Image by Kremlin.ru
The tension between Washington and Moscow has increased in recent months as the Trump administration pursues a strategy of increased confrontation with the Kremlin in conflict zones around the world. This new philosophy of opposing Russian actions with force has been on display in the Middle East as Russian nationals were killed by the dozen in Syria during an American air strike on mercenary forces that threatened American-led Coalition forces.
Today Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared he expected the first delivery of American weapons for use in the Donbass theater within a few weeks. Washington has approved the sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles as well as heavy sniper rifles for ‘defensive’ purposes.
“The first delivery should happen in a very few weeks,” Poroshenko said at a news conference in Kiev.
The Kremlin has stated it believes the additional capability provided to the Ukrainian military by the United States will only encourage Kyiv to be more aggressive and attempt to retake territory it has lost control of in Donbass. Many Republican political figures such as Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have repeatedly declared that Russia needs to be more aggressively confronted in Ukraine. Graham even went so far as to say Russia would ‘get what it deserves’ due to its actions in the region.
With additional sanctions being promised by U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, along with developments in Donbass and Syria, tensions are high indeed.
Analysts reported last week that Kremlin officials were in touch with Wagner command elements in Syria before, during, and after the U.S. airstrike that killed possibly 100 Russian nationals, with many more injured. This would seem to suggest that Moscow is willing to confront the U.S. militarily.