Right on cue:
Kiev (AFP) - A column of 32 tanks and other heavy weapons has entered Ukraine from Russia, the Ukrainian military said Friday, after the latest fighting left five dead and at least 31 injured.
Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said a convoy made up of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer cannons and 30 trucks of troops and equipment crossed the border into the rebel-controlled Lugansk region on Thursday.
With American foreign policy in disarray, and with winter approaching, Russia moves troops into Ukraine for three reasons:
1. Because they can
2. Because no one wants to disrupt the flow of natural gas to Western Europe
3. There is no viable alliance of NATO countries with military capability
These troops will root around in Ukraine, and then they'll leave in order to be replaced by others. At some point, Ukraine is going to run out of troops and equipment and then the Russians will have what they want. Opposing them or driving them out would require logistical support from NATO which could, through the costly application of air power, assist Ukraine in taking control of the skies. We would lose a lot of planes and pilots, but so would the Russians. There is no stomach for any of that.
Western nations don't understand the Russian people. They are used to being deprived of things that we cannot live without. They're a tough people, and they will snap the necks of the Ukrainians while we worry about nonsense.
What will happen when Russia invades Finland? Will that be another nothingburger? This is what's happening right under our noses:
Finland and Sweden plan to work more closely with Nato by signing a pact that allows assistance from alliance troops in the Nordic countries in emergency situations, officials said on Wednesday.
The move comes as Nato prepares for a summit next week in Wales amid heightened tensions with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. Finland shares a 1,300km (800-mile) border with Russia.
The Finnish government said the host nation support agreement applies to situations which include "disasters, disruptions and threats to security". It also enables joint training exercises and military cooperation.
Finnish defence ministry senior adviser Mika Varvikko said Finland intended to sign the agreement at next week's summit. Sweden is also expected to do so.
Both countries, which already train and work closely with Nato in international operations, insisted the agreement did not mean they were moving closer to joining the alliance.
"There is a very sharp difference between being a member and not being a member," the Swedish defence minister, Karin Enström, told the Associated Press. "We are an active partner with Nato and we want to deepen our partnership with Nato."
Seven months ago, when Russia seized and annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, Finns seemed relatively unconcerned. The world's northernmost country shares some 800 miles of border with its huge neighbor, but just a quarter of Finns said they felt threatened by Moscow. And a similar number told pollsters their country should consider joining NATO in interest of self-defense.
Since then, Russia's behavior has become more provocative, and not just in eastern Ukraine. During one week in August, Russian military aircraft conducted three unauthorized overflights of Finnish airspace. The Finnish public reacted accordingly. A poll last month by Finnish daily Aamulehtishowed that 43 percent of those polled perceived Russia as a danger, an increase of nearly 20 percent from March.
But support for Finland joining NATO remained almost unchanged: a mere two percent higher, the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation (YLE) found. Why hasn’t Finnish wariness translated into stronger support for NATO membership? And what, if anything, would persuade Finns to join the defense pact?
And a fine example of blaming the victim:
Do Finland want to start World War III? It's something to think about if Finland wants to join NATO, warns Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal envoy Sergei Markov.
It's not Russian hatred against Finland, but if Finland joins NATO, it shows that the country has a Russia-complex, said Markov, who is a political scientist, to the newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet.
NATO will not save Finland, no matter what the treaty says. The Finns should embrace their Russian overlords and hope for mercy. They won't get any help from the West unless someone finds oil or natural gas in abundance somewhere in a part of Finland that is conducive to extraction and exploitation. What's happening in Ukraine is a forecast of what will happen for the frontier of Russia over the next decade.