From The Telegraph:
President Vladimir Putin privately threatened to invade Poland, Romania and the Baltic states, according to a record of a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart.
"If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest," Mr Putin allegedly told President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, reported Süddeustche Zeitung, a German newspaper.
If true, this would be the first time that Mr Putin has threatened to invade Nato or EU members. Any threat to send Russian troops into the capitals of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Romania would cause grave alarm among Western leaders.
If Mr Putin were to act on this, Britain could find itself at war with Russia. All five countries mentioned in this alleged conversation are members of both the EU and Nato. They are covered by the security guarantee in Article V of Nato's founding treaty, which states that "an attack on one is an attack on all". In a speech in Tallinn earlier this month, President Barack Obama confirmed Nato's commitment to this doctrine.
Mr Putin's alleged threat bears similarities to remarks he made to Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, in which he warned: "If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks".
Meanwhile, in Poland there is a general feeling that war might be coming:
It was an unexpected question from a woman hoping to sell me her Warsaw apartment: "Are you sure you want to buy now, when war could be coming?"
Though she was half joking, her comment revealed an anxiety Poles express frequently these days — that Russian aggression in Ukraine could spread, upending this NATO and European Union member's most peaceful and prosperous era in centuries.
The woman was the third Pole in the past couple weeks to advise me to think twice about investing in Polish real estate, forcing me to start wondering if it really is wise for me, an American, to risk my savings here.
Anxieties hang in the air as Poland marks the 75th anniversary Wednesday of the Soviet invasion of Poland at the start of World War II, one of several Russian attacks on its neighbor over the past centuries. With President Vladimir Putin showing renewed imperial inclinations, some Poles can't help but wonder if the 1939 invasion by the Red Army really was the last time Russia will make an unwanted foray here.
As well, Russia was threatening the United States with nuclear war when NATO was meeting to decide what to do about Russia's invasion of Ukraine:
Last week, two aircraft took off from an air base in western Russia, just east of the Russian city of Saratov. The aircraft, Tu-95 strategic bombers code-named Bear by NATO, flew northwest, skirting Iceland, Greenland, and Canada.
Once beyond Canada, the two lumbering, propeller-driven bombers settled on a heading straight toward the United States. Their goal was a "launch box" off the coast of the U.S. from which, during wartime, they would fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles towards American cities and military bases.
The provocative flights were timed to a NATO summit, attended by President Obama, then taking place in Wales. On the agenda in Wales: what to do about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Welcome to diplomacy, Putin-style, in the 21st century.
Now that Ukraine's President is in Washington asking for military help from the West, I wonder what Putin is going to do next. If he were a school yard bully, the only way to effectively deal with him would be to punch him in the nose. I'm not sure the US is really up for doing any punching at this point, thus ensuring that the bully will continue until he does something completely unacceptable, beyond kidnapping an intelligence officer of a neighbouring NATO member.