Threats from Russia might land it in the penalty box
MOSCOW—Over the past two weeks, tens of millions of viewers were dazzled by the spectacle that was the Sochi Winter Olympics. While today, most nations are reflecting on and celebrating their respective triumphs, Russians are collectively brooding.
Although the Russians dominated the podium, reports have emerged that President Vladimir Putin was far from impressed. For most countries, the games are thinly-veiled demonstrations of nationalistic fervor and capability. For Putin, it was a political proving ground. With big disappointments in short track, hockey, and figure skating, Asian political experts believe that forceful backlash from the Russian president is inevitable.
There is cause to fear that Putin will translate his anger into violence against the Ukrainian protesters, who’ve taken to the streets to voice their desire for stronger ties with the West. Despite the recent lull in violent interchanges between police and demonstrators, Putin’s potential attacks will exacerbate the conflict.
Russia’s men’s hockey team was eliminated early-on in the Olympics by Finland. The European Union, including Finland, has taken a strong stance against Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. Concerns have spread from EU to NATO, where American and Canadian elements are keenly aware of Russia’s reactive posturing.
Canada’s Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau, voiced significant concerns: “Especially since Russia lost in hockey, they will be in a bad mood. We are afraid of a Russian intervention in the Ukraine.”
“It’s very worrisome,” Trudeau continued. “With dozens killed and hundreds injured, the fallout from the Finland-Russia game could have a cataclysmic impact on the stability of Eastern Europe.”
Trudeau, known for his unparalleled track record of bold and decisive action-taking since taking the command of the struggling Liberal Party, has drafted a proposal he hopes to take the the UN Security Council. The proposal stresses the need for a rematch game between Russia and Canada. Although not made explicit, political experts believe that the rematch will be tailored to boost the Russian President’s fragile ego, necessitating the Canadian men’s hockey team to throw the game. Ideally, if the rematch goes as plans, international affairs will reset to their equilibrium.
It remains unclear if the Russians would accept such a blatant attempt to appease their national pride, but Trudeau’s right-hand man, Marc Garneau assures that Trudeau is very serious about the situation in Ukraine.
One thing is clear, the Liberals and Trudeau mean to show that their outlook on foreign policy is not a game.