Crisis in Ukraine
Putin’s Tightrope Dance
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  • Thirdsyphon

    Putin has already cut off Ukraine’s access to the Russian natural gas being transferred across their territory to Europe. If he goes too much further in upping the ante with Kiev, he runs the risk that a group of “radical nationalists with absolutely no ties to the government of Ukraine” will forcibly occupy and disable one or more compressor stations located in the western part of the country. The station located in Temopil, for example, could cut off the U-P-U pipeline before it branches; control of just one other station, located just south of Temopil, would allow these “independent hooligans” to stop the flow of natural gas through the Soyuz and Progres pipelines as well. . . at which point Kiev could graciously offer to intervene and dislodge these wicked interlopers. . .but only if suitable concessions from Moscow were offered in exchange.

    • Felix Keverich

      You’re not making any sense at all. There is no better way to convince the Europeans to finally complete South Stream, than have a bunch of “Ukrainian nationalists” disrupt a pipeline that provides 15% of EU’s gas supply. As a transit country Ukraine has a responsibility to ensure safe transit of gas meant for the EU. Failing to do so would expose Ukraine as an unreliable transit route.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “Those who won’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
    Putin is an idiot, if he thought the war in Chechnya was bad, he is buying into a much larger and foreign/western supported Ukrainian war. Putin could have bought the Ukraine with kindness and investment which would have strengthened the Ukraine and made them into a much more profitable trading partner. Instead, he is acting like a conqueror on the model of Stalin, which history proves created an unstable empire made up of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact that disintegrated 2 decades ago.

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