Friday, December 03, 2004

Putin's Getting Rattled

Putin's behavior would seem to support Orange Ukraine's analysis of Russian involvement in the Ukranian situation (previous post here). Looks like he's firing a shot over the the U.S. bow.

Putin said he was worried by mounting violence and loss of life linked to operations by U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq, and said these may disrupt plans to hold elections now scheduled for Jan. 30, 2005.

Again the Russian leader was not specific, but he appeared to be referring to the U.S. operation to crush die-hard insurgents in the Iraqi city of Falluja.

"This may put a question mark over holding of fair and democratic elections in Iraq early next year," he said.

In Russian, I believe that sounds more like "Any tricks you pull in the Ukraine now can be duplicated in Iraq come late January."

All this, of course, on the heels of the Supreme Court of the Ukraine deciding that there will be a revote - and the two candidate runoff that Yushchenko was seeking - by the end of December. I'm not nearly as excited by this prospect as the orange-clad folks partying in the streets of Kiev seem to be. I fail to see what prevents the Kuchma-Putin-Yanukovich power brokers from repeating the sins of two weeks ago.

I'm hoping there's something more that I don't understand.


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