Tag Archives: Crimea
Learning Russia’s strategic communications themes and techniques is indispensable to countering them. Otherwise, our approach to the Kremlin’s narrative will continue to be one of confusion and surprise Continue reading
According to confidential sources leaked to the media, Russia is currently consolidating its military forces in Transdniestria. The Bucharest TV station Realitatea announced that Russia modernized, militarized, and expanded the Tiraspol Airport. Tiraspol is the capital of this republic. The landing strip of the airport was lengthened to 2,500 meters to accommodate big military planes while many new military barracks were built in the area. Continue reading
Ukraine is a struggling country caught between Russia and the European Union. Historically, the country has been associated for a long time with Moscow and its culture is split between the Russian-dominated East and the European-dominated West.
The Black Sea is located at a geo-strategic intersection between Europe and the oil-rich Middle East and between NATO and the Russian Federation. The annexation of Crimea by Russia and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine add new significance to this disputed body of water. The issue of the Black Sea and the current Russo-Ukrainian conflict were discussed amply by the NATO leaders at their recent meetings.
The parliament in Kyiv has just signed a bill granting autonomy to Lukhansk and Donetsk regions in the southeast of Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated was his wish. To sweeten the deal the Ukrainian legislature also voted to associate its nation with the European Union. This suggests a return to the traditional policy of subservience to Russia and cooperation with the West, a fence-straddling posture pursued by Kyiv since independence nearly 25 years ago. Putin got what he wanted, while the West remains rudderless under the Obama administration.
Viewed through the prism of Putin’s ultimate goal of collapsing NATO, the Kremlin had pursued the strategic goal of disintegrating NATO ever since its inception in 1949. Putin’s aggression against Ukraine is not only an attempt to re-subjugate a major ex-Soviet republic but is, simultaneously, also an experiment to test the West’s mettle.
Western insistence that Kyiv choose between the EU and Russia, claims Putin, is responsible for breaking up the country. Yet despite all odds, on June 27, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia signed association agreements with the EU.
“The question of exports to Russia falls under [EU sanctions] stage three. About when to trigger stage three, if there is more destabilization we have agreed, also myself bilaterally with the U.S. President, that if [Ukrainian] elections take place we won’t trigger stage three. We see elections have taken place successfully…”
As in Munich, many observers of the Venezuelan situation felt dialogue was the correct route. The Pope asked for it. So did the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry and many Latin American political leaders. MUD, echoing Chamberlain, must have felt that they were interpreting correctly the desires of the people for peaceful co-existence and for attempting to change the policies of the regime, not changing the regime.
To further intimidate Kyiv, Vladimir Jirinovsky, chief of Russia’s communist party and a member of parliament, reminded Ukraine that it has inherited lands belonging to its neighbors, including Romanian lands. And he alluded to the possible further dismemberment of Ukraine. While annexing Crimea, President Putin assured Kyiv that Moscow would react severely if Romania dares to make a territorial claim.
Ukraine is the biggest East European country; it represents the real core of Eastern Europe; and it is currently a bone of contention between Moscow and the West. With an area almost as big as France, a population of 46 million people, with good agricultural land and huge industrial complexes, Ukraine is a country of utmost importance.