What the ‘chattering classes’ of Russia are talking about
Wednesday March 23, 2022
My harvest of impressions from the past 48 hours of monitoring Russian political talk shows and news bulletins of Russian state television is filled to the brim with both highly interesting and at times frightening and off-putting developments.
The most momentous is perhaps what I just saw 15 minutes ago on the latest edition of Время покажет (Time Will Tell), a talk show I know from the inside having twice been a panelist there in 2016-2017. The program opened with mention of the forthcoming European visit of Joe Biden which has two cities on its itinerary: Brussels for the next regular G7 and NATO gatherings, and….Warsaw.
Why Warsaw? The presenter notes that this meeting with the Polish leadership might be linked with the planned visit of President Duda to Washington next week. But then she moves on to link it was another announcement made yesterday by the US envoy to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. In the video recording of Thomas-Greenfield projected onto the screen, the envoy tells us that while the United States has no intention of sending any military personnel to Ukraine, any member country of NATO has the right to do so on its own.
This matches up nicely with the latest Polish government thoughts aloud to the effect that it might just move some troops across the Ukrainian border to secure its own eastern flank. In this way, the Poles would be doing no more than the Turks have done in Syria, where they still are parked in the predominantly Kurdish sector of the country in violation of international law.