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Dear Kremlin: Careful with Crimea
Foreign Policy ^ | 2/26 | TIMOTHY SNYDER

Posted on 03/01/2014 12:47:08 AM PST by nickcarraway

Russia seems to have made a bad bet in Ukraine. Its foreign policy, tactically agile as ever, was strategically unsound. It was certainly possible, as Russia proved in November, to bribe Ukraine's then-President Viktor Yanukovych not to sign an association agreement with the European Union. It was also possible to promise a $15 billion loan in return for a policy of repression in Ukraine. After accepting the money in principle, Yanukovych illegally forced a package of legislation through parliament that was closely modeled on similar laws in Moscow restricting freedom of speech and assembly. Right after the Kremlin freed up a $2 billion tranche of the promised loan, the Yanukovych regime gave orders for the mass shooting of protesters.

Yet all did not turn out as planned. Moscow's strategic goal was to draw Ukraine into the Eurasian Union. This institution, meant to rival the European Union, will come into being in 2015. The prospective members at this point are Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, none of which can be accused of a democratic surplus.

Putin has made clear that for him the Eurasian Union is meaningless without Ukraine. He, like everyone else, understands that the Russian empire without Ukraine is without glory. But the Eurasian Union cannot possibly have democratic members, since their citizens, in trading with and emigrating to Russia, would spread dangerous ideas. Thus, Ukraine had to become a dictatorship.

(Excerpt) Read more at foreignpolicy.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: crimea; ukrainecrisis

1 posted on 03/01/2014 12:47:08 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

~~~the Yanukovych regime gave orders for the mass shooting of protesters~~~

I imagine there’s a bunch at the DNC who would like the same thing here.


2 posted on 03/01/2014 12:55:10 AM PST by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: nickcarraway

he Ukrainians need something like $20 billion asap to stabilize their situation. Putin just blew $50+ billion on Sochi. He should just buy Ukraine since it is relatively inexpensive by comparison.


3 posted on 03/01/2014 2:02:31 AM PST by rotstan
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To: nickcarraway

Wishful thinking by some of the same people who called Sarah Palin stupid in 2008 for predicting this exact scenario.


4 posted on 03/01/2014 2:15:17 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: nickcarraway
Hey Putin, now that you've won the Winter Olympics, what are you going to do now?

"I'm goin' to Ukraine!"

5 posted on 03/01/2014 7:12:46 AM PST by MCH
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To: nickcarraway

This article provides useful insights into Russia/Putin’s moves. Implications:

1) Controlling Ukraine means a great deal to Putin.
2) Russia controlling Ukraine means relatively little to USA strategic interests as Obama sees them, even if we prefer Ukrainian integration into Europe.
3) After being caught out on his Syrian WMD redline, Obama has learned to cringe on the ground like a submissive dog, so the big dangerous dog does not consider him a threat. He has no intention of doing anything, and is giving Putin a free hand in Ukraine. The EU will hardly jump into a war with Russia without US support.
4) If Ukraine stands up to Russia, it will give Putin a pretext for massive invasion. As in Chechnya, Russia will inflict massive suffering, and likely win. Ukrainians other choice is to accept decades of partition, suppression, economic deprivation, and Russian control. This is a sad prospect.
5) Snyder suggests that Russian annexation could backfire on Russia if China sees a precedent for annexing eastern Siberia. What China will see is that Russia is ruthless and uses its teeth, while the USA is a paper tiger.


6 posted on 03/01/2014 7:54:46 AM PST by Chewbarkah
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To: Chewbarkah
1) Controlling Ukraine means a great deal to Putin.

To control the Crimean Peninsula is to control water trade from the Bosporus to the Baltic.

2) Russia controlling Ukraine means relatively little to USA strategic interests as Obama sees them, even if we prefer Ukrainian integration into Europe.

That is because US politicians are ignorant of said trade route up the Dnieper to the Baltic. Then there's the Danube.

7 posted on 03/01/2014 9:54:33 AM PST by Carry_Okie (Islam offers us three choices: Defeat them utterly, die, or surrender to a life of slavery.)
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