Ukraine stands defiant as its Prime Minister accuses barrel chested Russian leader Vladimir Putin of wanting to start World War 3 – and it restarts a campaign against rebels as one of its helicopters explodes above disputed territory.

World War 3

World War 3: Putin makes Ukraine flinch, but now the mouse fights back at cat

Yesterday Putin apparently raised his fist and pretended to punch, watching to see how his sparing partner responds.  Like the schoolyard bully who fakes a punch to watch other school kids quiver, Putin’s fake punch in the direction of Ukraine revealed an opponent deathly afraid to fight.

World War 3

World War 3: Special forces called back in with goal of containment

As Ukraine special forces were initially called off in their attempts to rout pro-Russian separatists from the eastern sector of the country in a bid to avoid attack – Russia had mobilized forces and made it clear an attack would lead to invasion, as we reported yesterday – today Ukraine stand defiant.

“Attempts at military conflict in Ukraine will lead to a military conflict in Europe,” Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was quoted as saying.  “It is clear that Russia’s goal is to wreck the election in Ukraine, remove the pro-western and pro-Ukrainian government and occupy Ukraine politically as well as military.”

We are now witnessing a game of cat and mouse where the mouse just said to the cat “I’ve had enough and I’m not taking it any longer.”  The cat is now calculating the risk reward ratio of swatting the mouse and eventually eating it.  The only question is: should they prolong the battle and play with the victim before attacking or just getting it over.  Odds are Putin is going to wait for the right provocation so as to reduce the downside caused by international hand slapping.

It is here that Ukraine is careful.

Avoiding direct confrontation, waiting them out

According to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal, Ukraine troops are careful to avoid direct confrontation.  They have encircled the town of Sloviansk where pro-Russian separatists control government buildings and plan a supply blockade.

The blockade is not without risk as dramatic footage of Ukrainian helicopter exploding after being hit by pro-Russian  forces illustrate. The helicopter was apparently dropping leaflets into the rebel held city when an RPG from below exploded on target.

Meanwhile, after rumored failure to reach agreement on the highly secret Trans Pacific Partnership agreement with Japan, Obama spoke of quivers and slapping Russia with additional sanctions. “We’ll continue to keep some arrows in our quiver in the event we see further deterioration,” he said, while Ukraine is the one that really quivers.