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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. Benjamin Cole

    Putin is looking like a Russian Cesar Chavez. This looks ugly. I don’t see much of a future for Putin or Russia…Ukraine one of the most corrupt nations on earth…sometimes the sense of the Founding Fathers is right: avoid foreign entanglements…

  2. Benjamin Cole

    From NYT:

    ATOTSI, Georgia — As Crimeans danced in the streets this week, giddy at the prospect of being gathered into Russia, few were watching as closely as the residents of the tiny mountainous enclave of South Ossetia, who, five and a half years ago, were similarly ecstatic.

    –30–

    I have no idea is the lede paragraph is a fair summary of the mood in Crimea.

    But maybe the population of Crimea wants to be in Russia. Sounds like it.

    It this really something the USA should get involved in?

  3. I think you’re underestimating the psychological instability of Putin and his desperation to see a rebuilt USSR.

    There were suggestions, attributed to Merkel, that Putin has “lost his mind”, and although she later denied saying this explicitly, it has to be suggested that the invasion of Crimea was an extremely volatile and risky move, indeed the actions of a man not thinking rationally or clearly.

    He’s sacrificed and risked a hell of a lot for Crimea. Russia has just spent $50bil on Sochi, and it was forgotten within 48 hours of the closing ceremony. He knows Crimea will be hard to control, and will need propping up economically. Its rejection by the rest of the world will compound this, and the economic stability of Russia too. Tourism has collapsed there, the youth will be fleeing, Ukraine and other neighboring nations are building closer ties to Europe and increasing their involvement with NATO… I could go on.

    All of this is a lot to trade for nothing more than complete control of a peninsula he already had under Russian influence anyway.

    I have a feeling he’s in this for the long-haul, and everything suggests that he’s going for the full prize of a reunited USSR, taking it back by force. Nothing else makes any sense to me. Russian politicians have already started whispering of other “at risk Russians” in other former Soviet states, indicating that there is a hunger for further military incursions.

    I truly believe he has lost his mind. I believe he’s having delusions of a grand resurrection of the Soviet Empire, and he’s willing to throw everything into it no matter the cost or the risk of all-out war.

    The real question is, what will the USA and NATO do if Russia moves north into E Ukraine, or even into one of their other previous Soviet regions? I fully believe this is coming. Maybe not this month or the next, but some time this year he’s going to test the world further, driven by voices in his head demanding that he “rebuild Russia”.

  4. Kevin Carmichael

    Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island controls the world.” (Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality, 1919)

    Putin is neither mad nor an idiot. His foreign policy is straightforward and easily discernable. Europe and the US are weak ideologically and militarily and are inward looking with extremely weak leadership on all fronts. Putin is exploiting that weakness. Syria was a test case. absolutley no resistance. Putin knows he can walk into Ukraine and the Baltic states without resistance and he will. Its 1938 all over again.

    From a World Politik perspective, who can blame him.

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