Skip to comments.Russia Wants Much More Than Crimea
Posted on 03/12/2014 3:06:10 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The long-advertised Russian move to partition the Ukraine calls for a more serious response than empty wordsit is unacceptable to declare unacceptable what is plainly being accepted without any effective response. Pathetically, the several European leaders who rushed to declare the Russian move unacceptable immediately added that they had no intention of doing anything about it. Our own Secretary of State John Kerry resorted to the playground threat of disinviting President Vladimir Putin from the next G-8 (G-7?) summit-party. Yes, they are great fun with all those group photographs and the food is excellent, but the Crimea is worth a tiramisu.
Actually the Crimea is not what the Russians wantthey want much more. The Novy Russia plan prepared in the Kremlinworked out in detail down to the design of its flagwould separate all the territory east of the great Dnieper River into a new state, affiliated with the Russian Federation, until its accession can be worked out in due course. This Trans-Dnieper territory is many times larger than the Trans-Dniestr republic (a.k.a. Republica Moldovenească Nistreană) that the Russians successfully sliced off the Moldovan Republic and keep till this day, but unlike the latter which is separated from the Russian Federation by Ukrainian territory, "Novy Russia" would seamlessly form its southern extension down to the Black Sea.
The Dnieper as a dividing border gives Crimea to Russia including its irreplaceable naval base, but mostly has the decisive advantage of enclosing a population that includes many ethnic Russians, many Russian-speaking Ukrainians, and many Ukrainians who see their future with Moscow because their livelihood depends on Russian firms or is in Russia itself. Certainly the outlook of the populations living east of the Dnieper is very different from the outlook of the protagonists of the revolt: the activists from Lviv, that city being the Lvov of Galicia that was only annexed in 1944, many of whose inhabitants are Uniate Catholics rather than Orthodox. Putin could therefore appeal to the impeccably Wilsonian principle of self-determination to legitimize his new state. Finally, the trans-Dnieper Novy Russia could still have Kiev as its capital in the three districts (raions) east of the great river, allowing the Ukrainians their Kyiv as their historic capital. Putin could even boast of his restraint in giving up Odessa, historically Russian but west of the Dnieper.
At home, certainly, Putin has nothing to worry about: Many Russians believe that all of the Ukraine should return to Russia, while the historically minded will recall that the original Novorossiya won from the Tatars extended across both sides of the Dnieper.
Americans and Europeans now face a hard choice: start a new cold war of routine non-cooperation with Moscow, or else join in the process of extracting a non-failed state out of Ukraine, by conducting referenda in the 24 oblasts (provinces) and the autonomous republic of Crimea.
Starting a new Cold War would have the advantage of moral clarity, and the disadvantage of dividing Europe: The Germans will not quarrel with Moscow no matter whatit would distract them from their economy-first national strategy. The re-engineering of the Ukraine would offer the promise of stability at last, with the major disadvantage of legitimizing Putins use of force. What offers no advantages at all is the repetition of empty phrases and childish threats.
Russia, under Putin, sees an Obamatunity to expand.
If I understand this correctly. We can’t do anything about it so we need to rig elections for the people to vote to become Russian property?
Welcome to 2014. Everything we did during the Cold War was for naught.
We have Kosovo/Bill Clinton to thank for this.
Serbia was not a threat to any NATO members, and NATO violated its “defensive” charter... and the 1973 War Powers Act was violated.
If the U.S. does not say “return Kosovo to Serbia” we will be seen as hypocrites. But if we don’t stand up to Putin we will be seen as weak.
“Welcome to 2014. Everything we did during the Cold War was for naught.”
Silly you, you actually thought we won the cold war when our entire government has been infiltrated with communists since before FDR.
Russian nationalism is not messianic godless communism. Putin could take over the whole world and the earth would still be better off than if we hadn't halted Lenin's worldwide revolution in 1991.
How about cutting a deal having the Russians return East Prussia, and then let Ukraine split as it is want to anyway?
Luttwak is wrong about the Germans— they’re on a slow burn right now about Putin, and the Poles are pushing them hard.
I would like to know why people think the European countries are any freer than Russia. Given the choice, I might prefer Russia to Muslim-embracing, PC Europe.
I do wonder if the new Ukrainian government is thinking about building The Bomb. Expertise is there, not sure about the uranium - if the stuff in nuclear power plants is usable. Timeline, 6 months? The project would need to be top-top secret, going to be hard with Russian spies running around in Ukraine.