There's just no pleasing some people
This article originally appeared at TheBlogMire
Tensions across the Baltic States and Poland have reached fever pitch in recent days as it has become increasingly clear that the Russians have no plans whatsoever to attack any of these countries.
For the last year, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have been giving increasingly urgent warnings of Russian invasion and have been attempting to convince the rest of the world that it must act decisively in order to stop President Vladimir Putin carrying out his plan to recreate the Soviet Union, this time from Vladivostok to Johannesburg.
However, despite issuing repeated warnings of imminent peril, the Russians are still showing no signs of turning up and even seem to be saying that they’ve got better things to do with their time.
Only last week, Mr Putin claimed in an interview with the Italian newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera, that the idea of attacking a NATO country was only in the “nightmare of an insane person”.
The refusal to invade has become a source of much consternation in Warsaw, Riga, and Tallinn, but it comes as a particularly bitter blow to the Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaitė, who has been increasingly vocal about the threat and who has put the country on panic mode for some time.
Earlier this year, in preparation for the imminent invasion, the government in Vilnius put out a 100-page public information pamphlet — How to act in extreme situations or instances of war — which advised citizens how to survive a Russian invasion, and which contains sections on “the organization of civil resistance” and “how to act under battlefield conditions.”
A spokesman for the Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, who unveiled the booklet in January, was clearly upset by the Russian response:
“We went to all that trouble of producing a booklet on what to do when they invade, and then they don’t even have the common decency to come and invade us,” he said.
“It’s just typical of Russians. You just can’t trust them with anything.”
He went on to say that the country was now advising its citizens on what to do in case of a Russian non-invasion, and a second pamphlet — How to act in normal situations or instances of peace — is already being prepared in case the Russians carry out their threat not to come.
The new booklet is said to advise Lithuanians on how to cope with the idea that their country might not be all that important to Russia after all, and it contains a number of other things people can get worked up about Russia in order to detract from the country’s own internal issues.
In Warsaw, where hostility to Russia has been growing due to an ongoing Government awareness programme, a spokesman for the Polish Government, who wished to remain nameless, said the following:
“Russia has invaded Ukraine on no less than 47 occasions during the past 12 months or so. We don’t know why they keep invading, and then retreating and then reinvading again, but we know they have because we’ve been keeping a close eye on Twitter and Facebook, and because Arseniy Yatsenyuk says so.
Of course we naturally assumed that sooner or later this would mean they’d come for us — at least that’s what we’ve been telling our people for the last year — and so the idea that they might stay at home after all is bad news indeed.
If they continue not to come, the people might actually start to think it was all a silly hoax to detract their attention away from Poland’s own issues, and that could be disastrous for us as a nation.”
The fear that Russia might stay at home is echoed in Washington, with a spokeswoman for the State Department sounding genuinely perplexed:
“We’re sure that the Russians want to recreate the Soviet Union. That’s what our President said the other day and we have no reason to disbelieve him. The first port of call before they get to Johannesburg must surely be the Baltic States and then Poland. So why won’t they invade?
It’s a mystery to us, but we’re continuing to work with our vassals … sorry I meant to say allies, to scare people into understanding the threat, and I think it’s important to note that even non-invasion can be considered a part of their ongoing aggression”
Last week there were hopes that the invasion might be about to happen, when two British RAF Typhoons stationed in Estonia were scrambled to intercept and shadow two Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea.
However, the hopes were dashed when it was pointed out by experts, who looked at a map, that Russia is next to the Baltic Sea and a jolly sight closer to it than Britain is.