Clashes in Ukraine as Putin stays defiant


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Apparently, at his this point, sadly enough Crimea is a goner in this high stake poker game that Putin is playing against the west and the US on the Ukrainian stage.

The repercussion of such rule and law defied annexation of territory by Russia will be profound. For starters, the Russians soon will find, after initial nationalistic hype fades, that its economy may have to face the harsh reality as the European counties would gradually reduce their natural gas dependence on Russia when a new page of cold war era begins.

Russia’s current economy largely are based on exporting fossil fuel and natural gas; when such exports are hindered, Russians may have to endure some hardship not to mention Russia has to increase defense spending in order to deal with the surrounding hostile countries backed by NATO.

In long run, Russian’s Crimea play could be a pivotal moment that would interrupt Russia’s economic mobility.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

While Putin was defiant, our dear leader was party, party , party and vacation, vacation vacation, so give him his R-S-P-E-C-T.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

People would be wise to pay attention to Bob Gates, Republican and former SECDEF, for Bush and then Obama, who warned politicians to stop their inane cheap shots at Obama, as Bush was also faced with the same kind of military takeover of parts of Georgia by Russia in his final year in office. Russia could do this to a nation on their borders, just as any powerful nation could do in similar circumstances. Absent WW3, you can't stop that kind of convenient aggression, you can only punish the aggressor. Sadly it appears that most of Europe is willing to do little to Russia, given their economic relations. In Sunday's NY Times there is an excellent article by Canadian MP Chrystia Freeland, indicating the cost which Russia will pay outside the feckless European response, and the isolated US response.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Funny that Russia is doing this to the Ukraine but on Russia Today, the Russian version of CNN, BBC, they are putting up reports in Spanish, English about the mess in VENEZUELA. Not too sure if they are trying to warn Fidel Castro to not start a war in Venezuela, while at the same time PUTIN is messing around in the UKRAINE!! WTF??

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Putin knows so well of community organizer's foreign policy and the power of choking natural gas to E.U. Act I in Ukraine shows the bully Putin has not slowed down, and we are waiting for the act II? E.U and U.S. should see and prepare to deal with this crisis long ago, but choose to sing "all we need is love" in red square as many in the West.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ethan, I completely agree with you. A poll of Russians I'd read recently indicates that a vast majority (77% was cited) would prefer that Russia not involve itself in Ukraine, and though the question was Ukraine, not the Crimea, my guess is that the your average Ivan cares more about improving his life than distant echoes of Russian imperial greatness.

And precisely this is the major impediment: Putin cares little about improving the lot of the average Ivan but much about reincarnating to whatever extent possible Russian hegemony over its former empire. His mindset seems set in Cold War - or even pre-WWII - mode, a zero-sum game in which compromise is defeat regardless of whether benefits may accrue to both parties. Europe , having abandoned this mindset decades ago, has thus thrived. How far behind Russia remains has become clear, and how long Russia will require to catch up with modern values is receiving renewed attention.

That Putin doesn't care about the average Ivan does not necessarily mean he will be denied his dream of maintaining power through 2024 as elections in Russia are a sham, but he is still simply the first of equals in the Russian oligarchy. Obama is shrewd to target this oligarchy with increasing pressure: visa bans, asset seizures, general shunning from international society. Russia's threatened responses - halting weapons inspections, for example - show how little leverage they have beyond troops on their borders. As things get worse for Ivan and as Putin's oligarch brothers find themselves caged, Putin may find his wings clipped rather rapidly. The Crimea looks likely to be Putin's Waterloo.

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Well I think most people are waiting ot see what Putin does for Act II. Crimea is mostly useless to him. He needs the Ukraine. His goal is to set up a "Euraisan Union" with the Ukraine being the centerpiece. Since negotiation didn't work, the only card he has left to play is violence and coercion. My guess is that he'll need some kind of spark before he invades the Ukraine, but so far they have been peaceful. Russian troops have been trying to aggravate the situation in Crimea but so far the Ukraine has not taken the bait. Putin needs a reason to roll the tanks into the East and so far no one has given it to him. My guess is that he'll have to manufacture something.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If Putin had gained any respect and admiration for the way his country organized the winter olympics he is losing them really fast by showing his true colors as a ruthless manipulative bully with an explosive agenda which can't end well. Not to his or Russia's advantage, nor anyone else's.

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