UBO recommends Portnikov commentary below as right on target. If you agree, we recommend that you send a copy along with your own comments to your Congressman, Senator or Member of Parliament. Either we do what is needed now to contain the growth of Putin’s imperial dreams or we fight him later on the streets of Paris, London, or Washington. There is no question the fight is coming; the only issue is where and under what circumstances.
Sowing confusion can be a prelude to strong action. “The playing space has changed,” Christopher Paul said. “We've got to defend the rules.”
Russia’s own domestic economic problems “trouble the Russian powers that be much less than world geopolitics. [Indeed,] it is difficult not to recall that in the late Brezhnev years, the USSR also was much more concerned with the salvation of the Afghan regime than with reforms in its own country.” How that ended is “well known.”
Putin is likely to focus on the former Soviet republics not only because of the failures of his broader policies and his hope that no one will contest him there but also because “present-day Russia is ‘a paper tiger’ with a half destroyed economy which can offer the world only hatred, corruption, primitive propaganda, aggression, a declining standard of living and cheap vodka.”
In a commentary on Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly, Irina Tumakova of the Fontanka news agency said that this year, in contrast to last, “Putin did not say a single time the word ‘Orthodoxy.’ Last year, however, he made Orthodoxy a central part of the defense of Russia against foreign threats
We seem to have reached a point that the Kremlin has gotten away with such blatant meddling in the elections of other countries so long that it takes little more than passing interest in framing denials in a plausible form. What the Kremlin brain trust does not seem to grasp is that its constant meddling – and endless denials – will only force other countries to develop greater tools to up the cost of Russian cyber aggression.
<On 8 December 1991, at a secret meeting in Belarus, the leaders of the three Slavic core republics—Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus — Boris Yeltsin, Leonid Kravchuk and Stanislav Shushkevich, on their own authority declared the USSR dissolved and announced the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as a new entity and as a framework for coordinating their economic and strategic relations.
<Pavlo Klimkin, Foreign Minister of Ukraine
“…nowhere has Ukraine found a better friend and more committed ally than the United States. Without the huge support America continues to give us, we would not be making the progress that we are today. That continued support is more important now than ever.”