Russia to NATO: Drop Dead

Unsurprising and discomforting -but clear.

The XX Committee

Clearly Vladimir Putin did not heed my advice to cool it after his bloodless seizure of Crimea. Instead, he has doubled down, issuing a fire-breathing speech before the Duma yesterday, filled with Russian nationalist paeans and Chekist threats. Violence in Ukraine provoked by the Russian military has become serious, and no more is this a bloodless happening. Today it is clear that the Kremlin has conquest on its mind and where this crisis goes from here is anybody’s guess but I feel safe in saying: nowhere good.

The Western response to this has been frankly modest. Moscow has publicly mocked the decidedly unpunitive sanctions announced by the United States, and the even more limited ones coming from the European Union. The U.S. Department of Defense has suspended its ties with the Russian military, and NATO is likewise cutting back on its links to Moscow, what those in the trade call…

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