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Press by
James
@JamesMiller
Personal account of James Miller, Managing Editor of The Interpreter, a publication on Russia, Ukraine, and Syria. A contributor at Reuters, The Daily Beast, RFE/RL, elsewhere.
JamesMiller
US State Department Criticizes Russia
5 years
Pro-Ukraine Protests Attacked by Pro-Russians in Kharkiv
The State Department has come out swinging tonight:

Taking a closer look at the State Department blog post, entitled "Russian Fiction the Sequel: 10 More False Claims About Ukraine," there's a few key takeaways. According to the State Department, there is a substantial amount of evidence that Russian troops and agents are activie inside mainland Ukraine, pro-Russian protests (and violent acts of pro-Russian militias) are orchestrated by the Kremlin, pro-Russian separatists do not have popular support (they don't), and Russian troops have not withdrawn from the border.

The State Department is no longer operating as if they are afraid of alienating Russia.  And why should they? There aren't many observers of this situation who believe that there is any more good will between the US government and the Russian one, and so the US State Department can afford to be less-than-diplomatic because it has nothing to lose.

But because it has nothing to lose, it's not clear how harsh rhetoric alone, or even a careful debunking of Kremlin lies, will impact Russia's decisions. Earlier, the State Department spokesperson said that there would be costs to Russia's actions. So far, nobody is saying what those costs will be, or just how high a price Putin will have to pay for his actions in eastern Ukraine.