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A blog by Leon Oudejans

The Ukraine connection

16 August 2016

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Last week, several Republicans hinted on losing the 8 November 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and/or the Republican House majority (eg, 50 Republican national security experts, over 70 prominent Republicans asking to shift Republican funds away from TrumpMcConnell, Ryan, Trump). The list of the Republican exodus from Trump is long and still expanding.

It now seems that even Moscow no longer believes that Trump will win.

On 31 July 2016, Donald Trump made some curious remarks about Crimea, Ukraine and Russia to ABC‘s George Stephanopoulos. Trump: “He’s not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.” (CNN)

George Stephanopoulos responded, in a reference to Crimea, which Moscow took from Ukraine in early 2014: “Well, he’s already there, isn’t he?” (CNN)

Trump: “OK — well, he’s there in a certain way. But I’m not there. You have Obama there. And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama with all the strength that you’re talking about and all of the power of NATO and all of this. In the meantime, he’s going away. He takes Crimea.” (CNN)

During the ABC interview, Stephanopoulos mentioned that Trump has suggested he could recognize Russia’s claim on Crimea over Ukraine’s. Trump didn’t back away from that possibility in the interview. “I’m going to take a look at it,” he said. “But you know, the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also … just so you understand, that was done under Obama’s administration.” (CNN)

Given these Trump statements there would be no point for Russia invading Ukraine until Donald Trump gets elected as US President. 

Still the odds are that Russia will invade Ukraine shortly. The GPF Watchlist of 11 August 2016 by George Friedman mentions “an unconfirmed report on Facebook that a Russian brigade has crossed into Ukraine’s Donbass region in the direction of Debaltseve, Donetsk region. The report is sufficiently precise in locations to be worth putting on this list.” The GPF Reality Check of 12 August 2016 repeats this claim in the 1st paragraph. Note: italic marking is mine.

A confirmed Russian invasion into Ukraine is likely to put Donald Trump in an even more terrible position than he already is. Several media have either claimed or suggested that Donald Trump is Moscow’s favourite candidate in the November 2016 Presidential Election (eg, CNN, Guardian, Newsweek, Political InsiderSlate). 

A confirmed Russian invasion into Ukraine before November 2016 would suggest that Moscow has given up on its favourite candidate. My only hope is that the current situation is window dressing in view of the 18 September 2016 Russian general election. The political vacuum in USA (until 8 November 2016 or even 20 January 2017) and also in Europe (eg, Brexit, 2017 general elections in France and Germany, NATO, Turkey), could easily create a new status quo in Europe.

Status Quo – In The Army Now (1986) – artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Europe – The Final Countdown (1986) – artists, lyrics, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

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