Monthly Archives: March 2014

Why I still don’t think Russia wants to annex the Crimea

In Moscow's Shadows

RussiansCrimea It’s a risky thing, making such predictions in the middle of a fast-changing and frankly confusing situation, when we have reportedly a couple of thousand troops being airlifted into the peninsula and local premier Aksenov claiming control over all forces in the area (does he mean Russian ones too? I very much doubt it, or if he thinks he controls them then I imagine it means “he controls them so long as he happens to be telling them to do what Moscow wants them to do”). Nonetheless, let me stick out my neck and say why, excitable headlines notwithstanding, I don’t think Russia is about to annex the Crimea, let alone occupy eastern Ukraine.

1. Russia already ‘has’ Crimea in the ways that matter to it.Crimea has considerable autonomy, the Black Sea Fleet presence is guaranteed by treaty until 2042 if I remember correctly, and there is massive political…

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Ukraine Crisis: Vladimir Putin and the Power of Gas

Bayard & Holmes

By Jay Holmes

If we are to have any chance of understanding the present dynamic of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, we must look to the history of the region and its people. In Part One, we followed the Ukraine Timeline from the founding of the first Ukrainian city in 907 A.D. through the ascendance of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, a.k.a. Stalin 2.0. In Part Two, the Timeline continues up to the present Russian invasion. Today, we look at current situation and what it means to Europe and the West.

Kiev Protestors February 18, 2014 image by Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe/http://www.unframe.com.jpg wikimedia commons Kiev Protestors February 18, 2014
image by Mstyslav Chernov
Unframe.com
wikimedia commons

The crisis in Ukraine is the product of many factors. Russian speaking pro-Russian citizens populate the Crimea and other areas of Ukraine. Putin is using this most effectively to satisfy the centuries-old Russian imperial ambitions to expand southward. Russia has well equipped military forces based…

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