Three links on Donbass

The Panic in Red Square by Tom Nichols:

The only question, really, is how far Putin wants to go toward a trade war, economic collapse, further status as a pariah, maybe even open war, only in order to save face.

Bodies from Malaysia Airlines Crash Left In Deserted Train Station by Max Seddon. The title gives the gist. The pictures are grim.

News from the front: reports that separatists have received orders from Moscow to shell Luhansk, ostensibly to blame resulting civilian deaths on the Ukrainian military. Hard to believe it, but the respected journalist Oleg Kashin, now out of Russia, has tweeted the same.


  1. The problem is the reaction from the US and European leaders has been the usual mumbling and “must seek out a peaceful solution” faux outrage we’ve come to expect from them. If the Russians were panicking on Thursday, they must be back to their normal cheer by now.

    • I don’t hold any high hopes for decisive Western action. European political elites and economies have too much at stake (Londongrad etc.). Plus, unfortunately, the flipside of Dutch tolerance is apathy and turning a blind eye towards crime when it’s too much hassle to deal with it. Maybe Putin’s making the same calculation the Chinese did with Tiananmen Square. Give it a few months and the outrage will blow over and business resume as normal.

      Expect plenty of expressions of “grave concern” and pleas for Russia to “de-escalate the situation” over the next days though.

      Putin’s more worried about his domestic audience. As long as he’s got the vast majority of Russians on board with him, he’ll plough on regardless.

      • That would be missing a great opportunity. Putin addressed the nation at 1:20am the night after the crash, looking terribly unwell. He seemed genuinely in a bad shape and the moment was right for Obama to press for concessions. Putin phoned a dozen world leaders that night, on the brink of panicking.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from Winterings in Trans-Scythia

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading