“George. Ukraine Is Not Even a Country”

Useful 2014 background from the Belfer Center clarifies how long Russia has been planning an invasion of Ukraine and why.

‘You Have to Understand, George. Ukraine Is Not Even a Country’. Thus spake Vladimir Putin to the second George Bush, the man who once said that he had looked into Putin’s eyes and decided he could work with him.

Perhaps the United States and the West did not fully comprehend how closely intertwined the histories of Russia and Ukraine are. Perhaps the spectacle of Assistant Secretary of State Nuland and Ambassador Pyatt walking through the Maidan in Kiev with packets of bread for the anti-government demonstrators was not fully perceived in Washington for the provocative gesture that it was.

However mishandled the U.S. and the EU initiatives toward the Ukraine were, we should now look upon Putin’s recent actions — including and especially his abrogation of the 1994 Budapest Agreement, to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity — as something beyond the pale.

Last year, President Putin wrote a long piece describing Russians and Ukrainians as “one nation”.

And on that note it’s reasonable to assume the artificially inflated price of bitcoin is related to long-term planning by the Russian government to bypass the impact of sanctions (which rely on banking systems for enforcement).

Update March 2, 2022: “Four Democrats have asked Treasury officials to explain how they’re overseeing digital assets while Russia is largely frozen out of traditional commerce.”

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