I hadn't realized before how much the American-encouraged attack by Georgia on Russian-backed South Ossetia in 2008 looks to the Kremlin like the same playbook as the two American-planned Croat offensives against the Serb breakaway Krajina republic in Croatia in 1995. The second American-planned offensive by the Croats, Operation Storm, was the biggest land battle in Europe since 1945.Ans so just what is the US Government doing in Ukraine? I certainly don't know, but speculation suggests that it's seen as provocative:
Airstrikes on Moscow can't be part of America's Plan A. It's just not an option. At present. And nuking Russia down to melted glass isn't even part of Plan B. Yet. (However, it should be noted, just for the record, that it's still only the beginning of Spring so that leaves plenty of time to invade Russia and conquer Moscow before winter sets in. It's March 22, not June 22.)There's really no clearer example of how the elected Administration (any Administration) isn't the Government. Rather, it's the permanent Civil Service bureaucracy that is the government. There's really no other explanation for why a essentially pacifist liberal Democrat would be provoking the Russian bear is his own back yard.
But helping the Russian opposition in the same committed, involved, and even meddling manner as the U.S. once helped the Serbian opposition should be. Putin already believes the U.S. State Department is backing the few protest activists left in Moscow—and is punishing the activists for it.
In other words, nudge nudge, wink wink, the U.S. State Department is backing the few protest activists left in Moscow. Gessen and Putin seem to be on the same page when it comes to their understanding of How These Things Work (they're just not on the same side).