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You're reading: Stephen Blank: Russia’s newest aggression in Ukraine

The announcement of a new state called Malorossiia (Little Russia) in the Donbas represents the latest example of Russian aggression against Ukraine. But it also embodies another Russian act of aggression or probe against the West and international order more generally.

It certainly represents aggression against Ukraine because it means that Russian forces control another part of Ukraine, just as they control parts of Georgia and will use their clients, so-called separatists, who are wholly dependent upon and subordinated to Moscow, to proclaim a state on the basis of ethnic discrimination against them.

And, at some future point, when it suits Russian President Vladimir Putin to do so, his government will incorporate those territories and peoples living upon them into Russia as is also happening now in Georgia.

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