Burying the Lede
Russia's sanctuary in Ukraine
Helene, Eric and Julian at The New York times tell us Tiger Team is re-thinking the time-proven concept that the Crimea variable (defined by Russia’s illegal annexation of the peninsula) won’t necessarily be available the next time Joe Biden promises everything to help Ukraine defend itself12.
The story begins with details of secondary importance postponing the essential point to the very end, namely:
“To give Russia sanctuary from which to fight, without fear of reproach, is absolutely absurd. It makes no military sense.” - Philip Breedlove, retired four-star Air Force general who was NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014.
Over the last eleven months of the nine-year war, Ukraine’s military has been able to retake about half of what Russia captured after its blitzkrieg invasion. Russian agents employed by Ukraine basically handed southern areas (Kherson, Zaporizhia regions) of the country to invading forces in February, but now wants them back, along with Crimea, which @nytimes calls “a Russian sanctuary.”
Last time I checked, in early 2014 Russia invaded Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk without a shred of plausible legal justification, bombarded Ukrainian territory, killed Ukrainian citizens and seized territory that belongs within the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, declaring it part of Russia.
To argue or imply that there were any acts of “self-determination” in any part of Ukraine creating a Russian sanctuary contradicts the highest available organised expressions of international law.
It’s far too late for apologies. The happy ending — or as happy as can be expected to a bloody mess in which fascistic Russia’s genocidal campaign has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of people — can be made possible by providing Ukraine everything necessary to kill the invaders.