Joe Biden's Got A Russia/Ukraine Update, And So Does Wonkette
If you watched Fox News last night, you learned that sweet and innocent Russia is trying to defend itself against merciless Ukraine by putting tanks inside Ukraine, while Joe Biden ignores the fact that Justin Trudeau has singlehandedly turned Canada into the most genocidal maniac dictatorship in the history of everything.
Wonkette is here to tell you that the truth is a little bit different and that Fox News may have gotten things slightly wrong.
Vladimir Putin began the invasion of Ukraine last night by "recognizing" the "independence" from Ukraine of the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in Ukraine's southeast. Pro-Russia separatists control about a third of those regions. (Someone remarked on TV last night that this would be like if Joe Biden woke up this morning and just announced that Alberta is a country now. Take that, tyrant Trudeau.) As Politico Playbook notes this morning, the White House isn't necessarily using the "invasion" terminology yet, but for specific reasons, because of sanctions that would be automatically triggered, etc. But it happened. Putin sent in "peacekeeping troops" to "help" those "nations" "defend themselves" from great devil Ukraine.
Putin is clearly hoping that people see his piecemeal move and its lack of shock and awe and think maybe this was all much ado about nothing. It's not.
He's not being coy about his true intentions, though. Weird assholes like Tulsi Gabbard might buy his arguments that this is about Russia's "security," but Putin's not actually trying very hard to mask what is going on here. Yesterday, he called Ukraine a "colony." He said the idea of Ukraine as a country is a "fiction" and that Ukraine was created by Russia. He whined that the former USSR satellites were allowed to leave in the first place, and unspooled fake history tales so ridiculous that the historian Anne Applebaum called it "so full of historical nonsense that I don't even have the energy to correct it." After Putin suggested that Lenin had invented Ukraine, Applebaum added that "even Lenin didn't think that Lenin invented Ukraine."
Whatever "peacekeeping" Putin is pretending to do, he wants a do-over on the humiliation Russia suffered at the end of the Cold War, and he wants the Soviet Union reconstituted in his own image. And he looked humiliated yesterday, like a ranting and raving hostage-taker nobody would be paying attention to if he didn't currently have a gun pointed at all these hostages.
As for the Biden administration response, they seem to be doing pretty well so far. President Joe Biden announced sanctions on the two separatist regions, but has so far held back on bigger sanctions packages. Republicans in Congress are starting to scream for great big sanctions GREAT BIG RIGHT NOW, and some Democrats are following suit. Playbook reported that Lindsey Graham said it's time for Biden to "destroy the ruble and crush the Russian oil and gas sector." (Lindsey is wilding out in general, like he does.) Liz Cheney is tweeting like FUCK 'EM UP OOOOO WEEEEEEE CHENEY TIME!
NATO seems to be more in sync than it's been in a very long time, which is to the Biden administration's credit. As an example, many are pointing to the fact that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced this morning that Germany is stopping the opening of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany. As CBS News notes, Biden had said if Putin invades Ukraine, ain't gonna be no Nord Stream 2. Germany had been a bit more reticent in saying those words out loud.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki chimed in this morning to emphasize that this was a result of the US and Germany working together:
@POTUS made clear that if Russia invaded Ukraine, we would act with Germany to ensure Nord Stream 2 does not move forward. We have been in close consultations with Germany overnight and welcome their announcement. We will be following up with our own measures today.— Jen Psaki (@Jen Psaki) 1645536763
And how does Russia feel about that? Russia is MAD ABOUT IT. Seems Russia was hoping Germany would be more pliable, what with the whole pipeline situation and Europe's energy needs.
So those are some facts about where we are right now.
And now Joe Biden, the president, is updating the nation on where things are. Take a moment and be grateful this isn't a video of Donald Trump kissing Vladimir Putin's ass.
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