Saturday, 1 March 2014

Boy, that escalated quickly

Obama during his 90-minute phone all with Putin.

I've been pretty busy these past few days and am just properly catching up on events in Ukraine and Crimea.

I am beginning to wonder whether I have underestimated Putin's intentions. AP are quoting him having told Obama that Russia has the right to take action to protect Russian lives and interests, and Russian speakers.

That last point is the most significant: the majority of Crimeans are ethnic Russians. People in the east of Ukraine are Russian speaking Ukrainians.  Putin has reserved the right to take further intervention from across Ukraine's eastern border.

Will he follow through? I doubt it. But he is sending a message to the world that Russia is free to do what it wishes, and the US and EU can do little more than look on.

UPDATE: If you are going to read one journalist on Russia and Ukraine, read @juliaioffe:
Putin declares war on Ukraine and US or NATO won't do much

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm finding the protection of Russian speakers somewhat absurd, but then again I should expect every half way feasible excuse to be used for geopolitical ends.