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Putin annexes eastern Ukraine.  So what?

Putin annexes eastern Ukraine.  So what?

Once again, Putin is playing offense, and the United States — and the allies — are playing defense. Putin acts, we respond. 

President Biden assures the world that America and the European allies will NOT allow Putin to win the war – to take even one inch of Ukrainian soil.  And that includes the Donbass Region and the Crimea.

After suffering a serious of temporary setbacks on the battlefield, Putin becomes more belligerent, plays the nuclear card again, places more emphasis on tank warfare (where he holds a huge advantage), conscripts 300,000 young Russians, conducts a bogus plebiscite, and holds a huge signing ceremony, claiming to now own the eastern portion of Ukraine.

And what is the response of the Friends of Ukraine?  Harsh words and more military equipment with the same restrictions to not launch missiles into Mother Russia – and a few more sanctions.  That latter raises the question as to how can there be any sanctions left after President Biden told us that we hit Putin with every sanction in the book at the onset of the war?  

The answer is obvious.  Biden was fibbing.  He was holding back.  The past sanctions have done nothing to deter Putin – and any new ones will have even less impact.

It was reported that Biden issued the strongest warnings to Putin – but you had to listen very carefully.  He emphatically said that the United States will defend every of …  NATO nations.  But Ukraine is NOT a NATO nation.  Putin will most certainly view Biden’s remarks as meaning that America will NOT defend Ukraine under any circumstances.

And what about that annexation?  Biden says we will not recognize it.  Good!  But then, folks over at the State Department say the annexation poses a problem with our ban on Ukraine firing missiles into Mother Russia – and Putin now considers eastern Ukraine to be part of Mother Russia.

One wonders why our pinstriped pants crowd would have ANY reservations about pounding the Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.  The mission is to drive them out – not concede to Putin.  In fact, the Ukraine military is advancing in the alleged annexed regions at this very moment.

The underlying problem may be that the Biden policy is to achieve a cease fire and a negotiated settlement that would have Ukraine agree to transfer 15 percent of the country to Putin.  Of course, that is not a settlement.  That is a total defeat.  Putin wins.  End of subject – at least until Putin is prepared to take the next bite out of Ukraine.  Once again America loses a proxy war to the enemy.

Hey!  I have an idea.  How about if Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy annexes a small portion of western Russia – including Moscow?  He would be claiming less than two or three percent of all that land mass that is Russia.   As a lover of Russian history, Purin could relocate to the historic capital of St. Petersburg.  Zelenskyy could then bomb the Kremlin since Russian soldiers would be on Ukrainian soil.

Yes, that is a silly suggestion.  But it is no greater nonsense than Putin’s annexation of eastern Ukraine.  That should not change American policy one iota – other than embolden the democratic nations to end what is essentially an appeasement policy.

The gains made by the Ukraine military have been very impressive – but they do not turn the tide of war.  Putin is still potentially winning – largely because he is determined to win.  The Biden administration appears to be willing to lose.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Policestate

    The USA and Nato Need to support the Ukraine with every possible legal way they can. Putin must not be allowed to just send troops into a FOREIGN COUNTRY and claim it is now Rusdian. This is the same tactic Adolf Hitler used and the world let him, He then decided well they let me take this one now I will take another as they will not do anything. End result Britain let Megalomaniac start ww2 because they did nothing along with the rest of Europe. Are we going to let this happen again. Putin threatens nuclear weapons use in contravention of agreements signed in the past, He and his Generals are aware of the MAD outcome. So it’s time to stand up to this Bully, he claims he did it to stop having nato and anti Russia countries with weapons and troops on his borders. He will still have these on his borders and even more so, So his excuse does not hold water. Biden and Nato get a Backbone now or we will be in trouble a few years from now.

  2. Mike

    Larry, I question where you get your information from-obviously not a trusted news source. Nothing has changed with Putin’s claims of annexing eastern Ukraine and nobody is suggesting it should. War will continue to be waged in those territories as it has for over 6 months. There have been no indications that the US (or any of the Allie’s that Biden has brought together) are advocating a “negotiated solution” to the conflict. As for the title of your tome-your article makes no real reference to the nuclear issue-hopefully it will not come to that and cooler heads in Moscow will prevent Putin from launching such an attack, but we don’t know-nor do we have any idea what the US response will be to such provocation. Perhaps you are drawing your conclusions from ramblings at the Boca rest home where you reside, but no one on the national scene has suggested scenarios like you have opined…

    • larry Horist

      Mike … You amaze me on this one. Even you cannot be so ill-infirmed. There have been innumerable mentions of a negotiated settlement — SOS Blinken said that would be acceptable. There have been members of the Biden administration talking about a negotiated settlement as an option — also former members and members of Congress. Some have even said that it is the ONLY way the conflict can be settled. Some said that negotiations could begin when there is parity in the battlefield — but probably not until next year. There have also been reports of the White House pressuring Zelensky to negotiate. And as far a the allies you claim Biden has brought together, there are already signs of weakening in NATO. There is nothing in my commentary suggesting that there should be any level of acceptance of the phony annexation. My concern is that the talk of negotiations means Russia retaining some territory. That is not defeating Putin. I cannot get my head around such absurdity and ignorance in your comment. I would expect it of a child who spends more time watching Sesame Street than the news. It seems your snide childish “rest home” insult is better applied to you.

    • larry Horist

      Mike … with regard to the nuclear issue, we do know something of US response. The administration said it would not use nuclear weapons in response. I have previously written that the concession is stupid and dangerous. The same as telling Putin that we would not put boots on the ground if he invaded. It was also reported that NATO and the United States would use conventional weapons to directly attack Russian forces inside Ukraine. Lot of stuff you missed.

  3. Joseph S. Bruder

    Why do you think Putin is going on the offense? He’s losing badly on the battlefield, and his threats to use nuclear weapons are just saber rattling. As is his threat to put 300K untrained conscripts on the battlefield. At the rate that Ukrainians are routing Russian forces, Putin will be lucky if Russian troops haven’t been routed from Crimea when his 300K conscripts get there.

    Belligerence, bogus plebiscites, signing ceremonies, emphasis on tank warfare (??? – if they can get them to run long enough to get to the battlefield, they get blown up immediately, or abandoned by soldiers who don’t want to be in the tanks when they get blown up) – those are all signs that he’s losing, and badly. It’s meant to convince the rubes of Russia (and a few Republicans) that he’s in charge. In reality, the US and Allies and the Ukrainians are doing what they have been doing the whole war – ignoring Putin’s bluster, supplying high quality weaponry, pushing the Russians back, capturing or killing thousands of Russian tanks, shooting at the backsides of Russians running away, gaining 10’s of kilometers of ground every day, liberating hundreds of Ukrainian villages… You are apparently not keeping up with the news from Ukraine.

    The only people pushing the “let’s make a deal with Putin” idea are the Fox-News so-called conservatives, basically anyone who listens to Tucker Carlson and the other Russian-supporting commentators. Just because Biden says there wouldn’t be any nuclear response, doesn’t mean he can’t change his mind. Saying that we won’t use them just makes Putin look more despotic and crazed. Biden is de-escalating the rhetoric. It’s probably not Biden’s first choice, but if Putin goes that far, the US (and NATO) response will be dependent on the situation, not on a previous statement made about a possible scenario. Trump would happily give away all of Ukraine to buddy up with Putin, but Biden can see clearly what Putin’s goals are, and won’t let that happen.

    Your article makes it sound like Democrats are giving away the store – but it was Trump who blackmailed Ukraine by witholding aid already passed by Congress, and Biden who’s sending aid and every piece of available artillery to Zelenskyy. It’s Trump’s supporters who want to give up and hand Ukraine to Putin, even as the Ukrainians are winning. You say Putin’s determination could win him the war, but he’s an idiot surrounded by yes-men, and his soldiers are there because they have to be (or were tricked into going to the front). The real determination lies with Zelenskyy and all the Ukrainians who won’t give up until all the Russians are out of Ukraine. Russians are running away from the draft while the Ukrainians are volunteering. The whole world could make a deal with Putin, but the Ukrainians would ignore it and fight bare-handed if they have to.