Wednesday, March 19, 2014


The rain in Ukraine falls mainly on the plain
(on the plain, on the plain)
And where's that blasted plain?
in Ukraine, in Ukraine

The crime in Crimea is mainly due to Putin
(Putin, Putin)
And where's that blasted Putin?
In the Kremlin, in the Kremlin
(with apologies to "My fair lady")

The latest step in the saga of the Ukraine is the declaration of independence by the Crimea from Ukraine by its Russian-dominated Parliament. In the referendum that was engineered by pro-Russian elements they claim over 96% voted for cessation from Ukraine and re-joining Russia. In the Parliament only 85% of deputies voted to rejoin Russia and a delegation was sent to Moscow to request to join the Russian Federation. Ukraine and the West haven't a hope of deterring Putin from his current course of expanding Russia. Ukraine's Parliament in Kiev voted to support the interim President of Ukraine in calling up an expanded Ukraine defence force of ca. 40,000 men. This will not deter Putin, neither will the sanctions being voted on in the EU and in the US and being implemented by Pres. Obama. Putin knows noone is going to go to war over the Crimea.

As far as the Russians are concerned they have popular support in the Crimea, even though it is a breach of international law to effectively invade a sovereign country. The extension of Russian law and currency to the Crimea is another step towards annexation. The last time this kind of thing was done was when Hitler ordered the German Army to invade Czechoslovakia in order to protect the Sudenten Germans, which precipitated WWII. Today Putin signed the document in the Kremlin in Moscoiw admitting the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation.

But, there are already clashes taking place in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian elements and pro-Ukrainian forces. A pro-Russian mob invaded the City Hall in Rostov and declared that they also want to join the Russian Federation and similarly in Donets. In this region, although it has a majority of Russian speaking ethnics, there are still a large number of Ukrainians, and the split will not be so easy as in Crimea. There will be fighting between the two sideas and both the Ukrainian Army and the Russian forces both inside and outside Ukraine are poised. A war over the Ukraine will have terribly serious consequences, with a split between eastern and western Ukraine most likely. How far Putin is prepared to go to re-expand the Russian Empire is as yet unclear, he is cautious, seeking electoral justification, but so did Hitler. Perhaps after Ukraine he has his eyes set on the Baltic States and the Central Asian "stans." Let's hope we are not seeing the start of WWIII.


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