To See What Is In Front Of One’s Nose …


Some things now seem to me increasingly clear in Russia-Ukraine crisis. The deal last week has not held, because Russia has failed to live up to its agreements. The rhetoric on both sides has acquired the kind of frenetic and extreme statements that can very easily escalate into full-scale conflict. Here’s the Ukrainian acting prime minister, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk:

“The world has not yet forgotten World War II, but Russia already wants to start World War III.”

Here’s Lavrov:

“The West wants to take control of Ukraine while exclusively putting its geopolitical interests, not the interests of the Ukrainian people, at the forefront.”

The Ukrainian government is not letting up in its legitimate attempt to rid Eastern Ukraine of Russian undercover forces and pro-Russian separatists. Those separatists have just detained some European military observers. Then this:

In another ominous sign of escalating tensions, Russian fighter jets have made about a half-dozen incursions back and forth across the Ukrainian border over the past 24 hours, the Pentagon said late Friday.

The odds of an outright, imminent war between Russia and Ukraine are now, it seems to me, pretty high.

(Photo: A pro-Russian armed man in military fatigues stands guard outside the security service (SBU) regional building which was seized by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, on April 25, 2014. Seven members of an OSCE observer mission in Ukraine were seized by rebels today and being held in the eastern flashpoint town of Slavyansk, the interior ministry in Kiev said. By Kirill Kudryavtsev  AFP/Getty Images)