Saturday, March 01, 2014

Ukraine: Relevant facts and realistic prospects

Here are some facts of life for Ukraine and some dire predictions:

  • Ukraine’s economic and military resources are less than 1/20th of Russia’s, or worse.  Ukraine is near bankruptcy and desperately require either Russian or European Union economic assistance.
  • More than 80% of the Crimean peninsula’s population favors Russia and Russian military intervention over a European Union alliance.
  • The new Ukraine leadership is in disarray and inexperienced.
  • The European Union is far from united on how or if to assist Ukraine.  The EU itself is nearly bankrupt, except for Germany and a few smaller nations.  They are in no position to assist Ukraine militarily or economically.
  • Ukraine’s former government vanished rather than invoke a bloody repression of the pro-EU uprising and expose itself to international human rights scorn.  This “vanishing” was by design knowing that Mother Russia will now be justified to defend the Russians and Russian sympathizers – and its own military and economic interests – throughout Ukraine.
  • President Obama is in la la land from a foreign policy perspective (and most other perspectives).  He is making Jimmy Carter look like a foreign policy genius.

The predictions:

  • The US will do nothing militarily.  We may invoke a few symbolic gestures and make some rhetorical but uninspired threats.  But we will do nothing of substance, and Russia knows it.
  • The European Union nations will do nothing of substance, and Russia knows it.
  • Russia will not stop at the Crimean Peninsula.  They intend to take the entire Ukraine back – under military authoritarian control if necessary.  They will not care if 100,000 perish in the process.  They will merely call them deserving fascists and hooligans.  If Russian perceives a real threat of international resistance to their takeover, and this is not very likely, they will, at the very least, annex the Crimean Peninsula.
  • Russian success in Ukraine will spell trouble for Georgia and other former USSR satellites that have since gained their independence.  And the rest of Europe and the United States will do nothing – and Russia knows it.

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