May 23, 2022

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PUTING IS PLANNING SOMETHING EVEN WORSE THAN WAR

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Europe Thinks Putin Is Planning Something Even Worse Than War, Ivan Krastev — a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna and an expert on international politics — writes in New York Times:

In the final weeks of World War I, a German general sent a telegram to his Austrian allies summarizing the situation. It was, he wrote, “serious, but not catastrophic.” The reply came back: “Here the situation is catastrophic, but not serious.”

It’s a joke, of course. But it captures, in a nutshell, the disagreement between America and Europe about the situation in Ukraine. For the United States and President Biden, who on Wednesday formally approved a deployment of American troops to Eastern Europe, a Russian invasion led by President Vladimir Putin is a “distinct possibility.” For Europe, not so much. A senior German diplomat summed up the divergence. “The U.S. thinks Putin will do a full-blown war,” he said. “Europeans think he’s bluffing.”

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