Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Putin Plays With Fire

News is starting to leak into Russian society of the deaths of Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Some quiet group funerals have taken place where nothing was said about the true cause of the mens' death. But more and more coffins are coming back home, and the truth will soon be impossible to hide.

Until now Putin and the army leadership have denied military involvement in the war in Ukraine. Videos have recently been posted on Youtube of interrogations of Russian soldiers who were captured in the past few days in Ukraine. Most didn't realize they were being sent to Ukraine.

These videos have nearly a million views now. I don't know if they will be blocked by the Russian censors. The fate of these soldiers if they are returned to Russia is also uncertain. One says he doesn't think they will be killed, but they'll be sent to prison for sure.

This situation can't continue for long. Despite a high level of support for Putin, surveys show 5% support in Russian for a military invasion of Ukraine. There are organizations of soldiers' mothers who are very active.

The only way Putin can continue the war is to continue sending regular soldiers to Ukraine in increasing numbers. But this requires a stranglehold on information that is likely to crack with all the coffins coming home.

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