Letter From the Editors: Aug. 8 - 14, 2016

Author: Laurence Bogoslaw

From Eastern Europe to the Far East: The Sun Never Sets on American Influence

The theater of the Ukraine conflict suddenly moved to the Crimea this week, as unknown gunmen attempted an incursion across the border, killing a Russian FSB operative and a Russian soldier. Amid mutual recriminations - the FSB accuses the Ukrainian side of orchestrating a terrorist act, whereas Ukrainian officials call the incident an FSB provocation - Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov looks beyond the obvious. He faults the US State Department for putting Kiev up to these acts of aggression: "The Americans are experts at how to spread ‘color revolutions,’ set people of different ethnicities against each other and play dirty tricks. And they are trying to do this in the Crimea.. .. Any conflict near the Russian borders is beneficial for Washington - regardless of who is involved or who will come out the winner."

Aksyonov is not the only one blaming the US for unrest in the post-Soviet space. Igor Plotnitsky, leader of the separatist Lugansk people’s republic, was the target of a homemade bomb detonated near his car. While recovering in a local hospital, he was quick to point the finger at US special services, as well as their counterparts in the Kiev government. Commentator Oleg Odnokolenko goes even further, citing a rumor that American operatives occupy a whole floor of offices at the Ukrainian Security Services.

However, political analyst Taras Berezovets is more inclined to look for saboteurs within the LPR leader’s own ranks: "Plotnitsky has become a dangerous witness to the war that Russia has unleashed in the Donetsk Basin. At the same time, over the [past] two years he has significantly increased his financial weight and acquired numerous businesses [that he has] seized from local entrepreneurs. Given such spoils, Plotnitsky and his entourage no longer needed the war." Moreover, adds Berezovets, some LPR militants ...

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