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András Simonyi: Putin Using 'Mobile Crematoria' in Ukraine

By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 02:25 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin is so desperate to keep his people from knowing how many Russian troops have died fighting in Ukraine, he has adopted a gruesome method of covering up casualties of his war, Hungary's former ambassador to the United States and NATO told Newsmax TV on Friday.

"You should know that mobile crematoria are following the Russian troops to erase any trace of losses," former Hungarian diplomat András Simonyi, now with Johns Hopkins University, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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"Putin is terrified of losses," said Simonyi, managing director at the university's Center for Transatlantic Relations and School of Advanced International Studies, adding that he's heard as many as 5,000 Russian troops have died helping separatist rebels wage war against Ukraine's government.

Russian casualties in Ukraine are so politically toxic, said a "MidPoint" guest earlier this week, Russia scholar Leon Aron, that Putin has created "his own foreign legion" to fight in Ukraine "so that it's not Russians, but others — usually from the former Soviet republics" doing as much of the killing and dying as possible.

The threat of more Russian losses is why U.S. and especially European leaders must end their policy of appeasement — exemplified by the leaders of France and Germany favoring Putin with an emergency visit — and arm the Ukrainians, said Simonyi.

"I wish Angela Merkel and François Hollande good luck, but my problem, really, is that Putin is going to gain a lot by having world leaders going to Moscow trying to appease him," said Simonyi. "Europe is suffering from a severe case of Neville Chamberlain syndrome."

"It is important also to understand that the US and Europe need to help the Ukrainians and need to provide arms to the Ukrainians," said Simonyi. "It is important to understand while this might not change the dynamics on the ground, it might inflict casualties on Putin so that he might start to think about not wanting to move further."

He also said that German political backbenchers loudly opposed to arming Ukraine "should just be quiet."

Simonyi said that economic sanctions already in place against Russia as punishment for annexing Crimea and terrorizing all of Ukraine should continue and are, in fact, "working slowly."

What's critical is for the West to maintain a united front against Putin, who is "really counting on the divide between the U.S. and Europe, and the divide inside Europe" to let his aggression against Ukraine go unchecked, he said.

Already, "Many countries are chipping away from not supporting the sanctions," said Simonyi.

"We cannot allow that to happen," he said, because, ultimately, "Ukraine is really not about Ukraine: The Ukrainian crisis is really about the future of Europe, the future of democracies, the future of the transatlantic relationship.

"And that is why it is extremely important that the US and Europe stick together," he said.
Fears of a wider war are overblown, and strategically fanned by Putin. The world should be more concerned that Putin will expand further and try to re-establish Russian control over Eastern European countries such as Hungary.

"That might lead to a serious split within the transatlantic alliance, and that's what Putin wants," he said.

Simonyi also discussed Jordan's galvanized response to the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State (ISIS).

"It is dawning upon many Arab nations today that ISIS really is an existential threat. I want to stress … it is extremely important that it is an Arab leader that has stepped up to the plate," said Simonyi, referring to Jordan's King Abdullah.

"The only way you can find some kind of a strong coalition in the region is if Arab countries themselves are ready to fight and to take the sacrifice. This is the moment," said Simonyi.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is so desperate to keep his people from knowing how many Russian troops have died fighting in Ukraine, he has adopted a gruesome method of covering up casualties of his war, Hungary's former ambassador to the United States and NATO told...
putin, russia, ukraine, casualties
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2015-25-06
Friday, 06 Feb 2015 02:25 PM
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