Back Story Newsletter
If there is any doubt the crisis over Ukraine is rapidly moving towards a shooting war with Russia, overnight the U.S. ordered all non essential staff and their families stationed in Kiev to leave.
Russia continues to be unclear on why it’s stationed 100-120 thousand troops on Ukraines border and in Belarus to the north, but it can only be interpreted as a threat to invade.
Over the weekend many NATO allies were openly shipping lethal arms to Ukraine such as ammunition and anti tank weapons from Britain, the U.S., Poland, and NATO allies in the Baltics such as Latvia.
Ukraine is not a NATO member but increasingly wants NATO membership to deter Russia.
Are we returning to the armed Europe of the Cold War? Russia President Vladimir Putin is not only threatening Ukraine, but is pushing for a dramatic realignment of security in Europe pushing for NATO to leave countries like Bulgaria and Romania.
The Kremlins sabre rattling will have the opposite effect. Already since the 2014 invasion by Russia of Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, NATO has started rotational deployments of multi national forces in the Baltics.
Now President Biden is considering deploying U.S. forces to the Baltics, which would be a major shift away from the ‘don’t provoke Russia strategy’. The deployments would mean establishing bases in Eastern Europe, in response to Russian aggression which under the 1997 NATO Russian Founding Act, was avoided as to encourage peace in Europe.
Experts will argue now Russia has left that document in tatters with its invasion of Georgia in 2008, and its invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Biden is said to be considering deploying roughly 5000 U.S. soldiers to the Baltics, some from existing bases in Western Europe, and others from the U.S.
U.S. Sec of State Antony Blinken said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “NATO itself will continue to be reinforced in a significant way if Russia commits renewed acts of aggression. All of that is on the table.”
Meantime in the Russian Duma Parliament moves are afoot as early as this week to discuss formal recognition of independence in areas of Eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk.
Lawmaker Alexander Borodai said he expects the Russian military to go to war with Ukraine if Moscow recognizes the Donbass’ independence.
“A war will become a direct necessity,” said Borodai, a former Donetsk prime minister, as saying. “Russia would have to take on some security responsibilities.”
-WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will hear today whether he has the right to appeal to Britain's Supreme Court against a High Court ruling on his extradition to the United States
-Dozens of Chinese jets entered Taiwan's air defense zone, the island's officials said. Taiwan responded by scrambling its own fighter jets and activating missile defense systems
-Sue Gray, the civil servant investigating reports British P.M. Boris Johnson attended parties at his official residence during Covid lockdowns, will report this week. It could lead to Johnson having to step down
-The Canadian RCMP has issued a Canada-wide warrant for a man who allegedly abducted his seven-year-old daughter in an effort to prevent her from getting the COVID-19 vaccine
-Former attorney general William P. Barr has spoken with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, the committee chairman said Sunday indicative that several former Trump administration officials are cooperating with the panel
That’s a look at Monday morning news. Please subscribe to the newsletter if you haven’t already.
Have a good day everyone.