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Ripley

Russia invades the Crimea... what happens next?

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Russia has mobilised its forces along its border with Ukraine. Would Putin have the balls to occupy eastern Ukraine and the Crimea on the pretext of protecting the ethnic Russian population, if Kiev starts cosying up to the EU as seems likely?

I suspect Ukraine is so important to Putin's plans for a Russian sphere of influence to buffer against the west that this is a distinct possibility. I fear how the west would react. I very much doubt an armed conflict would ensue but it would be interesting to speculate how the rest of Europe, the US and the world at large would react to such a crisis. Economic sanctions and a UN action of some kind?

Edited by Ripley

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This is soooo gonna happen...

But then, what if Ukraine amicably splits in two...It is possible.

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Someone from Eastern Ukraine (can't remember who, sorry) was saying that, whilst much of the East of the country is Russian speaking and not pro-EU, it's a lazy leap to assume they want to be part of Russia. It's like saying the Irish are English speaking so must want to be part of the UK.

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It's deeper than that...Just like Yugoslavia in WWII, split sides, east was pro Soviet, west pro Nazi...seige of Sevastopol being the ultimate test of Russian loyalty.

I'm kind of pro Russian here as I remember the USSR breaking up too quickly when it should've reformed into the CIS like it was supposed to...and give stability to the region. Putin maybe a hard arse, but at least he's stable and headstrong. He wont do an America and dive straight in and make things worse.

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Someone from Eastern Ukraine (can't remember who, sorry) was saying that, whilst much of the East of the country is Russian speaking and not pro-EU, it's a lazy leap to assume they want to be part of Russia. It's like saying the Irish are English speaking so must want to be part of the UK.

I don't think it's the same thing at all. The Russian-speaking Ukrainians are very pro-Russian and see their future as being as closely tied to Russia as possible. That is certainly not the case with the English-speaking Irish who look to the EU and not to Britain for their closest political and economic ties. If the Russian-speaking Ukrainians continue to feel estranged from the pro-EU policies of Kiev, I can easily see them wishing to secede and become part of Russia again.

IMO a Russian invasion and annexation of Eastern Ukraine, at the invitation of the Russian-speakers, is now a very real possibility. The question is now posed: What or how will the rest of Ukraine, the EU and the USA agree to do about it?

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Well its happened. Russian troops flying into Crimea, Airports occupied and a naval blockade.

There's a Security Council meeting about it tomorrow I think. This could really be a chance for the EU to step up. A total economic boycott springs to mind if the Russians don't leave. Not sure how Eastern EU countries and Germany could cope without Russian gas and oil - but the world is awash with gas at the moment and I expect oil could be supplied from elsewhere.

The fact that Putin has been sending soothing words over the airwaves and then does this just shows he's living in the past. He's such a dangerous little man.

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"This is the face of a new Russia, efficient and friendly, patriotic and open to the world"

- Thomas Bach, IOC President, Sochi 2014 Closing Ceremony

5278458-3x2-700x467.jpg

Edited by Rob.

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This is just a remnant of Stalinist policy. He moved Poland westward at the expense of Germany and moved Ukraine and Belarus westward at the expense of Poland and Lithuania to incorporate that land into Russian proper. He also encouraged mass immigration of Russians into the other Soviet Republics and the results have been incredibly difficult for Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine to deal with. And that is not getting into the clusterfock that is the 'Stans' and all of Southern Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Alex, you truly are an idiot. I could just imagine you 75 years ago, going I think its alright that Hitler takes the Sudtenland and Poland, at least he's strong and stable.

Now Rob, what was Bach going to say? This is Russia, where they talk out of their mouth and ass at the same time telling two different stories.

Edited by faster

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Now Rob, what was Bach going to say? This is Russia, where they talk out of their mouth and ass at the same time telling two different stories.

He could've praised the organisation of the Games, its volunteers, its spirit, the Russian people etc. Most of his speech was fine, but I said at the time (and you can find it in the closing ceremony chat thread) he didn't have to go as far as to join in with the Russian rebranding exercise.

Just one week on and that quote looks particularly badly judged.

Anyway, don't want to take this thread off topic.

Edited by Rob.

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If Putin can move into Crimea by stealth without any repercussions, then where would be next... Georgia probably. Don't get me wrong I absolutely don't think a military response is possible or desirable, but Russia could easily be ground to dust economically by the EU and the West if we were serious about it. A visa ban on Russian nationals travel to the EU and the west could follow and freezing the assets of Gazprom, Rosneft and Russia's political elite could follow. The Russian people would soon want rid of their little Napoleon.

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I have never found Russia to be particularly strong. It survived WWII by the massive amount of aid it recieved from the Western allies and its large population. Russia throughout history always seems to be a solid veneer masking a rotten patchwork underside. Look at the real vs. annouced economic numbers of the Soviet Union after the 50`s.

But, Putin`s rhetoric of a sphere of influence, a buffer to the West is exactly the rhetoric that Stalin used in the 20`s and 30`s. It was dangerous than, it is dangerous now, especially with Russia having fewer friends.

Edited by faster

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wonder whether these actions by the Russians will have any bearing on attendance at the Paralympics?

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wonder whether these actions by the Russians will have any bearing on attendance at the Paralympics?

I think the fact that it's the Winter Paralympics has a bearing on the attendance at the Paralympics.

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Well, some ukranian athletes left Sochi as protest for what was happening last week, no? It wouldn't be crazy to say they could boycott the Paralympics as protest.

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Russia has veto power in the Security Council. So doesn't that affect sanctions against Russia?

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NATO and the EU could without much interference impose bilateral and unilateral trade sanctions on Russia. The EU is both Russia`s biggest source of imports and largest market for their exports. Take that away and their economy will suffer

I am just not sure what would work for Russia beyond a complete military defeat. Defiance and stubbornness often characterize Russia, so sanctions might only galvanize support behind Putin. Russians also overwhelming think that Crimea is and should be a part of Russia. Only through a historical mistake committed by Khrushchev (an ethnic Ukrainian) did Crimea come under Ukrainian control. Russia media is also portraying the actions of the protesters as terrorist and the interim government as a coup. Makes you question the truth of the matter and I think Western countries should be very careful to not side so quickly with one party over another. The protests in 2004 sure didn’t go a long way to building a stable Ukraine and the ousted President than, is the ousted President now. Also take into consideration the inaction over Georgia in 2008, can the Ukrainian people really count on the West to come to their aide if Russia were to launch a full-on aggressive campaign.

There are a lot of parallels between Russia in the 1990’s and Germany in the 1920’s. Russia was weak, defeated and impoverished, having to ask for help from former enemies. The comedown after the ‘Fall of Communism’ has been embarrassing and humbling for Russia. Along came a strong man that said he could make everything better and achieved a certain level of results. I fear things will only get worse if Russia goes unopposed in Ukraine. What’s next, a complete take-over of Belarus?

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What’s next, a complete take-over of Belarus?

Georgia maybe?

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Russia has already taken effective control of the areas of Georgia they are interested in.

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NATO and the EU could without much interference impose bilateral and unilateral trade sanctions on Russia. The EU is both Russia`s biggest source of imports and largest market for their exports. Take that away and their economy will suffer

I am just not sure what would work for Russia beyond a complete military defeat. Defiance and stubbornness often characterize Russia, so sanctions might only galvanize support behind Putin. Russians also overwhelming think that Crimea is and should be a part of Russia. Only through a historical mistake committed by Khrushchev (an ethnic Ukrainian) did Crimea come under Ukrainian control. Russia media is also portraying the actions of the protesters as terrorist and the interim government as a coup. Makes you question the truth of the matter and I think Western countries should be very careful to not side so quickly with one party over another. The protests in 2004 sure didn’t go a long way to building a stable Ukraine and the ousted President than, is the ousted President now. Also take into consideration the inaction over Georgia in 2008, can the Ukrainian people really count on the West to come to their aide if Russia were to launch a full-on aggressive campaign.

There are a lot of parallels between Russia in the 1990’s and Germany in the 1920’s. Russia was weak, defeated and impoverished, having to ask for help from former enemies. The comedown after the ‘Fall of Communism’ has been embarrassing and humbling for Russia. Along came a strong man that said he could make everything better and achieved a certain level of results. I fear things will only get worse if Russia goes unopposed in Ukraine. What’s next, a complete take-over of Belarus?

is this going to be on the final, professor?

because i really need an A in international relations 202 to stay in phi beta kappa.

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Russia's economy is very weak and if you take away oil and gas its tiny. There are many countries in the EU who rely on Russian gas; I think Germany gets about 36% of its gas from Russia and the Baltics and Finland are closer to 100%. Therefore an EU economic blockade would not be straight forward for some countries. However; sanctions could really bite into the average Russian's lifestyle. Putin is mostly popular for bringing stability and prosperity to Russia and if they lose that it wouldn't take long for him to be toppled from power. Putin is not as popular as he once was and many middle class Russians are growing tired of having their rights trampled on by the state and are asking awkward questions. On the other hand the Russian press is very nationalistic and Putin-friendly by design and so your average Russian gets a very polarised view of the world.

I don't have a problem with the Crimea being transferred back to Russia by way of a free and democratic referendum. The issue I have with what Putin has done is the opportunistic way he has moved troops in. He's testing the West's reaction and will base his future policy on it. This is why a very sharp and painful economic lesson needs to be handed down now IMO. Putin is dumb in that respect because he's not made many friends in the West and China also has concerns over disputed border areas with Russia. The danger for him is that there could be a universal economic response which would destroy the Russian economy in the same way that Iran has been brought to its knees.

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Russia will probably take this as an opportunity to invade South Ossetia.

South Ossetia is basically already under Russian control, since 2008. No need to invade that one again.

As for economic boycott etc...Russia has the natural resources that many Western countries rely on - that trump will be played by Putin no doubt. Forget about sanctions which are more than symbolic.

I'm just frustrated that people like Putin with their 19th century attitude can still cause such trouble in the 21st century.

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South Ossetia is basically already under Russian control, since 2008. No need to invade that one again.

As for economic boycott etc...Russia has the natural resources that many Western countries rely on - that trump will be played by Putin no doubt. Forget about sanctions which are more than symbolic.

I'm just frustrated that people like Putin with their 19th century attitude can still cause such trouble in the 21st century.

But ...... South Ossetia is officially part of Georgia, but Russia currently occupy the land - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18269210 - So Russia, could use this as an excuse to claim official ownership of South Ossetia.

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Latvia+Lithuania have invoked NATO art. 4 in response to #crimea NATO now obliged to hold emerg council meeting. Only 4th time in history

James Mates (@jamesmatesitv)

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Both Latvia and Lithuania have sizable (in comparison to the countries overall population) ethnic Russian communities concentrated in small areas along witht boarder with Russia. As does Estonia.

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