September 12, 2014
Lodal: Five Ways for NATO, United States to Support Ukraine
This month’s NATO summit in Wales responded to Russia’s actions in Ukraine with a new commitment to a rapid-reaction force and forward deployments in Poland and the Baltics. The message was delivered that NATO is here to stay and is unified in opposition to Russia’s aggression. But what tangible form will this opposition take now that Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved his line of control westward beyond the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine?
Putin began his conquest by walking into Crimea. He then installed the “insurgents” in and around Donetsk who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. When they began losing, he invaded. He is following the winning strategy Russia has used to retain dominance over former Soviet territory in Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. His actions are supported by a population at home that is pleased with Russia’s oil money and given little access to news not generated by the state’s propaganda machine. His ultimate objective is to convert as many of the former Soviet republics into “satellites” as he can.