Friday, 28 February 2014

Has Russia really just invaded Crimea?

Despite US intelligence this morning apparently concluding that Russia was bluffing in its stance towards Ukraine and Crimea, within the past 10 minutes the BBC are reporting that a column of Russian APCs is advancing on Simferopol, while at least 5 Russian military planes have apparently already landed there.

This is despite a warning just a short while ago from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Russian intervention in Ukraine would be a "grave mistake".

It would appear that Vladimir Putin is setting out to demonstrate the limits of American power and European influence.

Things are developing much more quickly than I certainly expected, and while Russia is probably free to do as it chooses in Crimea, the implications for the rest of Ukraine will largely depend on how Russian-speaking Ukrainians react to the unfolding events.

Whatever way you look at it, shit just got real.

The more I think about this, the more I think that Putin has concluded that the longer-term trends in Ukraine are against a lean towards Russia and towards a lean towards Europe.  He is preparing to let go of Ukraine, but at a price: Crimea.

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