(July 23, 2014) The EU and especially the U.S. gave Putin fertile ground with which to exploit the ensuing mayhem of months of orchestrated anarchy.
This article by Lawrence Solomon, a policy analyst with Probe International, first appeared in The Hill on July 23, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin backs the eastern Ukrainian rebels who blasted a Malaysian Airlines flight carrying 300 innocents out of the sky. Putin supplied the rebels with the technology and the training — if not the actual personnel — that made this act of barbarism possible. Even if a Russian didn’t directly fire the missile that led to the murders, and even if the murderers thought they were downing a Ukrainian military aircraft, and not a civilian aircraft, Russia is responsible for fostering the chaos that would inevitably lead to such a tragedy.
All true. But by that standard, the EU and especially the U.S. are also to blame, maybe even more so. Over the better part of the last year, they orchestrated months of anarchy in Kiev’s Independence Square that led to the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian leader, which galvanized protest movements among the country’s many pro-Russian sympathizers, which led Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, which led rebels to seize part of the country’s east and which gave Putin fertile ground with which to exploit the ensuing mayhem.
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Lawrence Solomon, executive director of Probe International’s sister division Energy Probe, and a columnist with Canada’s National Post, is a contributor to the top U.S. political website, The Hill. Email him at LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com.