Possible ‘Catastrophe’: Russian Aggression Along Eastern Ukraine Border

Barb Wire

By Sara Carter

Russia’s increased military buildup along Ukraine’s eastern border signals the possibility of a full-scale invasion and one that could lead to a worst-case global scenario, pitting NATO allies against old Russian foes and debilitating the global economy to nothing short of catastrophe if nothing is done to stop Moscow’s aggression, U.S. officials and analysts told TheBlaze.

On Friday, more Russian troops and armored vehicles were seen offloading from ships in the Crimean harbor, reporters in the area said. The day before, Russia had already massed more than 8,000 troops and armored vehicles along three regions of Ukraine’s eastern border conducting war games. The move alarmed interim Ukraine President Oleksander Turchynov, who announced he had called up 60,000 of his nation’s national guard  in preparation for a possible “full-scale” Russian invasion.

[A U.S.] official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the nature of their work, said the situation is being closely monitored and “no one’s ruling out the possibility of additional Russian military aggression.”

“I think the Crimea story is over, that’s done” he said. “The question is will [Russian President Vladimir Putin] go any further and I think if he invades over the eastern front of  [Ukraine] then you’ll get the Europeans involved, then you’re looking at possibly a catastrophic situation.”

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Further, if the West fails to act decisively, ethnic tensions in Ukraine could begin to boil and Russia could use it as a pretense to invade the western half of the country and “the West would have no choice but to impose massive sanctions and that would impact the entire global economy,” said [economist and research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, William] Wilson.

One possible scenario includes Putin’s threats to shut off Russian gas supplies from Europe, despite the fact that Russia is already on the verge of a recession. Ukraine is one of the main transit routes for the nation’s gas and Russia can create a potential crisis across European markets, some which rely heavily on the product.

Failure by the West to strongly impose limits on Putin now will only embolden anti-American leaders in countries like Iran, North Korea, Syria, China and even those in the Western hemisphere to take the opportunity to act against Western interests.

That [the view of Pres. Obama as an extremely weak leader] makes for a very dangerous combination as Ukraine prepares its limited forces against the mammoth nation. Currently, there are 130,000 Ukrainian soldiers and their military equipment is aging. They are no longer the powerful nation they used to be when Ukraine had the third-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. Ukraine’s decision to sign the Budapest memorandum with the United States and Russia in 1994 mandating them to dismantle all their nuclear armaments has now left them vulnerable to Russia’s 845,000-strong military. Russia has violated the treaty by invading.

Read more: TheBlaze.com

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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