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Seeing Russia annexing Crimea just because a majority of its local population still thinks and speaks Russian is fallible to the course of history, where Hitler's Germany justified the country coming of age as a great power and invading Sudetenland because the local Germans approved of it (hence, it would be an even crazier future scenario of Russia coming to Lithuania because a great deal of people speak Russian there). Where Putins implied calls to action are Russia standing as a great power (again, he emphasized the same tones back in 2008 with the Georgian war), as a response to NATO enlargement policy and protection of ethnic Russians. Nearly all are victims to the logic and reason. A great gamble: It has been reported that Russia staged a coup in Crimea after calculating the costs of economic sanctions and foreseeing the contraction of revenues due to economic cycle ending. He gambled on the costs of external pressure coming into equilibrium thanks to the mind control factor (state sponsored press and propaganda) where people would believe the contraction is genuinely cased by an external event. Strategy: Where much water is poured on the mill of Crimea as a strategically important spot for Russian influence in the Black Sea region, it is hard to tell what is really meant by that? Ability to protect the southern oil/gas infrastructure, or recoverable shale oil assets. Russia still lacks recovery tools for the latter, where the former were now called to an end. Should one bring up the reason of protecting against NATO rocketry, it is now a proven case that medium range rockets are obsolete by the waves of innovation and longer range ballistic missiles (an 2014 autumn Foreign Affairs article is a great source of intelligence on that matter) . Diplomacy and Rule of courtesy: The Ukraine move deeply moved the communication stance between diplomats, where Putin hard-line attitude and belief in hard power negated the American foreign policy realism, a chance that would be hardly compensated by Republican firebrands in 2016 and onwards. The buffer (Euro)zone is also losing faith in close Russian ties (the financial inflows are compensated by inflows from China, that would effectively hold Russia hostage by being its sole savior, with no one else to help) In short. 1) Russia did use the foreign policy momentum as a great and largely blood less act of a land-grab 2) It would not have happened should Ukraine not squandered many years of independence and tried to be a genuinely independent state, but it remained a zombie state until recent times 3) The real independence call has been made a year ago and time would tell, whether Ukraine can be a real state (from here, the chauvinistic remarks of a Ukraine being a no-state) 4) Russia caught itself in a limbo, where attempts to freeze the event are even greater than the dejection of it in the first place. 5) Where we can believe in both noble causes of countries people, state-people are playing a "game of thrones" where strategy of openly confronting the status quo is to no ones benefit.
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Jan 3, 2015