03-13-2014, 08:02 AM #21
Whether Ukraine has Russian sympathies before, the notion that part of their country has eben forcibly occupied certainly will make them gunshy at entering into a permanent diplomatic relationship with said invading country. The protests were, as reported, stemming from the refusal for eased diplomatic relations with the EU which would have brought many goods Ukrainians seek.
Russia's supposed federation of whatever can't be held only by force; Belarus woudl be an obvious concern moving to the EU. Russia would lose it's entire Western border states to the EU which would be huge political blow to them.
From what I've been reading, I just don't understand how Russia's actions has long term positive outcome for them. At best, they get Crimea, at best. At worst they lose all political and diplomatic influence West of their border.
03-13-2014, 08:32 AM #22
What was Russia supposed to do? Let the West meddle with Ukraine's politics at their expense and sit on their hands? The West has been engaged in a covert war of politics with that nation for almost a decade now to put someone in charge that is pro-West. They've basically been begging to have their bluff called for the better part of a decade.
I'm not sure what it will do long-term, but the truth is many of those countries rely on Russia for much of their economic foundation. Whether they like the military intervention or not, they know that. The positive for this for Russia is it may make the West think twice about meddling again.
03-13-2014, 09:55 AM #23
I just totally reject the terms of your argument by couching the West's hand as a bluff; the West will get what they want--in a more Westernized Ukraine, Crimea or not, ostensibly that's what the people of Ukraine want as well.
In a way, Ukraine's populace was trying to call Russia's bluff, and well, Russia just pushed all in, and we'll see how it turns out. It's clear, that their actions don't sit well in Ukraine or even in Russia (what with some 70 percent disapproving of the occupation of Crimea).
I'd like to see some of these experts that actually support your take, I just haven't seen it.
While overly simplistic, this is nice recap from Time of why it doesn't bode well for Russia.
03-13-2014, 10:22 AM #24
All reports I've seen have said the Ukrainain people are not interested in breaking apart their state. It is a country with deep political divides but also has a lot of interest in staying with Russia as well. It would've been better off if both Russia and the EU stopped using Ukraine as the monkey in a game of monkey in the middle.
But there are a number of things contradictory about your post:
1) A bluff ceases to be a bluff when you back it up. Russia didn't have a bluff called, they had their resolve called out. And it appears it wasn't a bluff at all.
2) Your own link speaks directly to what I've been saying - this was a message to it's neighbors. And they are hearing it loud and clear and it will have ramifications that are better for Russia in the short-term. It creates uneasy alliances to be sure, but it's naive to think fear isn't a powerful motivator.
3) Russia is already isolated from the West, this whole scenario started because of the deep divides that exist.
Listen, I don't like what Putin is doing, I don't agree with it as a modus operandi for a super power, and I don't like it as a long-term strategy. But I'm also not shoving my head in the sand and pretending this was some kind of unprovoked or hasty move with no reasoning behind it. You can call the Russians a lot of things for this, but stupid isn't one of them.
03-13-2014, 10:38 AM #25
Well, I don't think Russia invaded Crimea on a whim either. The question I thought we were addressing is whether it was reasonable and if it's good for the long term viability of Ukriane and Russia. As usual, we end up on the same page, though we take different circuitous routes to get there.
03-13-2014, 12:47 PM #26
03-13-2014, 05:06 PM #27
At best Putin maintains his political influence in Eastern Europe, Crimea is just his not so subtle reminder that it's his ball. At the end of the day he will ultimately dictate the direction of the new government and what decisions they will make in terms of their economic future. There is nothing the West can or will do about it, he knows it and whatever it is they threaten him with he cares very little about. Russians are used to hard times, economic sanctions from the likes of the US, Canada and the EU are of very little consequence to them
Last edited by twinsnorth49; 03-14-2014 at 07:12 AM.
03-13-2014, 11:56 PM #28
Maybe there's something your reading, I'm not reading; if so, I'd appreciate a nudge in the right direction.
Last edited by PseudoSABR; 03-14-2014 at 12:02 AM.
03-14-2014, 08:59 AM #29
Possible Pseudo, hard to envision though ,but don't get me wrong I would love to see it. At the end of the day though it's all about oil and money, despite what the people want. The West is only going to prop up Ukraine financially for so long, unless the US in particular is willing to make a major investment in developing (or restoring more accurately) the country's own gas industry. I just don't see all the talk of alternative energy coming from the US being overly viable, from a cost perspective and a political one, Russia will certainly flex it's muscle again if that does occur.
The biggest part of the problem as I see it is the rampant corruption that exists there, largely led by Russian Oligarchs. Since independence in 1991 the country has maintained such close ties to Russia it has resulted in heavy political influence by them within the country. The Kuchma government barely separated themselves from them allowing the oil barons to sew their seeds within the political infrastructure. The reality is this whole thing has really been going on since 2004 and the Orange revolution, a huge example of political corruption and the control the gas industry in Russia has over Ukraine, where was the West then? As long as the illusion of legitimacy remained, it wasn't their problem.
Victor Yanukovych came to power as a result of the Orange Coalitions desire to take Ukraine more towards Europe and Russia's desire to stop it. Yanukovych was once a member of the Orange Coalition, wonder what happened there? I don't see much of a difference in what is happening now as opposed to back then, other than the US and the EU making a little more noise about it's displeasure, which over time I imagine will die down. Putin is just using most of this as a stall tactic in order to find another political alternative to the one the West has installed.
As far as reading goes, there is plenty to read about the pro Russian sentiment in the East and South, which at the end of the day may create a secession movement within the country. Any European newspaper or magazine is full of great views on the subject.