World View: Russia, U.S. Exchange Accusations as East Ukraine Unrest Escalates

World View: Russia, U.S. Exchange Accusations as East Ukraine Unrest Escalates

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Russia and U.S. exchange accusations as east Ukraine unrest escalates
  • Ebola continues to ‘evolve rapidly’ in Guinea and Liberia
  • Kerry blames Israel, but hopes Mideast peace talks will continue

Russia and U.S. exchange accusations as east Ukraine unrest escalates

Violence is escalating in large cities in east Ukraine along theborder with Russia, where pro-Russian protesters have stormed andlooted government buildings, demanding secession from Ukraine tobecome part of the Russian federation. According to Ukraine’sSecurity Service, separatists armed with explosives and otherweapons were holding 60 people hostage. 

Russia blamed the increasing violence on American mercenaries: 

We are particularly concerned that the operationinvolves some 150 American mercenaries from a private companyGreystone Ltd., dressed in the uniform of the [Ukrainian] specialtask police unit Sokol. Organizers and participants of suchincitement are assuming a huge responsibility for threatening uponthe rights, freedoms and lives of Ukrainian citizens as well asthe stability of Ukraine.”

Russia is also accusing Ukraine’s government in Kiev of trying tostart a civil war. 

It turns out that Greystone used to be an affiliate ofBlackwater and may or may not have provided security servicesin Russia or Ukraine. Reports of Greystone working in Ukraineare unconfirmed. 

Secretary of State John Kerry, testifying before the Senate onTuesday, called the situation by Russia to “create a contrivedcrisis”: 

And everything that we’ve seen in the last 48 hoursfrom Russian provocateurs and agents operating in eastern Ukrainetells us that they’ve been sent there determined to createchaos. And that is absolutely unacceptable. These efforts are asham-handed as they are transparent, frankly. And quite simply,what we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort todestabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis withpaid operatives across an international boundary engaged in thisinitiative. 

Russia’s clear and unmistakable involvement in destabilizing andengaging in separatist activities in the east of Ukraine is morethan deeply disturbing. No one should be fooled, and believe me,no one is fooled by what could potentially be a contrived pretextfor military intervention just as we saw in Crimea. It is clearthat Russian special forces and agents have been the catalystbehind the chaos of the last 24 hours. Some have even beenarrested and exposed. And equally as clear must be the realitythat the United States and our allies will not hesitate to use21st-century tools to hold Russia accountable for 19th-centurybehavior. We have stated again and again that our preference – andthe preference of our friends and allies – is de-escalation and adiplomatic solution. But Russia should not for a single solitarysecond mistake the expression of that preference as anunwillingness to do what is necessary to stop any violation of theinternational order.

What’s interesting about this statement is the sharply escalatingrhetoric on the American side. For months, Kerry has been followingRussia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov around like a little puppybegging for a bone and has been fooled every time. So theadministration is now changing to a new hardline approach,with the old “reset button” approach completely abandoned. 

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this illustrates hownationalism is increasing in this generational Crisis era, even in theUnited States. It’s a small incremental increase to be sure, but it’sa part of a continuing trend of increasing nationalism in countriesaround the world. Russia Today and ABC News and Dept. of State

Ebola continues to ‘evolve rapidly’ in Guinea and Liberia

The World Health Organization (WHO) is describing this as one of themost challenging situations they’ve ever faced. Ebola continues tospread rapidly in Guinea and Liberia, with 178 suspected cases, 106confirmed, resulting in 111 death in the two countries. Spread of thevirus was given a boost when it spread last week to Conakry, theovercrowded capital city of Guinea. From there, it’s spread to widelydispersed regions, and can’t be contained. Cases have been reportedin Sierra Leone, Mali, and Ghana, but none has been confirmed. Therehas been some panic as, on Friday, an angry mob attacked an Ebolatreatment center in Conakry, accusing the staff from Médecins SansFrontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders) of bringing the disease tothe town and spreading it. WHO is advising people to stay calm,though it is warning that controlling the outbreak could take months.CNN

Kerry blames Israel, but hopes Mideast peace talks will continue

Speaking before the Senate, Secretary of State John Kerry said thatthe Mideast “peace talks” collapsed when Israel refused to release thefourth batch of prisoners who had been convicted of terrorist actsprior to the 1994 Oslo accords. However, he still hoped thatnegotiations would continue. “It is stopped. Recognize reality!” saidRepublican Sen. John McCain. AP

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Ukraine, Greystone, Blackwater,John Kerry, Ebola, Guinea, Liberia, Conakry,Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF, Doctors without Borders,World Health Organization, WHO, Israel, John McCain 

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