My prediction that Russia will invade eastern Ukraine is coming true. Or so the New York Times reports, which some readers misguidedly see as an anti-Russian tool of the U.S. government. Read for yourself, and have a look at the pictures. After all, it’s evidence. From the Times:
For two weeks, the mysteriously well-armed, professional gunmen known as “green men” have seized Ukrainian government sites in town after town, igniting a brush fire of separatist unrest across eastern Ukraine. Strenuous denials from the Kremlin have closely followed each accusation by Ukrainian officials that the world was witnessing a stealthy invasion by Russian forces.
Now, photographs and descriptions from eastern Ukraine endorsed by the Obama administration on Sunday suggest that many of the green men are indeed Russian military and intelligence forces — equipped in the same fashion as Russian special operations troops involved in annexing the Crimea region in February. Some of the men photographed in Ukraine have been identified in other photos clearly taken among Russian troops in other settings.
And Ukraine’s state security service has identified one Russian reported to be active among the green men as Igor Ivanovich Strelkov, a Russian military intelligence operative in his mid- to late 50s. He is said to have a long résumé of undercover service with the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian general staff, most recently in Crimea in February and March and now in and around the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk.
. . . The Kremlin insists that Russian forces are in no way involved, and that Mr. Strelkov does not even exist, at least not as a Russian operative sent to Ukraine with orders to stir up trouble. “It’s all nonsense,” President Vladimir V. Putin said Thursday during a four-hour question-and-answer session on Russian television. “There are no Russian units, special services or instructors in the east of Ukraine.” Pro-Russian activists who have seized government buildings in at least 10 towns across eastern Ukraine also deny getting help from professional Russian soldiers or intelligence agents.
Putin and his minions are lying, as Russian troops mass at the Ukrainian border and the Russians continue to cook up accusations that Ukraine is exacerbating the situation. (Actually, Ukraine has made no moves to attack the buildings held by Russian separatists).
I predicted that Russia will invade within a month under one pretext or another, though I’d be delighted to be proved wrong. Putin is a bully and an aggressor, and I have little patience for readers who feel that this Russian activity is justified.
I can’t believe the Cold War is starting all over again.