Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 14 February 2017, 23:55 hrs, UTC, Post #113.
Accessed on 14 February 2017, 23:55 hrs, UTC.
Reporter: Shaun Walker (in Avidiivka, Ukraine).
Please click link to read the full story.
Ukrainian leaders tell “The Guardian” that the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President has emboldened Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine to renew artillery shelling of the strategic town of Avidiivka. The recent barrage has killed more than 30 people in and around the town.
Apparently, Mr. Trump’s kind words for Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and the current crisis over the resignation of Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, over reputed contacts with the Russian ambassador in Washington before the November 2016 election, have weakened U.S. resolve to defend Ukraine from Russian-supported fighters.
Reporter Shaun Walker says the inconsistency and indecision of the Trump administration are playing well in Moscow:
“During the Obama years, Kiev could count on steady support from Washingtonover the conflict in the east of the country, which Russia fuelled by funnelling fighters and weapons across the border. But with Trump’s repeated focus on improving relations with Russia, there is a worry in Ukraine that the country could get thrown under the bus in the service of a grand deal with Putin.”
Mr. Putin is playing this risky geopolitical game very well. The goal of the current incursion by separatist groups is designed to scare Ukraine into a deal benefiting the Russian Federation. Apparently, the idea is not to seize more Ukrainian territory, but to return the land already taken to Kiev in return for favorable economic and political treatment for Russia, “giving them (the Russians) a long-term foothold in the country.” Russia will slowly reassemble it historic boundaries piece by piece over an extended period of time. Politicians in both Europe and the United States will be so distracted by other priorities (radical Islam and terrorism) that they will not realize their blunder until it’s too late.
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Hawaii Intelligence Digest