Russia Reneges on Ukraine

And, no, I’m not talking about the Belgrade Memorandum, in which Russia, among others, agreed to guarantee Ukraine’s territorial integrity in return for Ukraine turning over its then-third largest in the world nuclear weapons arsenal to Russia.

I’m talking about the just signed—by Russia, Ukraine, the EU, and the US—agreement pretending to “neutraliz[e] a crisis that has brought Ukraine to the brink of civil war.”  Among other things, that agreement called for “dissidents” to depart from the Ukraine government buildings that they had seized in eastern Ukraine.

However.

Denis Pushilin, the leader of the uprising that calls itself the People’s Republic of Donetsk, said at a news conference in the southeast city’s seized administration building that the activists won’t exit until the new leaders in Kiev leave the government he says they have been occupying….

“After that, we’ll also agree to do it,” Mr. Pushilin said.  Instead, he said he and other activists in the building are continuing to prepare for a referendum on the southeast Ukraine region’s future that he says they intend to hold by May 11.

That referendum for which Vladimir Putin’s representative in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk is pushing so hard is another of Putin’s demands: he’s threatened to deepen his invasion of Ukraine and occupy eastern and southern Ukraine, as he’s already done the Ukrainian oblast of Crimea, if those other oblasts aren’t allowed to be separate “autonomous” regions.  That threat is made manifest by his having amassed some 50,000 Russian soldiers, armor, artillery, and combat aircraft just a few short miles from the eastern Ukrainian border with Russia.  That threat is made manifest by his having infiltrated special operations forces into eastern and southern Ukraine to drive and to support these building occupations—the same tactic he used to seize Crimea.

And now his representative is refusing to honor the “agreement” his employer has signed.

Only an idiot or a naïf could sit in the White House or in Brussels and think Putin would keep his signed word.

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