Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Yulia Tymoshenko

Russia Cannot Let Ukraine Go

A deal was reached just yesterday for current Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to relinquish some presidential powers and schedule elections in May. The Russians already appear to believe that deal to be in tatters, as Ukraine’s parliament voted today to dismiss the president from office. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, says:

The opposition not only has failed to fulfill a single one of its obligations but is already presenting new demands all the time, following the lead of armed extremists and pogromists whose actions pose a direct threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and constitutional order.

If the Russians believe the opposition is not following through, that’s what matters. Russia cannot abide the defection of Ukraine to the European Union. It will take all necessary measures to prevent that outcome. Why does Russia care so much and what might Russia do next?

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Why Russia is Going to Win in Ukraine, For Now

UPDATE:

I’ve noticed a handful of people each day are searching for information on the Ukraine crisis and finding this piece. While I think it’s certainly interesting and you’re welcome to read it for information on the Ukraine-Russia relationship during the 00’s and in the months running up to the start of the Euromaidan protests, I wrote it in December of 2013–you might be more interested in my more recent writings on the crisis. Here are two such pieces:

February 22–this piece covers the various reasons Russia considers Ukraine a core strategic interest.

March 5–this piece covers the role the United States has played in pushing the Russians into intervening in Ukraine.

I have a certain fascination with the way that Russia conducts its foreign policy, particularly under Putin. It has an old fashioned, 20th century feel to it. It is bereft of the idealism that so often accompanies American and European policy and is consequently less prone to naïve mistakes. The Russians play hard, they play to win, and they often outplay their western counterparts despite economic and military inferiority. The recent series of events culminating in the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine is a tour de force of Russian foreign policy acumen, and is worth examining the way an art student would a Picasso.

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