Are We the Baddies, Part 2: US Meddling in Ukraine and Crimea

 

I’ve been holding out on you since September when this issue of Hillsdale’s Imprimis came out: Complications of the Ukraine War, by Christopher Caldwell, senior fellow at the Claremont Institute. Now that I have time to clear out my tabs, you get to learn what I did back then. 

If you had to give a one-word answer to what this Ukraine War is about, you would probably say Crimea. Crimea is a peninsula jutting out into the middle of the Black Sea. It’s where the great powers of Europe fought the bloodiest war of the century between Napoleon and World War I. It is a defensive superweapon. The country that controls it dominates the Black Sea and can project its military force into Europe, the Middle East, and even the steppes of Eurasia. And since the 1700s, that country has been Russia. Crimea has been the home of Russia’s warm water fleet for 250 years. It is the key to Russia’s southern defenses.

I admit, I’m not following events in Ukraine as closely as many here on Ricochet. But, as I understand it, Ukraine is committed to fighting not just to repel the Russian invasion, but to recover Crimea. This is a solid guarantee for the prolongation of the war indefinitely. Russia simply cannot — will not — let go of the all-important strategic peninsula of Crimea.

Much of the turmoil began under the Bush 43 administration — surprise! — with US election interference, and exacerbated by the Obama administration — surprise, surprise!! — by meddling in the trade deal negotiated between Ukraine and the EU, and vehemently opposed by Russia. 

The previous year (2013), Ukrainian diplomats had negotiated a free trade deal with the European Union that would have cut out Russia. Russia then outbid the EU with its own deal—which included $15 billion in incentives for Ukraine and continued naval basing rights for Russia—and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich signed it. U.S.-backed protests broke out in Kiev’s main square, the Maidan, and in cities across the country. According to a speech made at the time by a State Department official, the U.S. had by that time spent $5 billion to influence Ukraine’s politics. And, considering that Ukraine then had a lower per capita income than Cuba, Jamaica, or Namibia, $5 billion could buy a lot of influence. An armory was raided, shootings near the Maidan left dozens of protesters dead, Yanukovich fled the country, and the U.S. played the central role in setting up a successor government.

The other tidbit that stands out in this piece is this:

 In a referendum in January 1991, 93 percent of the citizens of Crimea voted for autonomy from Ukraine. In 1994, 83 percent voted for the establishment of a dual Crimean/Russian citizenship. We’ll leave aside the referendum held after the Russians arrived in 2014, which resulted in a similar percentage but remains controversial.

As long as Ukraine insists on controlling Crimea and even the Russophilic eastern Ukraine, I don’t see a possible resolution to the conflict. I oppose another (Bush) forever war and believe if the US meddles further, it should be to force Ukraine to the negotiating table. For its own sake, as well as ours.

 

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  1. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    But didn’t Russia agree to the borders with Crimea being part of Ukraine, in 1994 or 1996?

    • #1
  2. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Here’s Part 1:

    https://ricochet.com/1205224/its-time-to-ask-are-we-the-baddies/

    • #2
  3. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Didn’t Russia conquer Crimea before the current hostilities?   Wasn’t there an uneasy peace before the current special military operation?

    • #3
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    kedavis (View Comment):

    But didn’t Russia agree to the borders with Crimea being part of Ukraine, in 1994 or 1996?

    From the piece:

    Crimea found itself within the borders of Ukraine because in 1954, the year after Stalin died, his successor Nikita Khrushchev signed it over to Ukraine. Historians now hotly debate why he did that. But while Crimea was administratively Ukrainian, it was culturally Russian. It showed on several occasions that it was as eager to break with Ukrainian rule as Ukraine was to break with Russian rule. In a referendum in January 1991, 93 percent of the citizens of Crimea voted for autonomy from Ukraine. In 1994, 83 percent voted for the establishment of a dual Crimean/Russian citizenship. We’ll leave aside the referendum held after the Russians arrived in 2014, which resulted in a similar percentage but remains controversial.

    I recommend reading the whole thing.

    • #4
  5. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Didn’t Russia conquer Crimea before the current hostilities? Wasn’t there an uneasy peace before the current special military operation?

    It’s complicated. I recommending reading the whole thing.

    • #5
  6. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    We’ve already seen that Russia will not accept having just the Crimea.  That’s just-over-the-next-hill-ism.

    • #6
  7. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    In fact, Russia pretty much had at least two of the eastern provinces of Ukraine for the taking back in February of 2022, and maybe all four that are currently contended.  Russia has demonstrated that this is about neo-Soviet revanchism.

    My support for spending US dollars to support Ukraine in this war is very little about Ukraine, and almost exclusively about the opportunity to fight Russia for cheap.  Ukraine did not ask for it and neither did we — our interests are not identical, but they *are* aligned.  Allowing Russia to reset to the status quo ante bellum would do no more than buy time.

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    BDB (View Comment):

    In fact, Russia pretty much had at least two of the eastern provinces of Ukraine for the taking back in February of 2022, and maybe all four that are currently contended. Russia has demonstrated that this is about neo-Soviet revanchism.

    My support for spending US dollars to support Ukraine in this war is very little about Ukraine, and almost exclusively about the opportunity to fight Russia for cheap. Ukraine did not ask for it and neither did we — our interests are not identical, but they *are* aligned. Allowing Russia to reset to the status quo ante bellum would do no more than buy time.

    We disagree on this. I think you haven’t read Caldwell’s piece yet. 

    If Russia doesn’t control Crimea, at least culturally, if not administratively, it’s virtually the end of Russia. And Russia was threatened by NATO expansion, which has been known to be a provocation since at least Condoleezza Rice was SoS. 

    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me. 

    But, I’d really like to see the “smart” set in American foreign policy stop its meddling in all these prospective conflicts. They’re just not as smart as they think they are.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Ukraine-Nuclear-Weapons

     

    1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances

    To solidify security commitments to Ukraine, the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances on December 5, 1994. A political agreement in accordance with the principles of the Helsinki Accords, the memorandum included security assurances against the threat or use of force against Ukraine’s territory or political independence. The countries promised to respect the sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine. Parallel memorandums were signed for Belarus and Kazakhstan as well. In response, Ukraine officially acceded to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state on December 5, 1994. That move met the final condition for ratification of START, and on the same day, the five START states-parties exchanged instruments of ratification, bringing the treaty into force.

    2009 Joint Declaration by Russia and the United States

    Russia and the United States released a joint statement in 2009 confirming that the security assurances made in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum would still be valid after START expired in 2009.

    • #9
  10. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    In fact, Russia pretty much had at least two of the eastern provinces of Ukraine for the taking back in February of 2022, and maybe all four that are currently contended. Russia has demonstrated that this is about neo-Soviet revanchism.

    My support for spending US dollars to support Ukraine in this war is very little about Ukraine, and almost exclusively about the opportunity to fight Russia for cheap. Ukraine did not ask for it and neither did we — our interests are not identical, but they *are* aligned. Allowing Russia to reset to the status quo ante bellum would do no more than buy time.

    We disagree on this. I think you haven’t read Caldwell’s piece yet.

    If Russia doesn’t control Crimea, at least culturally, if not administratively, it’s virtually the end of Russia. And Russia was threatened by NATO expansion, which has been known to be a provocation since at least Condoleezza Rice was SoS.

    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me.

    But, I’d really like to see the “smart” set in American foreign policy stop its meddling in all these prospective conflicts. They’re just not as smart as they think they are.

    NATO expansion is a Russian canard-ie a disinformation operation. It isn’t like NATO marched into any country with tanks-in every case it was invited in &  in no case did a significant number of troops enter a country since the 1970s-even in the Baltic states the number of NATO troops is a mere crumb. The Russians talk like NATO roll over the borders of countries uninvited- but that is pure bull excrement. 

    Caldwell’s piece has a number of weird interpretations- he cherry picks the results of referendums- failing to note those that show overwhelming rejection of Russian rule & only noting those favorable to Russia. He also completed misrepresents the US aide to Ukraine -much of the $5B he claims was to purchase influence was actually to rid Ukraine of old Soviet chemical, biological & nuclear weapons. The $5B was spent over 20 years-long before the “color revolutions”-if you think the US government has that much foresight, then you must believe in Santa Claus as well. His summary of the Maiden Revolution is so pro-Russia it could have been written by Putin.

    “About $2.4 billion went to programs promoting peace and security, which could include military assistance, border security, human trafficking issues, international narcotics abatement and law enforcement interdiction, Thompson said. More money went to categories with the objectives of “governing justly and democratically” ($800 million), “investing in people” ($400 million), economic growth ($1.1 billion), and humanitarian assistance ($300 million).”

    https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2014/mar/19/facebook-posts/united-states-spent-5-billion-ukraine-anti-governm/

    Caldwell’s claims are also belied by the Obama administrations’ refusal to provide lethal aid to Ukraine-if the USA was trying to entice Ukraine into a NATO alliance why did they fail to provide javelins etc until Trump was president?

    • #10
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MiMac (View Comment):
    NATO expansion is a Russian canard-ie a disinformation operation.

    Just like Hunter Biden’s laptop?

    • #11
  12. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me. 

    China is indeed the bigger threat.   However,  I still don’t want to see free nations sequentially conquered by Russia.   Easier to stop Russia in Ukraine than defend Poland, Germany,  Finland, etc.

    • #12
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me.

    China is indeed the bigger threat. However, I still don’t want to see free nations sequentially conquered by Russia. Easier to stop Russia in Ukraine than defend Poland, Germany, Finland, etc.

    I don’t see it that way. I think the NATO countries are well within their rights to defend Poland, Germany, and Finland (and it would involve direct military intervention on our part). The Russian claims to parts of Ukraine and Crimea are much more credible than these other countries.

    I think Putin is a bad guy. But, I don’t think Russia is nearly as strong as some make it out to be (meaning not all that capable of expansionist ambitions, even if it has them).

    The situation in Ukraine is complex and US meddling has only made it worse. I’d like to see an end to the conflict and, for that, Ukraine is going to have to compromise. It’s like a divorce. Nobody gets everything he/she wants out of it. Everyone feels the pain.

    • #13
  14. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me.

    China is indeed the bigger threat. However, I still don’t want to see free nations sequentially conquered by Russia. Easier to stop Russia in Ukraine than defend Poland, Germany, Finland, etc.

    I don’t see it that way. I think the NATO countries are well within their rights to defend Poland, Germany, and Finland (and it would involve direct military intervention on our part). The Russian claims to parts of Ukraine and Crimea are much more credible than these other countries.

    I think Putin is a bad guy. But, I don’t think Russia is nearly as strong as some make it out to be (meaning not all that capable of expansionist ambitions, even if it has them).

    The situation in Ukraine is complex and US meddling has only made it worse. I’d like to see an end to the conflict and, for that, Ukraine is going to have to compromise. It’s like a divorce. Nobody gets everything he/she wants out of it. Everyone feels the pain.

    Can you explain how Russia has any claim on any part of Ukraine considering what they agreed to in 1994?

    • #14
  15. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me.

    China is indeed the bigger threat. However, I still don’t want to see free nations sequentially conquered by Russia. Easier to stop Russia in Ukraine than defend Poland, Germany, Finland, etc.

    Clearly it is easier to stop an attack in Poland or Germany or Finland.   We know this since Russia has dared not attack any NATO country.   

    • #15
  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me.

    China is indeed the bigger threat. However, I still don’t want to see free nations sequentially conquered by Russia. Easier to stop Russia in Ukraine than defend Poland, Germany, Finland, etc.

    I don’t see it that way. I think the NATO countries are well within their rights to defend Poland, Germany, and Finland (and it would involve direct military intervention on our part). The Russian claims to parts of Ukraine and Crimea are much more credible than these other countries.

    I think Putin is a bad guy. But, I don’t think Russia is nearly as strong as some make it out to be (meaning not all that capable of expansionist ambitions, even if it has them).

    The situation in Ukraine is complex and US meddling has only made it worse. I’d like to see an end to the conflict and, for that, Ukraine is going to have to compromise. It’s like a divorce. Nobody gets everything he/she wants out of it. Everyone feels the pain.

    Can you explain how Russia has any claim on any part of Ukraine considering what they agreed to in 1994?

    They violated the agreement, obviously. Now what? 

    Their claim is cultural (at least 80% of the population in these areas prefers to be governed by Russia rather than Ukraine) and historical. 

    The country that controls it (the Crimean peninsula) dominates the Black Sea and can project its military force into Europe, the Middle East, and even the steppes of Eurasia. And since the 1700s, that country has been Russia. Crimea has been the home of Russia’s warm water fleet for 250 years. It is the key to Russia’s southern defenses.

    • #16
  17. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    BDB (View Comment):
    Russia has demonstrated that this is about neo-Soviet revanchism.

    I don’t think we know what Russia will settle for.  It doesn’t matter what they want. 

    • #17
  18. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    The people of Crimea voted twice to be independent of Ukrainian rule yet the Bidenista clowns here want to impose Ukrainian totalitarian rule over Crimea, I guess true to their Totalitarian urges  to support our Supreme Leader.

    There is no rationale consistent with long held American beliefs of individual self determination that would in anyway justify such an action.

    Some others insanely want Zelensky using the full backing of the American military to attack Russia directly. That means America is then effectively at war – a real shooting war, not a Cold War, with Russia!

    Are you people crazy?  You must really be brainwashed to not grasp what is going on here.  Biden using the Tyrant Zelensky has always been the provocateur in this war, egging Zelensky on even after Zelensky had murdered 14,000 ethnic Russians in the Donbas.

    Biden’s war had already cost America gravely in so many ways and now you numbskulls want to provoke an even enlarged war that could go nuclear any minute. 

    what the hell is the matter with you?

     

    • #18
  19. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    Crimea is a peninsula jutting out into the middle of the Black Sea. It’s where the great powers of Europe fought the bloodiest war of the century between Napoleon and World War I. It is a defensive superweapon. The country that controls it dominates the Black Sea and can project its military force into Europe,

    Romania and Bulgaria, to which Sun Tzu may or may not have advised swimming, this being no better or worse than a walk across Moldova

    the Middle East,

    Turkey, Gateway to Kurdistan

    and even the steppes of Eurasia. 

    Turkmenistan, if you hop Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Caspian Sea. Treasures galore. Evergreen bringers-of-luck to Czars, Politburos, and beyond.

    • #19
  20. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I can see the conflict, but I fear greatly for the Ukrainian people should Putin win in any way. A man who has already heartlessly driven so many Ukrainian refugees out of their homes cannot be trusted to be kind or magnanimous in victory.

    This is an old story, between Russia and Ukraine. And it never seems to end: the Holodomor is recent history. I don’t understand it, why Russia is so hateful to Ukraine, but they are. Ukrainian sovereignty must be supported, just as Israel’s sovereignty is. Ukraine has the right to exist.

    I think the NATO countries and the United States are doing the right thing, in trying to make Putin exit Ukraine.

    If Putin thinks he has some claim to Ukrainian territory, he should take his case to court, as civilized people do in 2022. Russia was a big part of the creation of that international court:

    Initiated by the Russian Czar Nicholas II, the conference involved all the world’s major powers, as well as several smaller states, and resulted in the first multilateral treaties concerned with the conduct of warfare.

    • #20
  21. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    We disagree on this. I think you haven’t read Caldwell’s piece yet. 

    Indeed, I have not.  I assume that somewhere between you doing justice to it, and it resembling a lot of other stuff I’ve seen, I’m probably not going to.  Your recommendation carries weight, but I assume that you have adequeately described its thrust.  I know what lies there, and I already disagree.  As you say.

     

    • #21
  22. GlenEisenhardt Coolidge
    GlenEisenhardt
    @GlenEisenhardt

    I just don’t care what happens. I don’t see any US interest in the matter. We have an invasion on our own border Congress and presidents haven’t given a damn about for 30 years. Human trafficking, gang control, mass poisoning of Americans through narcotics and more dead than any of our wars. We can’t count our votes in a timely manner. Every cycle reduces confidence in elections. We have agencies manipulating the discourse online to swing elections when they aren’t launching phony investigations into Russian collusion. And people here are worried about democracy and the borders of a corrupt cesspool like Ukraine. 

    • #22
  23. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    I had read the Caldwell piece already. He didn’t come off as pro-Putin, but he was persuasive that this is both deeper and more complicated than many let on. As usual, the larger principle applies here too: we should avoid monster-izing people and movements. 

    • #23
  24. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    BDB (View Comment):

    In fact, Russia pretty much had at least two of the eastern provinces of Ukraine for the taking back in February of 2022, and maybe all four that are currently contended. Russia has demonstrated that this is about neo-Soviet revanchism.

    My support for spending US dollars to support Ukraine in this war is very little about Ukraine, and almost exclusively about the opportunity to fight Russia for cheap. Ukraine did not ask for it and neither did we — our interests are not identical, but they *are* aligned. Allowing Russia to reset to the status quo ante bellum would do no more than buy time.

    Neo-Soviet revanchism and historic Russian imperialism. Russia has been the aggressor from day one, going back ten years, going back several centuries. They have no standing. Whenever someone tells me that aggression is complicated, you know they are hedging on morality. Ukraine is fighting for their freedom and the right not to be under Russian domination. 

    • #24
  25. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    In fact, Russia pretty much had at least two of the eastern provinces of Ukraine for the taking back in February of 2022, and maybe all four that are currently contended. Russia has demonstrated that this is about neo-Soviet revanchism.

    My support for spending US dollars to support Ukraine in this war is very little about Ukraine, and almost exclusively about the opportunity to fight Russia for cheap. Ukraine did not ask for it and neither did we — our interests are not identical, but they *are* aligned. Allowing Russia to reset to the status quo ante bellum would do no more than buy time.

    We disagree on this. I think you haven’t read Caldwell’s piece yet.

    If Russia doesn’t control Crimea, at least culturally, if not administratively, it’s virtually the end of Russia. And Russia was threatened by NATO expansion, which has been known to be a provocation since at least Condoleezza Rice was SoS.

    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me.

    But, I’d really like to see the “smart” set in American foreign policy stop its meddling in all these prospective conflicts. They’re just not as smart as they think they are.

    Who the hell cares if Russia feels threatened by NATO expansion?  If Russia did not have imperial intentions they would not feel threatened by by a defensive treaty between nations. Remember, it’s a defensive treaty.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Manny (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    In fact, Russia pretty much had at least two of the eastern provinces of Ukraine for the taking back in February of 2022, and maybe all four that are currently contended. Russia has demonstrated that this is about neo-Soviet revanchism.

    My support for spending US dollars to support Ukraine in this war is very little about Ukraine, and almost exclusively about the opportunity to fight Russia for cheap. Ukraine did not ask for it and neither did we — our interests are not identical, but they *are* aligned. Allowing Russia to reset to the status quo ante bellum would do no more than buy time.

    We disagree on this. I think you haven’t read Caldwell’s piece yet.

    If Russia doesn’t control Crimea, at least culturally, if not administratively, it’s virtually the end of Russia. And Russia was threatened by NATO expansion, which has been known to be a provocation since at least Condoleezza Rice was SoS.

    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me.

    But, I’d really like to see the “smart” set in American foreign policy stop its meddling in all these prospective conflicts. They’re just not as smart as they think they are.

    Who the hell cares if Russia is threatened by NATO expansion? If Russia did not have imperial intentions they would not feel threatened by by a defensive treaty between nations. Remember, it’s a defensive treaty.

    And NATO wouldn’t even exist to start with, without Russia’s history of invasion.

    • #26
  27. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me.

    China is indeed the bigger threat. However, I still don’t want to see free nations sequentially conquered by Russia. Easier to stop Russia in Ukraine than defend Poland, Germany, Finland, etc.

    I don’t see it that way. I think the NATO countries are well within their rights to defend Poland, Germany, and Finland (and it would involve direct military intervention on our part). The Russian claims to parts of Ukraine and Crimea are much more credible than these other countries.

    I think Putin is a bad guy. But, I don’t think Russia is nearly as strong as some make it out to be (meaning not all that capable of expansionist ambitions, even if it has them).

    The situation in Ukraine is complex and US meddling has only made it worse. I’d like to see an end to the conflict and, for that, Ukraine is going to have to compromise. It’s like a divorce. Nobody gets everything he/she wants out of it. Everyone feels the pain.

    US meddling?  Every single country in Europe is against the Russian invasion except Belarus. Why do you think that?  Maybe they have an understanding of Russia’s global intentions. 

    • #27
  28. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I just don’t see Russia as the threat to us that you do. It’s China that concerns me.

    China is indeed the bigger threat. However, I still don’t want to see free nations sequentially conquered by Russia. Easier to stop Russia in Ukraine than defend Poland, Germany, Finland, etc.

    I don’t see it that way. I think the NATO countries are well within their rights to defend Poland, Germany, and Finland (and it would involve direct military intervention on our part). The Russian claims to parts of Ukraine and Crimea are much more credible than these other countries.

    I think Putin is a bad guy. But, I don’t think Russia is nearly as strong as some make it out to be (meaning not all that capable of expansionist ambitions, even if it has them).

    The situation in Ukraine is complex and US meddling has only made it worse. I’d like to see an end to the conflict and, for that, Ukraine is going to have to compromise. It’s like a divorce. Nobody gets everything he/she wants out of it. Everyone feels the pain.

    Can you explain how Russia has any claim on any part of Ukraine considering what they agreed to in 1994?

    They violated the agreement, obviously. Now what?

    Their claim is cultural (at least 80% of the population in these areas prefers to be governed by Russia rather than Ukraine) and historical.

    The country that controls it (the Crimean peninsula) dominates the Black Sea and can project its military force into Europe, the Middle East, and even the steppes of Eurasia. And since the 1700s, that country has been Russia. Crimea has been the home of Russia’s warm water fleet for 250 years. It is the key to Russia’s southern defenses.

    So what their claim is cultural?  Probably 25% of Americans today have a cultural identity to Mexico. Does Mexico have a right to the old Mexican states?  Borders have been established. Hitler claimed to have cultural rights to several European countries. That was immoral too. There is no such thing as aggression to claim cultural rights. If there are Ukrainians who identify as Russian, they can immigrate to Russia. Otherwise I repeat, borders have been established.

    • #28
  29. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    MiMac (View Comment):
    NATO expansion is a Russian canard-ie a disinformation operation. It isn’t like NATO marched into any country with tanks-in every case it was invited in &  in no case did a significant number of troops enter a country since the 1970s-even in the Baltic states the number of NATO troops is a mere crumb. The Russians talk like NATO roll over the borders of countries uninvited- but that is pure bull excrement. 

    Here ya go:

    https://ricochet.com/1201159/nato-and-russia-a-false-equivalence/

    • #29
  30. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    Russia has demonstrated that this is about neo-Soviet revanchism.

    I don’t think we know what Russia will settle for. It doesn’t matter what they want.

    Correct.  But we do know what they will NOT settle for.  See?

    • #30
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