President Obama just handed Eastern Ukraine over to the Russians. His sanctions in response to Putin’s actions in Crimea were as bad as no response. Facing no opposition, Putin has the go-ahead.
President Obama didn’t even mention Putin’s takeover of a gas plant in Eastern Ukraine over the weekend.
Obama’s promised dire-consequences turned out to be sanctions on 11 Russian and Ukrainian Oligarchs who caused problems in Ukraine. Europe sanctioned another 21. Obama’s red line is again meaningless.
Putin held the referendum in Crimea over the weekend despite Obama’s red line. Putin made the right move for himself.
Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.
Unbelievably, very unbelievably, almost 97% of Crimeans voted to secede. It’s especially remarkable given the fact that more than 40% are not native Russians. Residents of Crimea, including Tartars, who do not support joining Russia, did not participate in the election, many out of fear. Still Russia claimed an 83% turnout.
Over the weekend, Russian paramilitary helicoptered into Eastern Ukraine and took over a gas plant. Russian secret forces and KGB are stirring up discontent throughout Ukraine, particularly Eastern Ukraine in preparation for an invasion.
Russians have every intention of seizing Eastern Ukraine and probably Central Ukraine. Eastern Ukraine has the oil and natural gas. It is a certainty that Russia will take over Eastern Ukraine, especially after suffering no consequences for taking over Crimea.
The promised dire consequences by President Obama is to freeze assets of 11 Putin Oligarchs. He said there would be more of this if Putin continues on this course.
Putin doesn’t care about his Oligarchs. They have been forewarned and many pulled their money from the U.S. in advance of this move.
Obama’s vapid response included a “stern” warning to Russia that if it continues to intervene in Ukraine’s affairs and tries to annex Crimea, it will only “further isolate” itself from the rest of the world community.” He added, there is “still a path to resolve this situation diplomatically,” which he said would include “Russia pulling its forces back to their bases” and the presence of international monitors in Ukraine.
Putin could care less.
Obama has not offered arms, oil, gas, and other necessities to Ukraine. He will do none of that.
Putin will do what Hitler did. He will pour money into Crimea to win the hearts and minds of the people.
It’s important to note as an aside that Obama’s sanctions were done unilaterally by Executive Order.
Listen to this 3 minute speech, it’s an absurd under-reaction:
He does have more flexibility now: