Russia's language, action, and posturing about its take-over of Crimea, Ukraine, evokes anger and fear, memories of the mass Crimean Tatar deportation in the dead of one dark and terrifying night, and shades of surreal Cold War propaganda.
So we have Vladimir Putin and his cronies talking about "self-determination" while sending some 30,000 troops to Crimea. Russia has taken over Crimea's parliament, government buildings, army bases, towns, and neighborhoods; it has physically blocked Black Sea access, as well as communications and transportation into and out of the pennisula. It is doing all of this in the name of freedom.
|"Strongman Putin Playing a "short game on Ukraine," AFP article by|
Luc Perrot; photo of mural in SImferopol by Flippo Monteforte, 15 March 2014.
Russia is "allowing" Crimeans the option of voting yes or yes to join Russia. It continues to block international monitors; meddle with the media; stifle dissent by force; and claim it is offering free elections, freedom of choice. Putin is shamelessly using the language of democracy to justify invasion, occupation, and annexation.
The West of course is not immune to the same antics: Fighting wars for democracy when in reality we are fighting for oil, to take one example. Putin is shoving it in our faces, rubbing it in, I think with glee. I didn't realize how much he hated America and our current president, or how deep his vision of a Russian economic union. He's long had his eyes on Ukraine, his eyes on the prize. And the opportunity presented itself, as it were. Putin's calculated invasion, his cold indifference to American and European opinion, his bold occupation, are having the effect he wants. He is not going to back down. He is a master conductor.
|yahoo image. Putin is not going to STOP.|
Most nations, and of course most Ukrainians and Russians themselves, see right through this. They say they won't recognize the results of a "referendum" Putin has orchestrated in Crimea, ensuring and enforcing its outcome at the point of many guns. But Putin is playing this card for all it's worth. And for him, it's a win.
Crimea will turn itself over to him, in this scenario, and he will embrace it. The consequences be damned.
|Jud's Ukrainian Sunflower made sadder.|
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