Jul 25, 2014

With Europe on the brink, MH17 is Putin’s watershed moment

Vladimir Putin has built up enormous popularity based on Russian nationalism. To take a soft approach in Ukraine risks that, but to go hard risks war with Europe, explains Thomas Ambrosio, professor of political science at North Dakota State University.

The destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile will likely prove to be a watershed moment in this 21st-century European war and the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In order to understand its impact, we first need to try deducing the Kremlin’s plan before this tragedy. Obviously, only those closest to Putin know his intentions, and it is quite possible he has not come to a final decision about his Ukraine policy. Although many like to depict the Russian president as a cold, long-range calculator, indecision seems more likely: if the Kremlin were fully committed to the annexation of eastern Ukraine, it would have done so already.

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18 thoughts on “With Europe on the brink, MH17 is Putin’s watershed moment

  1. Limited News

    Usual empty rhetoric, devoid of critical insight into the actual evidence. A daily scan of is like coming up for air.

    Russia and China and the other BRICS will at some point play their ace. Dumping T-bonds to displace the US dollar and kick the US out of Eurasia. It is going to be Murder on the Orient Express, they will all be in on it, even Germany and France.

  2. Kevin Herbert

    Thomas Ambrosio: you say “Nonetheless, a sea change against Russia has occurred in the court of Western public opinion”…says who?…the US State Department, AIPAC ????

    In Australia people I talk to say that if the Russians are to be blamed for the MH17, then how many murders are the US, Great Britain & France, liable for via their arms exports….a non sequitor if ever I’ve seen one.

    Also, you say clearly in a pegorative way: “It is perhaps telling that Russia Today, the Kremlin’s English-language mouthpiece…”. Let me assure that any informed person globally in 2014 sees the US MSM, and indeed former Western bastions of free speech as the BBC, a State sponsored propaganda tools.

    Let be clear…the US MIC & its Wall St/US Federal Reserve ghouls want a war,any war, where they will profit enormously of course. Obama may be a neocon stooge, but he’s not going to wage war anytime soon, and tarnish his already evil war mongering legacy.

  3. Tom Mullin

    What total rubbish, when even the US State Dept is getting pilloried by US media during its briefings about the total lack of evidence (except social media) of who did it, then you know something is really fishy (

    A quick check of this Thomas Ambrosio reveals a consistent anti-Russian position (his CV here, like:

    Authoritarian Backlash: Russian Resistance to Democratization in the Former Soviet Union . ISBN 0-7546-7350-2. Which examines five strategies that an increasingly authoritarian Russia has adopted to preserve the Kremlin’s political power: insulate, bolster, subvert, redefine and coordinate. Each strategy seeks to counter or undermine regional democratic trends ”

    Might be an idea to check out some of these ‘commentators’ history first before giving them any space. The probability of this person being objective about Russia (and thus objective about the Ukrainian conflict) is about the same as me winning lotto..twice in a row..

  4. Peter Watson

    [Those Russians able to see through the Kremlin’s misinformation may reject being accomplices to mass murder and turn on the government]
    I read to this section and what was a good article, became just more shit propaganda.

    Malaysia prefers to investigate facts.

  5. Peter Watson

    Perhaps news sites could support the Malaysian investigation by calling on the US to release their surveillance records, Also UKr to release flight control records and records for their BUK systems that were in place and within range.

  6. j.oneill

    Why is Crikey publishing propaganda from an obscure US university? It is wrong on so Many levels that it would take a lengthy article to enumerate that all. Readers should revert to the comments in response to Ben Sandiland’s articles for some information not clouded by the nonsense in this article.

    They might also like to read Pepe Escobar’s latest article in Asia Times online, “A Chessboard Soaked in Blood.” More truth and common sense in that short article than in a book load of Ambrosio’s nonsense. In fact it is worse than propaganda. In my view it is accurate disinformation. That should be a matter of profound concern to all Crikey readers.

  7. j.oneill

    Whoops. “Accurate” in the penultimate sentence should read “actual” .

  8. Bill Hilliger

    Putin on the other hand could refer to the USS Vincennes incident in 1988. The people on board the Iranian Aircraft were mostly Iranians and Pakistanis. There are clear parallels between that instance and the MH17 tragedy.

    However, in USS Vincennes instance it was just deemed an unfortunate mistake resulting in unavoidable negative collateral outcomes. The responsible persons got away free and were awarded with medals for their efforts. President Reagan did not apologise and this is still the subject of much resentment and justified outrage. But then again, it was an American naval forces mistake. For the rest of the world including Australia we knew they were Americans, weren’t they? Americans always act for the greater good as we all know.

  9. Spica

    I don’t subscribe to Crikey for this sort of tripe.

  10. Kevin Herbert

    Bill Hilliger:

    couldn’t agree more.

    Go to Dr Gideon Polya’s excellent website & see the body count due to the warmongering of the US since 1950:

    It’s mind boggling just how many millions of civilians they’ve slaughtered.

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