We started the Ukraine problem by meddling with a democratically - TopicsExpress


We started the Ukraine problem by meddling with a democratically elected Ukrainian government which was admittedly corrupt and autocratic, but legal nonetheless. We openly provided the type of support that enabled a diverse group of demonstrators to bring President Viktor Yanukovich down and US diplomats spoke on a phone about who might head an alternative government that would be to Washington’s taste. And the seeds of the conflict, one of a series that have roiled Eastern Europe for the past twenty years, were actually planted earlier when the United States violated an understanding with Moscow not to take advantage of the fall of the Soviet empire by advancing its zone of influence. Nearly all Eastern Europe states now have a relationship with the western dominated European Union, some as full members, and most are also in NATO, a defensive alliance aimed at Russia. If Moscow is alarmed, it has a right to be so. Ukraine, once referred to as little Russia because of its cultural similarity to its larger neighbor is the birthplace of the Russian Orthodox faith, and sits squarely on Russia’s border. Putin, a Russian nationalist, could not ignore a threat to Moscow’s national security, just as the United States would never look the other way in the event of a takeover in Mexico by a mob aligned with either Russia or China, so how this crisis has been playing out should not surprise anyone. A little history is in order. The Crimea, part of Ukraine only since 1954, was a Tartar Khanate under the protection of the Ottoman Empire until it was annexed by Catherine the Great in 1783. It became part of Russia, its capital Sebastopol the only Russian ice free naval base, operating on the Black Sea. Most Crimeans identify ethnically as Russians rather than as Ukrainians and Russia continues to operate its major naval base, complete with a large garrison, under a long term bilateral agreement with the Ukrainian government. Russia sees its ability to use the Crimea as a vital national security interest and it is hard to deny that Moscow has a legitimate stake regarding what occurs in Ukraine. - by Philip Giraldi, March 18, 2014 original.antiwar/giraldi/2014/03/17/simple-stuff-about-ukraine/
Posted on: Sat, 22 Mar 2014 12:23:43 +0000

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