Thursday, March 06, 2014


Political Mayhem Thursday: Ukraine and Russia

The most important issue on the world stage is the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine.  The most important question is this:  What should the rest of the world do?

What do you think?

My dearest friend Nataliya from Zhytomyr, who survived the Chernobyl meltdown while in college, likes to say the Ukraine needs a return of leadership that knows how to do ‘corruption well’

A perplexing question to ponder as Mass has ended this morning and the day continues to unfold. . .
The Russian Federation has a recent history of invading former Soviet states under the pretext of protecting ethnic Russians. In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia over the disputed territory South Ossetia. Now, Russia has invaded Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula (without admitting it, no less) in the wake of a democratic rejection of Putin's hand picked president.

There is some danger that our response could precipitate some kind of Cold War-like standoff with Russia, but there is also danger (and probably a larger one) in allowing Russia to reassemble its Soviet empire without challenge.

Reading reports, it sounds like we (partnered with Europe) have the economic leverage impose painful sanctions. The Russian economy depends largely on trade with the West, and stemming the flow of trade could jeopardize Putin's credibility at home. I think this is the best course of action--certainly better than proxy wars or direct armed conflict--and it seems the White House has opted for this course.

I was going to comment along the same lines CTL already did, but I'll add an interesting bit about the Russian Federation having adopted an actual law on “compatriots abroad” in late 90s and [surprise, surprise] under Putin (his first stint) revisited/amended in 2006. Makes one think whether they were prepping the ground to reassemble and makes me want to hum “Back in the USSR.” I do hope an economic embargo or some sort of economic pressure will avert a potentially disastrous conflagration…especially when looking at the map the prof put up.
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