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The Daily Vertical: The Gun To Ukraine's Head (Transcript)


So, don't look now, but while we were all watching Syria, Moscow has stepped up its aggression in Ukraine.

Pro-Moscow separatists have increased their attacks this week near Luhansk and have intensified their shelling of four villages near the front lines in the Donetsk region.

The separatists have also reportedly moved 88 tanks up to the cease-fire line near Debaltseve.

WATCH: Today's Daily Vertical here

It's all part of Moscow's classic bait-and-switch tactics and they appear to be working.

Instead of focusing on the renewed Russian aggression, the French and German foreign ministers last week chose to lecture Ukraine about its failure to pass an electoral law for the separatist-held territories.

And some Western officials have indicated that sanctions against Moscow will not be automatically extended this summer.

A little bit of perspective here.

In the year since the Minsk cease-fire, nearly 400 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, 1,500 have been wounded, and Kyiv has lost several hundred square kilometers of territory.

So, basically, Ukraine is essentially being asked to prepare for an election in the separatist-held areas of Donbas with a gun to its head.

And Kyiv's reluctance to do so is repeatedly being equated with Moscow's repeated violations of the Minsk cease-fire on the battlefield.

This is just the kind of false equivalence that Moscow has been counting on from distracted Western leaders.

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