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Ever since the time of Catherine the Great, Russia has been searching for a permanent warm water port for their country. Russia’s primary military naval ports at Vladivostok and Murmansk which are usually blocked by ice during the winter months. Creating major problems for Russia, especially after the breakup of the Soviet Union, when many of the countries occupied by Russia at the end of second world war took back their identities and their borders. Russia compensated for the lost territory by sharing the Port of Sevastopol in the Crimea, which is located on the north shore of the Black Sea, in a sort of friendly arraignment with Ukraine.

The strongman running today’s Russia is Vladimir Putin, a former Colonel of the old Soviet Union’s secret police, the KGB. Putin has made it clear that he wants to recreate the old Warsaw Pact to re-establish the power of the old Soviet Union. Russia is using the tried and true bully technique of grab and keep, that is unless other countries raise a big enough stink. Then only give back part to prove he is cooperating in order to keep everyone quite, and then grab more at the next opportunity.

Vladimir Putin grabbed the province of South Odessa from the country of Georgia several years ago and has attacked Ukraine taking over the province of Crimea and total control of the Sevastopol naval port. On 25 November 2018, Putin put on his pirate’s eye patch and seized 2 Ukrainian patrol vessels, a sea tugboat and is holding the crew’s hostage after conducting a kangaroo court show trial. Of course, this all happened just days before the heads of the G-20 Governments meeting in Argentina for financial negotiations and signing a treaty.

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In each territorial grab, local pro-Russian supporters were equipped and supported by Russian special operation units. False flagged Russian troops masquerade as local residents to make the attacks look like a civil war. This is going on now in Ukraine, opposing forces are dug in with bunkers and trenches in a stalemate with snipers on both sides shooting at anything that moves. Putin has succeeded in seizing ground, the only thing stopping him has been threats, sanctions and other neighboring countries taking steps to protect themselves.

Putin has continued the old Soviet style of expansion by building a major naval port at Tantus in Syria and creating detachments in countries around the world that are friendly with Russia. This will continue as long as Putin or another like mined strongman is in power, and it will stop only when it becomes too expensive and burdensome.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

R MCCRAY

U.S. ARMY Veteran, former Aerospace Engineer and Editorial Cartoonist, he has lived and worked in Europe and in the Middle East. He has been a member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonist for over 10 years. ( AAEC website www.editorialcartoonist.com - under retired members )

 

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