Sunday, March 16, 2014

Speculation on Putin's motives in Crimea

Crimea has voted for independence from Ukraine, and no doubt will soon appeal to be annexed by Russia.  Putin's hand is unmistakable in this.  The EU and America will wring their hands and mutter darkly about worsening relations and consequences, and there will probably have to be something, no matter how ineffectual.

So why did Putin do this?  While it must have been fun for the folks in the Kremlin to stick their thumbs into Obama's eye, I don't get the feeling that they do a lot just for giggles.  This strikes me as something carefully thought out.

My take is that Putin thinks that the West was behind the protests, and may in fact have had agents provocateurs causing much of the violence, in a "made for TV" sense.  That Youtube video by Ukraine Girl?  Very professional editing and high production values.  Grass roots or made for TV?

I don't know, but I think I know what Putin thinks.  He thinks that the whole Ukrainian popular revolution was orchestrated from Washington and from Brussels.  And so the Crimea situation is designed to let Washington and Brussels know what to expect the next time.  And to let them know that there really shouldn't be a next time.

Did Washington and Brussels arrange the whole thing?  Who knows?  But there's no question that the Russians think we were behind it.  Their reaction is aimed at shifting our potential future lans to meddle in what they see as their back yard.


Dave H said...

Does Russia stand to gain anything by having more beachfront property on the Black Sea? I known their ports there are important because they don't ice over in the winter like the Arctic ones do.

Old NFO said...

One word... Sevastopol...

The ONLY Russian military port that is open year round...

Comrade Misfit said...

The Russians think we were behind the Orange and Rose Revolutions. And hat stupid phone all between two American diplomats played into their beliefs.

Worse, from the Russians' point of view, is that the EU is involved. To the Russians, the EU is a German sock-puppet. And if there is any country the Russians don't want meddling in their "near abroad" more than the US, it is Germany.

Paul Bonneau said...

We (that is, our rotten worthless government) were behind the whole thing. Of course we were.

And now Crimea will be back in Russia, where it's been for most of its recent history. Unless the people are given the choice to be neither Russian nor Ukrainian. I admit this is not likely.

BTW Crimea is 58% Russian and 24% Ukrainian. It was awarded to Ukraine by Khruschev - a Ukrainian. Look up "Crimea" in Wikipedia, it's an interesting read.

chris said...

The coup went off very well - that's why I don't think we were behind it.

If this administration was behind it the thing would have went off like the Obamacare website launch.

Goober said...

Does anyone else see the parallels between Crimea and another place that had something very similar happen to it once?

Namely, Texas?

Just continuing my series on "We are all overreacting to this Crimea thing."

Veeshir said...

I think Putin saw an opportunity in Ukraine.

They have other ports on the Black Sea, Putin want's his SSR's back.

We'll see what happens. I don't think he's going to stop with Crimea.

I mostly wonder what the countries near Ukraine, like Poland and Romania, do and how Putin handles them.
He's been talking about the new Russian Empire for a while, he's saying he wants a Russian Federation that includes the old SSRs and the Iron Curtain countries.