Russia is supposed to play by the rules. But, we’re talking about Russia. We don’t actually expect them to play by the rules. It’s why we keep a very close eye on what they’re doing. And based on what we’re seeing, they have some serious explaining to do.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin wants to know what Russian President Vladimir Putin is up to. There are military forces building up near the area that borders Eastern Ukraine. There’s really no reason for this, unless it means that they’re going to make a move.
The Pentagon is viewing it as concerning, to say the very least. And, they have asked Putin to explain what is going on. As Austin said during a news conference, “We’ll continue to call on Russia to act responsibly and be more transparent on the buildup of the forces around on the border of Ukraine.”
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Russia has done a lot of questionable things recently that the U.S. has been critical of. In mid-November, Russia used a missile to shoot one of their own satellites down out of space. The problem with this method is that it created hundreds of pieces of space debris. Since there is no gravity, they’ll float around and will create long-term hazards for future space operations.
The massive country does what it wants whenever it wants without even thinking about how it might affect the international community.
As Austin says, “It undermines strategic stability, and as you know, there’s a debris field there now that’ll be there forever. And it’s a safety concern. And so we would call upon Russia to act more responsibly going forward.”
Whether they will or not is yet to be known. If we had to use what they have done in the past as a guide, though, we can expect them to continue to ignore anything that the U.S. or anyone else says.
Austin takes a softer approach to dealing with Russia than Secretary of State Antony Blinken took to the way that Russia managed its satellite removal. Blinken referred to the move as “dangerous and irresponsible.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry has called the remarks made by the U.S. “hypocritical” because they say that the resulting fragments will not pose a threat to “orbital stations, spacecraft and space activities.”
At this point, we’ll have to just wait and see whether they will or they won’t pose a threat.
However, we do have to get back to what’s happening along the border of Ukraine. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry estimates that there are approximately 90,000 Russian troops stationed close to the border.
There is a rebel-controlled area in the east of Ukraine…and it has been there for quite some time. Russia has supported the separatist insurgency that has been erupting ever since Moscow annexed the Ukraine Crimean Peninsula back in 2014.
With the number of troops that are stationed at the border, they must be anticipating escalating hostilities…and the U.S. needs to be aware of what’s going on. After all, when the Crimean Peninsula was annexed, the insurgency that erupted left 14,000 dead.
We have to remember that Russia does a lot to see what they can get away with. It’s also why NORAD is constantly turning Russian aircraft away in and around Alaskan airspace.
At least we know Austin is aware of what’s going on, even if Russia doesn’t feel like explaining itself at the moment.