It May be time for Obama to explain to Putin the whole thing about "costs" and "red lines" one more time, maybe over a two hour phone call this time so the former KGB spy finally gets it, because while Russia has been seemingly confused for the past two weeks, Moscow just successfully annexed Crimea, without spilling a drop of blood. Which is what Ukraine essentially just confirmed after its acting president, who attained his position after a violent coup and remains unrecognized by Russia, told AFP in an exclusive interview saying Ukraine will not attempt a military move to prevent the southern Crimean peninsula's breakaway in order not to expose its eastern border.
"We cannot launch a military operation in Crimea, as we would expose the eastern border and Ukraine would not be protected," Turchynov said, as Crimea prepares to vote in a referendum Sunday on becoming part of Russia.
Crimea's upcoming referendum is a "sham" whose results will be fixed in Moscow, Turchynov told AFP.
"What they call the referendum will not happen in Crimea but in the offices of the Kremlin," Turchynov said ahead of Sunday's vote and hours after the pro-Russian authorities in Crimea voted for full independence from Ukraine.
So with Crimea down, as Putin prepares for his strategic endgoal - splitting the country in two and annexing the East in an identical fashion - the US strikes back:
- HOUSE PASSES RESOLUTION SEEKING SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA
- HOUSE VOTES 402-7 FOR NON-BINDING RESOLUTION ON UKRAINE
Surelt this time Putin will lose some sleep, perhaps over all the laughter. Or perhaps from constantly repeating "if you want your sanctions, you can keep your sanctions."