Can Diplomacy Trump Aggression in Ukraine?

@RUNet Memes

Yesterday an emergency Security Council meeting provided the stage for more talk on Ukraine. Steven Pifer still thinks a Russian military intervention to be unlikely–but it does seem to be  clear that Putin is interested in more than Crimea. And the U.S. seems to understand that Putin is living a carefully developed fiction--one entirely of his own creation.

The U.S. take on events over the weekend:

This was no peaceful spring weekend for Ukraine.  Coordinated, well-armed Russian-backed militants attacked government buildings in a professional operation in six cities in eastern regions.  Many of the attackers were carrying Russian-origin weapons and outfitted in bulletproof vests and camouflage uniforms with insignia removed.

Observers on the ground saw that the events were carefully planned and orchestrated.  In Kharkiv, as pro-Russian groups neared pro-Ukrainian protesters, women, children, and medics moved away, leaving only well-armed young men to approach the pro-Ukrainian protestors.  These people were looking for a fight.  The pro-Russian “demonstration” was in fact a bloody attack on peaceful, pro-unity demonstrators.

The attacks occurred simultaneously in multiple locations.  These were not grass-roots political protests.  These armed “demonstrators” took over government administration buildings and security headquarters, seized weapons, forced local officials to abandon their offices, and attacked communications towers.

via Ukraine: Choosing Diplomacy Over Aggression | DipNote.

Writing in the Guardian, Ian Black lays out five possible scenarios, including a Ukrainian use of force, Russian intervention, US/EU Sanctions, NATO intervention, as well as diplomacy (which didn’t work in the Crimean situation).

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