Rss@dailykos.com (mark Sumner) · Thursday, February 02, 2017, 7:01 pm
It’s not clear what Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin said to each other in their unrecorded phone call, but it is clear how that conversation registered with Moscow.
After two years of relative calm, Ukraine's war with Russian-backed rebels took a deadly and destructive turn this week, pushing one town in the country's eastern region to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.
Heavy fighting began within a day of the Trump — Putin phone discussion and was still underway on Thursday with battles stretching from Maryinka west to the town of Donetsk. In freezing weather, the shelling has driven people from their homes and left the region without power.
The fact that the escalation came just one day after Trump’s first conversation of his administration with Russian President Vladimir Putin has led to speculation that the Russian leader felt emboldened to move forward in Ukraine afterwards. (Trump avoided criticizing Putin throughout the presidential campaign and the two have praised each other in the past.)
Of course, Donald Trump is worried — for Russia. Because in the Fox News version of this renewed fight the headline is a little different,
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused Ukraine of starting the latest escalation to rally support from the new U.S. administration and other Western powers.