any position to defend itself against the 190,000 Russian military personnel, tanks, jets and naval craft leaning in from the Russian side of the border.
However, Ukraine is the second largest nation in Eastern Europe. It has a land mass greater than Poland. Its eastern border with Russia is closest to the great natural gas fields and vast pipeline network, which supplies the natural gas needs of 1/3 of ALL of Europe. Vladimir Putin didn’t make this move in the depths of winter, Russian troops would still find challenges mobilizing and amassing during those frigid months, but a strong argument can be made that Putin started making these plans while watching the U.S. and our allies make such a pathetic and poorly planned withdrawal from Afghanistan this past summer.
The Russians had also experienced the losing side of a decade long conflict with the Afghans, but when they left what would later become Bagram Airbase, they stripped it clean, only later to be rediscovered, fortified and vastly expanded by the U.S. during our own ground war with Afghanistan.
But in our never ending global version of checkbook diplomacy, we left behind billions in hardware and among our most modern air force bases on the planet, turning the Taliban into a military power almost overnight. And in his most recent press conference, an off-script President Joe Biden indicated that he might look the other way at a few minor ‘incursions’ by Russia into the Ukraine. The President of the Ukraine wondered aloud the same day on the difference in definition between an incursion and an invasion. Is an incursion just seizing ONE city?
Putin saw the green light.
France is principally powered by nuclear energy, but much of the rest of East and Western Europe are in the midst of a rushed transition to green energy, without a sufficient transmission network in place to carry that load. And as far as our European allies are ahead of us in developing new sources of sustainable energy generation...they still require a large base-load energy source such as coal, natural gas or oil, particularly to get through winter. Even a reasonably bloodless surrender of the Ukraine in the warmth of spring, places our lad Vlad in full control of those Ukrainian gas pipelines in plenty of time for what we know will be a very cold winter across Europe in 2022.
Squeeze too hard on those much discussed sanctions, and guess whose natural gas line spigots get cut off? Europe has no Plan B in this regard.
Remember that Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house. Alaska and the Aleutian Islands and much of our U.S. Alaskan oil reserves are only about 55 miles from Russia. Kyiv is 236 miles from the Russian border, and roughly 500 miles from Moscow. Close enough for a bit of border shuffling apparently.
For how NOT to handle this, you might look up Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1937-1940. Vacillation and poor decision making made Chamberlain’s place in global history, but it was actually poor health that forced him out of office. A better world leadership example from that same day, who you will also find a lot about on Google is Winston Churchill. In President Biden, we are much closer to the former than the latter I am afraid...if you have no other immediate plans, at least pray for the people of Ukraine.
One Opinion: Thankfully, the Buck STOPPED Here
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