Yesterday Vladimir Putin’s close ally Belarus announced it will not send any troops to Ukraine, and China gave its strongest public signal yet that it’s not interested in giving Russia military aid either. With no other options available to him, Putin finally sent additional Russian troops from other fronts to Ukraine, according to multiple major news outlets.
Shortly after this news broke, Poland announced that it wants NATO to send armed “peacekeeping” troops into Ukraine. Now the Czech Republic is calling for “massive” arms transfers to Ukraine.
This isn’t a surprising reaction. Now that Putin has committed so much of his army to his losing battle in Ukraine, it’s much more difficult for him to credibly threaten to invade any other Eastern European nations. Accordingly, those nations are now growing bolder in their approach. This is likely why Putin was so hesitatant to send Russian reinforcements to Ukraine to begin with, and instead spent weeks begging everyone in his Rolodex to send troops instead.
Eastern Europe now appears to smell an opportunity to finish Putin off. Notably, President Joe Biden decided that today was the day to officially label Putin a “war criminal” – words that coming from the President of the United States will reverberate around the world. Now we watch to see what happens next.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report