Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Russia and Ukraine in Intensifying Standoff "

So says the New York Times.

Ukraine is of crucial importance to Russia in many ways, for one, the city of Sevastapol hosts the largest Russian naval base. The lease runs out in 2017, and there is no equivalent secondary option for Russia.

As with many strategic areas of the former USSR, there is considerable Russian influence in Sevastapol, and in the larger autonomous area of Crimea, where they make up a majority of the population. Russia has created a 34 million dollar fund "in the support of compatriots abroad", in what could be a parallel to American funding of color revolutions or Iranian dissident groups. Russian passports have reportedly been distributed throughout the Crimea, much as they were in the former Georgian region of South Ossetia. The encouragement of secessionism is straight from the American destabilization playbook.
1 Medvedev's Message - NYT Opinion
2 Russia's Next Target Could Be Ukraine - WSJ
3 Russian Aid Pours Into South Ossetia - Time

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