It is an inconvenient truth for Russia, Europe and the US, but we must call a spade a spade: Russia and Ukraine are engaged in a war between sovereign states, even if Kiev is the only government yet willing to acknowledge it. There is evidence of Moscow’s direct involvement in Ukraine, including troops on the ground, shellings and the provision of advanced weaponry. A separatist leader has claimed that as many as 4,000 Russian citizens have fought on Ukrainian soil. Moscow has opened a new southern front in the fighting. The bottom line: Russia’s actions constitute an invasion.
But Russia and the west still will not call it that. Moscow wants to maintain implausible deniability, regardless of the facts on the ground. In his speech on Thursday,Barack Obama acknowledged that Russia was “responsible”, but the US president dubbed recent events nothing more than a “continuation of what we’ve seen for months”. The US and the EU feel that the “I word” would necessitate a sharp acceleration in their response. So they are sticking with a euphemism: “incursion”. The west cannot maintain this song and dance much longer. Continue reading »