As of Monday morning this is the current situation in the Ukrainian crisis:  US Diplomats have been ordered out of Ukraine…Chinese jets harassed Taiwan over the weekend…Movement on Belarussian and Ukrainian borders…Russian jets deployed to Belarus…Biden considers troop and naval deployments to Eastern Europe…Alert orders go out to US military units…450 Florida National Guard troops still in Ukraine…Brits hint at pro-Russian internal coup plot in Ukraine…Brits moving some of their embassy staff out of country…NATO nations deploy forces..

“NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all Allies, including by reinforcing the eastern part of the Alliance. We will always respond to any deterioration of our security environment, including through strengthening our collective defence,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

“All members of the European Union are united. We are showing unprecedented unity about the situation in Ukraine, with the strong coordination with the U.S.,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told press in Brussels.

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The Russians are planning a show of force with naval maneuvers off Ireland. The Irish aren’t happy. “We don’t have a power to prevent this happening but certainly I’ve made it clear to the Russian ambassador in Ireland that it’s not welcome,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.

US defense analysts see two main scenarios possibly playing out if Russia attacks Ukraine,  the Winter War scenario and the Czechoslovakia 1968 scenario.

From various sources: “The Winter War, also known as First Soviet-Finnish War, was a war between the Soviet Union (USSR) and Finland. It began with a Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after the outbreak of World War II, and ended three and a half months later with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940. Despite superior military strength, especially in tanks and aircraft, the Soviet Union suffered severe losses and initially made little headway. Finland repelled Soviet attacks for more than two months and inflicted substantial losses on the invaders while temperatures ranged as low as –43 °C (–45.4 °F). After the Soviet military reorganized and adopted different tactics, they renewed their offensive in February and overcame Finnish defences.” In other words, the Ukrainians hold out initially, but lose after several weeks or a couple of months.

From various sources: “The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, officially known as Operation Danube, was a joint invasion of Czechoslovakia by four Warsaw Pact countries on the night of 20–21 August 1968. Approximately 500,000 Warsaw Pact troops attacked Czechoslovakia…The invasion successfully stopped Alexander Dubček’s Prague Spring liberalisation reforms and strengthened the authority of the authoritarian wing within the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.” In other words, Belarus and Russia attack Ukraine with the Chinese running interference in Asia. Ukraine quickly falls and a Russian puppet government is installed in Kyiv.

The entire situation is highly fluid and changing by the hour. The danger is a tripwire effect or a small incident that could lead to a wider conflict, much like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand led to WWI.