'At a crossroads': Russia military muscle, Sunday vote heighten crisis in Crimea
[Russia appears to continue to agitate in eastern Ukraine which can only be seen as a pretext to a possible invasion of the rest of the country. Today's UN vote (vetoed by Russia) showed that Russia is isolated in its views without even Chinese support for the actions in Crimea. The take-over of the Crimea looks like a done deal. Now we wait on the rest of Ukraine.]
Estonia's defense minister, Urmas Reinsalu, warned Friday that Ukraine is on the verge of a full-scale military conflict unless Russian President Vladimir Putin's hand is forced.
"It is clear that we are at a crossroads," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday. "If positions continue to harden and rhetoric continues to sharpen, there is great risk of a dangerous downward spiral."
Neither side is budging.
Russia so far has refused any direct talks with Ukraine's new leaders, but its foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, has talked daily with Kerry, met face-to-face with him last week in Europe and the diplomats met again for more than five hours Friday in London.
Afterward, it appeared -- as has been the case for weeks -- the only thing Russia and the United States agree upon is that they can't agree on anything of substance.
As Lavrov said Friday, "We don't have a common vision."
Using thousand year old history as justification to forcibly annex a neighboring country is not just ludicrously stupid, it's incredibly dangerous. Russia's example of lawlessness is a recipe for global chaos as the borders of nearly every country were different a thousand years ago. History as shown that lawlessness and brute force curses the civilized world into never ending conflict.
Absolutely true, especially where we're concerned. Think Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan. We've got no moral right to criticize any country, since we're one of the bad guys when it comes to country invasion. Resource wars are here.
The Crimean Parliament and people did vote for annexation though although how free it was when Russian Soldiers were everywhere is obviously dubious. A lot of Russian blood has been spilled over the centuries in Crimea and it was Soviet territory only about 20 years ago which was just given to Ukraine on a whim by Kruschev with 58% of population being ethnic Russians so they do have some moral claim on it. It was obvious to me from the beginning that with the overtures Ukraine was making to the West and Nato Putin wanted an excuse to secure his warm sea Naval port and the overthrow of a democratically elected President gave him that excuse. There are nutjobs like Zhirinovsky in Russia who want Alaska back so Putin is not actually the most nationalistic politician over there.
Putin doesn't want the breakup of Ukraine. He wants the whole thing. And he is likely to try to take it if his demands aren't met: Ukraine turned into a federation of independent states, guaranteed neutrality, and no NATO. Once there are independent states he can pick them off one by one.