And NATO's top commander in Europe hasn't been helping either. Indeed, it was another quiet day in an extended stretch of relative calm.
Putin, the 59-year-old said, had once again "upped the ante" in eastern Ukraine -- with "well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery" having been sent to the Donbass.
"What is clear," Breedlove said, "is that right now, it is not getting better.
It is getting worse every day." German leaders in Berlin were stunned.
They didn't understand what Breedlove was talking about. Once again, the German government, supported by intelligence gathered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency, did not share the view of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). For months, Breedlove has been commenting on Russian activities in eastern Ukraine, speaking of troop advances on the border, the amassing of munitions and alleged columns of Russian tanks.
US President Obama supports Chancellor Merkel's efforts at finding a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis.