Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Mad Man's War in Sunflower Fields

Defiling the crime scene.

Putin taking a bite out of Ukraine, and more and more.
AP image from Crimea. 
So Putin's war in eastern Ukraine escalates.  The pro-Russian terrorists continue to wreck havoc on the land.  They treat the MH-17 crime scene with a disrespect that shocks the world. Where there was once understanding, there is hate. Where there were homes and communities, there is ruble. Where there were fields of sunflowers, there is ruin.  Where there was life, death.

It will get worse in eastern Ukraine before it gets better, because president Petro Poroshenko realizes that the terrorists, armed to the teeth with heavy weapons of war supplied by Russia, will not let go, will not leave without a fight.

What is Poroshenko to do?   Give up? Let the rebels take over Lugansk and Donetsk, as if this Ukrainian land is just up for grabs, like Crimea?  Do a country's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence mean nothing?  Is Poroshenko supposed to let his country be destroyed, town by town, oblast by oblast?

The pro-Russian separatists are not a country. They are not a legal entity at all. They are a band of heavily armed mercenaries and terrorists.  They are outside the Rule of Law.  They will not negotiate, they will not leave.  They will continue to fight as long as they get support from Russia--arms, missles, tanks and, yes, soldiers and special ops.  Putin can stop it, but won't.  How can the Poroshenko government sit back and do nothing?

It's an outrageous scenario on the face of it: Pro-Russian mercenaries, Putin proxies, on Ukrainian soil, invading, violating and occuping a foreign country, as if they have every right to be there.  Shooting down a passenger plane, defiling a crime scene, preventing investigators from going there, as if they have every right not only to loot and raid the site they created, but to hold it hostage.  A band of thugs denouncing Kyiv for defending its territorial borders, accusing the US and EU of "blackmail" for issuing economic sanctions.  What gall!

Meanwhile, the devastation goes on and on. Russia, rather than pulling back after the MH-17 tragedy, is sending more and more military aid to the separatists. Sanctions are instituted and increased, and EU countries come on board, MH-17 the last straw for them. Putin, a mad man, remains defiant.

Putin unleashed a war in Ukraine, beginning with Crimea and, like a mad man, continues on a downward spiral to destruction.  He is singlehandedly destroying the economy of his country, obsessed with his distorted vision of 21st-century reality.  Even the Russian oligarchs are appalled.  Maybe only the oligarchs can put the brakes on Putin's self-destructive behavior and his mad illusions. I don't know.

The sunflowers weep.  The roses wilt.  Golden domes cry out to heaven. Soldiers, young men, die. Ordinary citizens hunker down in fear, their homes and their hearts broken.  "Eastern Ukraine is now a living hell," Tonya just emailed me from Starobelsk. "A living hell."

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