I’ve been meaning to post on the Crimean Crisis for a while, but I kept pushing it back, as I was hoping for more of the story to develop before I shared my thoughts on it. Well, it’s been almost a month into this drama, so I think now’s as good a time as any to share my thoughts.
The Russian takeover of Crimea can only be described as a high stakes game of chess. Putin has gradually tightened his grasp on the Ukrainian state, and is now poised to annex it into Russia. He’s paused systematically throughout his game, and judged the reaction and response from the West. He’s playing one incredibly shocking political game, and his actions are reminiscent of the mentality observed in the Cold War, which supposedly ended over twenty years ago.
What amazes me the most is how the rest of the world can effectively only watch with fascination as Russia violates every international law defining sovereignty and self-determination. Sanctions is about the only thing the West can do, though they will take time before their effects are seen. The UN can’t send in military troops to help Ukraine because Russia would (and already has) vetoed any such action (and on another note, something really needs to be done about veto power in the UN, but that’s a story for another day). Any military interference in Ukraine from a foreign nation would quickly escalate into a massive war, something no one wants to see. It’s easier to let Russia annex Crimea than enter World War III over it.
I think everyone save Russia and a few Crimeans can agree that what Russia has done has wrong. In time, the sanctions imposed on Russia should isolate her enough into giving up her claim on Crimea. If indeed Crimea did want to secede from Ukraine, there are legal diplomatic methods to do so. It isn’t fair to any nation to have a superior military take a section of the nation by force. The history of Ukraine and Russia make relations messy and may neccessitate the use of force in this case by some, but where there are diplomatic solutions to a territorial dispute, they should be applied to the fullest of its capability.
It’ll be extremely interesting to see what happens in Ukraine, Crimea and Russia in the coming weeks and months. Russia can only go so long before the sanctions imposed on her affect her economically, and hopefully then some change will be seen in this crisis.