Ukraine, Mister Putin, Nato discussed on The Christian Science Monitor Daily

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By Ned temco in London for the monitor. With Ukraine and Russia exchanging fire. It becomes more important than ever that NATO both signals the Kremlin that it is not an aggressor. And deters further westward advance by Russian forces. With Russian troops invading Ukraine, NATO leaders are redoubling their efforts to avert any inadvertent confrontations that could spiral out of control and draw the alliance into the conflict. Accomplishing this goal involves a tricky balancing act of showing the resolve to counter Russian president Vladimir Putin's aggression, while also trying to tamp down tensions in the face of his veiled threats against nations that interfere with his offensive. Avoiding accidental NATO Russia run ins. Starts with underscoring allied red lines. So that mister Putin doesn't get any ideas about venturing farther west than Ukraine. The United States is deploying some 14,000 troops in Eastern Europe in that regard. But the telegraphing of allied intent is critical to avoid any misinterpretation of its troop movements by mister Putin. And by the troops themselves. An illustration of just how The Pentagon is doing this came at a press briefing, hours after the invasion began. When a dog had reporter asked repeatedly if troops in Poland could potentially be drawn into fighting in Ukraine. They're not going to be accidentally drawn into Ukraine, Pentagon press secretary, John Kirby said, with emphasis as much for international as for domestic consumption. This story was reported by Anna Muller and groby in Brussels for the monitor. President Putin's battle to control the Russian world includes a religious front, a centuries old spiritual and national struggle within the orthodox church. A part of the consciousness of average churchgoers worldwide after centuries in the sway of Moscow, from national stars to atheist polyp bureaus, Orthodox Christians of Ukrainian descent, are fighting not just a political battle. But for spiritual sovereignty from Russia's arm of the orthodox church. This struggle of identity dates to the 17th century and threatens Vladimir Putin's sense of Russia's place in the world. Claiming historical justifications for war in a speech on February 21st, mister Putin alleged Kyiv was preparing the destruction of the Russian backed orthodox church in Ukraine. A western attempt to betray Ukraine's true Russian identity. The orthodox church of Ukraine supported by the Diaspora in North America broke free from Moscow in 2019. Winning official recognition from the seat of church hierarchy in Istanbul. Ukrainian Diaspora communities here in the west say they refuse to let that victory be undone by the invasion of their homeland. Putin's battle for dominance in Ukraine is also what he would view as a spiritual struggle, says Frank sisin, a Toronto based religious historian at the Canadian institute of Ukrainian studies at the university of Alberta. Putin has had to search for an ideology to replace communism for Moscow to be the center of what he calls the Russian world, he says. This story was reported by Sarah Miller Jana in Toronto. Sarah matuszek in New York and Alexander.

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