Skip to comments.What does Vladimir Putin want next?
Posted on 03/22/2014 10:48:07 AM PDT by Jim Robinson
Simferopol, Crimea (CNN) -- Is Russian President Vladimir Putin an opportunist, grabbing at chances to poke the West in the eye, or a clever strategist with the longer-term goal of restoring a greater Russia? Is he simply riding a tide of Russian patriotic fervor over Crimea? Is he a rational actor aware of the delicate balances within the international system, or as one observer put it, "drunk on power" and oblivious to sanctions?
These are the questions preoccupying western governments and Russia's neighbors, after the swift annexation of Crimea and Russian military maneuvers close to the Ukrainian border.
There were some tantalizing clues in Putin's pugnacious speech to the Duma this week. He described the fall of the Soviet Union as unfortunate -- because it had separated Russians. "The Russian nation became one of the biggest, if not the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders," he said.
"It was only when Crimea ended up as part of a different country that Russia realized that it was not simply robbed, it was plundered." He went on to say, "if you compress the spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard."
Heady, populist rhetoric -- but it has propelled the Russian President to his highest approval rating -- 71% -- in recent years, according to the Russian Public Opinion Research Center.
Putin said Russia had no intention of violating Ukraine's sovereignty (beyond the 5% of its territory it has absorbed this week.) "Do not believe those who want you to fear Russia, shouting that other regions will follow Crimea," he told Ukrainians.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
A little piece of Poland,
A little piece of France,
A little piece of Austria
And Hungary, perchance!
A little slice of Turkey
And all that that entails,
And then a bit of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales!
Stephen Harper is the Leader of the Free World.
Crimea is landlocked. Access overland will require more of the Eastern Ukraine.
An understanding with Germany.
Watch as Putin Moves into south Black Sea—put pressure on Turkey (maybe get Hagia Sophia back as a church). Russia will become the good friend of the Slavic Peoples once again. Watch as he moves into Africa and South America.
“What does Putin want next?”
The same he wants every night, Pinky....TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!!
Oh, you mean the US?
Partially true. In a post-America world (thanks to comrade Obama), Putin wants to ensure Russia is the world’s dominant superpower.
McCarthy's thesis is a real stretch. Countries have been doing these things since before man first put chisel to stone tablet. Germany annexed the Sudetenland because it could, not because of any legal rationalizations. If the EU had hit Russia with serious sanctions, Putin would have backed down. The reality is that Putin acted because nobody moved to stop him - not the Ukrainians, not the EU, and not the US. We are not the only players on the chessboard. If the Ukrainians are not prepared to fight for their territory, how is it our problem? And I would extend that logic to the rest of NATO, which has been steadily cutting defense budgets and simultaneously expanding their welfare states while lowering their debts even as our government debt rises in leaps and bounds.
Galtieri invaded the Falklands because he could.
The difference is there’s no Thatcher to oppose Putin.
My point is that Obama (and the EU) can make Putin's adventures extremely costly without doing much of anything. Obama doesn't want to confront Putin because he's really not interested in foreign policy entanglements. So he's decided to let Putin do whatever he wants. But he has the power to make Putin's life unbearable, the way *any* US president can, simply because of the size of the US economy.
But here's the thing - while we are whaling away at Obama, we also need to recognize that the US is not the only independent actor in this situation. The Ukrainians haven't exactly covered themselves in glory. If they can't work up the motivation to fight for what's theirs, how is that our (or the EU's) problem? We backed the Afghans against the Russians with billions of dollars in weaponry *after* they took fearful losses going up against superior Russian weaponry and training. The Afghans were the plucky underdog. The Ukrainians are certainly the underdog here, but plucky is not how I would describe their response to the annexation of the Crimea. In the long run, Ukraine needs to be responsible for its own territorial integrity. We don't need another military dependent added to the laundry list of former Warsaw Pact dependents tacked on a decade ago, all of which have been as useful in practical military terms as teats on a bull.
Putin acted because he knew that no one would act to stop him. BP is now a partner in the Russian oil company and the rest of Europe has put itself in a position of dependence on Russian natural gas.
There is another article on the WSJ on how the Greens made Germany vulnerable to the Russian aggression.
You didn’t read the article. This is a history lesson. Obama did not start this feckless foreign policy, he only doubled down on it.
Same is true for Moldavia and Estonia as well. Putin's henchmen are already there fomenting discontent according to one of my Amateur Radio contacts. Putin made a particular statement about the "treatment of Motherland Russian natives" in Moldavia, that statement was eerily similar to statements he made about the Crimean Peninsula less than a week before unbadged/unmarked Russian Military showed up.
Putin's end game is about restoring as much of the old Russian Federation as he can, and complete control over the territories the Russian natural gas pipeline goes through. That same pipeline delivers natural gas to Europe.
That's why the Euro-weenies aren't saying anything (besides Merckel anyway.)
Commerce is a two way street. Europe depends on Russian gas. Russia depends on European gas money.
Sad but true.