People near Ukraine-Russia border think the West is overstating ‘conflict’ hype

Vladimir Putin: He knows how to play the game of brinkmanship. Can Boris Johnson or Liz Truss say the same about themselves?

Kudos to Dorset Eye for finding this clip, which appears to feature genuine comments from people living on either side of the Ukraine-Russia border.

It seems clear that they think talk that Russia is about to invade Ukraine, by Western governments – particularly those of the UK and USA, is nothing more than hot air and fantasy:

@real.reddit.stories What do you think? #reddit #AlaskaAirCAREoke #russiavsukraine #fyp #redditreadings ♬ original sound – REDDIT STORIES

The Russian government has said that its military forces have been carrying out training exercises in co-operation with allies in Belarus – and that troops have been leaving the area as their role in those manoeuvres has ended.

This makes a nonsense of Nato/UK/US claims of an imminent invasion.

Earlier this week, fears were ramped up – by, among others, UK cabinet ministers – that Russia would invade Ukraine on Wednesday (February 16).

But that date has come and gone and nothing happened.

Then we were told that an apparent exchange of hostilities between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian forces was a “false flag” incident that Russia would use to justify a military incursion – and that hasn’t happened either.

But Nato/UK/US spokespeople are continuing to claim Russian troops are massing on the border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin may now claim to have humiliated the western sabre-rattlers, mocking their fears as “hysteria”.

It is possible that this was his intention all along.

It may be suggested that he was disingenuous in launching a harsh criticism of plans for Ukraine to join Nato at a time when his troops coincidentally(?) happened to be on that country’s borders, of course.

But that’s how the game of international brinkmanship is played, I suppose.

If Joe Biden or Boris Johnson had given in to their baser instincts and launched any kind of military action of their own, Mr Putin would have had an excuse to invade. As it is, he has been able to claim a propaganda win.

And the standoff isn’t over yet.

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