First of all I'd like to say that I have no delusion about Russia being a poor and helpless victim, nor that Putin isn't a corrupt a-hole!
However, the fact of the matter is that since the Maydan revolution the USA (and it's dog the EU) has been the one's provoking Russia into conflict. My opinion is based on the following facts:
1. They have blindly supported the new Kiev government even though it came into power by force rather than my election.
2. They claim that Russia had no right to annex Crimea (a peninsula crucial to Russia's role as a super-power) even though there was a vote in which over 96% voted for annexation.
3. Since then they have been actively pushing for the harshest possible sanctions over Russia (while completely supporting Kiev)
4. They have repeatedly insinuated that NATO should back Kiev in the war
5. They have started a propaganda campaign against anything Russian and Putin.
6. When the plane was shot down recently, they blamed Russia (not the Russian separatists) on the day of the crash before any investigation was even organised.- despite the fact that Kiev and the US being the only one's actually gaining anything from the crash.
7. Even before all this they made the first move by placing an anti-nuclear system right next to the Russian border, in multiple countries (there have also been allegations that it's could also be a nuclear launching system rather than just a defensive system.
8. They have ignored the fact that Putin listened to them (all be it reluctantly) when he canceled Russian military exercises near the Ukraine border (still on Russian land)
- There have also been allegations that they have been indirectly sending weapons to Kiev, while Russia have been doing the same thing on the other side.
- I have to point out that all of this has started at the point when the BRIC countries started talks about creating an alternative to the IMF (an organizations that is obviously corrupt
- Also, they are the only one's who have anything to gain by worsening economic EU-Russia relations. It just seems to me that they are once again pursuing a "give them democracy plan" although this time they are provoking a country that isn't as defenseless as the previous few.
I just think that they are taking it too far this time, especially when Russia has warned them repeatedly that they will not engage in fighting with NATO, they will use nukes= everyone looses.
Without a doubt Russia is supporting the separatists but the international community, no matter how confident we are, we must be shown evidence that they are in-fact doing it. From this point of evidence being presented, then what? Russia is conducting these operations within its "sphere of influence", the US and the EU cannot wage war when we don't like a dictator far from our borders, but not allow other countries to wage war when they want to keep a dictator in power.
Either way, these sanctions are for Putin rising on the international scene again by halting the US adventure into Syria, holding Edward Snowden, assisting in the creation of BRICS bank, etc.
The MAIN reason I say yes, we're going too far, is because in the soon to be "Multi-polar" world, Russia will need the US and the US will need Russia; example, the US needs Russia on its side for Iran's nuclear program, and Israel probably realizes this as well. The US and Russia MUST realize China is the country we need to watch out for and we need each other to work against them.
Here is the truth: The U.S. is going downhill with a bullet, and Russia is going up. It's a fact. The United States is being challenged and it is responding with childish attacks on Putin and his Government.
Here's an example: We love to point out how Putin's Government isn't Democratic, and yet he has an 83% approval rating, and his National GDP had increased five-fold since 1999. This is a man who has rebuilt Russia in many ways. Who cares if he's not Democratic. He gets the job done! That's more than can be said about Obama.
The very fact that there is so much international outcry for the Ukraine situation is telling. Did we just forget about the... 50 nations the US has invaded since 1945!?!? The US has been invading places left and right for years, and, more importantly, places that are not in their backyard. The problem is not that Russia is invading Ukraine, it's that Russia is getting powerful again.
Honestly, I don't think the US gives a hoot whether or not the Ukraine gets invaded or not. Certainly not on a policy-level.
The US has 77 times the debt Russia has. Obama is nervous. These are tense moments that are being made worse by things like trade sanctions, which, in reality only damage the people. Sanctions are a political starvation tool.
It's preposterous to think that the US puts sanctions on Russia for Ukraine when their mistakes in Iraq are being felt globally at this very moment.
The US is in a position of uncertain strength and resolve. We have been weakened by our inner turmoils and the rest of the world sees this. Other countries exploit this because they feel that the US won't do anything, that we are all talk. And here is the problem. If we do not do anything then we defeat ourselves and they walk all over us. If we do put our foot down we risk world war and they are milking that chain as much as they can
Russia is on a bullying spree in light of its global flattering. As the country has continued to lose its standing, its leadership has grown increasingly imperialist. Other than natural gas, the only thing Russia has is brute strength that it can exert only on its neighbors. Many of these countries know what it is like to be under the control of out of their mind Soviet style leaders like Putin, and they are rightfully scared of him.
Just as the response to Iraq bullying Kuwait, the global community would not have blinked an eye at a massive crackdown on Russia if it were not for Russia's ability to shut down the gas flow to many parts of Europe, endangering the lives of many people and harming the entire country. There is no acceptable way to illegally annex parts of another country, or to incite revolutions against their democratically elected government. Russia has no right to determine Ukraine's government, nor to determine whether Crimea can leave Ukraine.
The US, nor any other western government, has provoked Russia. These incidents, the annexation of Crimea, the entirely Russian supported rebels in East Ukraine, and the shooting down of MH17, have all been Russian provocations against the west. The loss of innocent lives and the damage down to Ukraine as a nation cannot be allowed in Russia's attempts to remain relevant by abuse.
We (U.S.) was right to place sanctions against Russia. We were also right, as was other nations, to condemn Putin's actions in Crimea. When Russia provided the SAMs, that inevitably led to the tragic loss of a commercial airliner, it was icing on a cake. Putin has adopted the tactics he knows best -- old USSR. And remember, Putin served in the KGB for years. So, it was well indoctrinated into him.
Today, Putin is operating like every thug dictator in World History. He invaded Crimea. Well, Saddam invaded Kuwait. Hitler invaded every European nation that he could march into. The comparisons go on and on. He no longer operates like a respectable leader. We know it and the rest of the world knows it. The fact Prince Charles made the comparison in public only proves my point.
The Russian people suffered, under the USSR. Times were hard. Bread lines. Modest, cramped apartments. Simple things that we take for granted were considered luxuries. They lived in fear. But that was over 20 years ago. A generation has been born & raised in a different -- more liberating & exhilarating -- Russia. So, while some Russians may appear to support Putin now, the reality may be the opposite. As he moves backward, the real question becomes: Will the people follow?
For now, the U.S. & other nations must monitor Putin's actions. They cannot afford to assume anything, or blindly take him at his word. If it means further action, then the steps must be taken. This is no time to appear complacent. The broader his reach becomes, the more difficult it will be to stop him. When a leader evolves into this state-of-mind, they are addicted to their own power ... Glory ... Greatness, etc. They want more. As a result, it usually never ends well or peacefully.