Why #RussiaInvadedUkraine Matters – NYTimes.com

There is a case to be made for not creating panic – as long as it’s not used for avoiding the realities at the geopolitical level.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/06/opinion/chrystia-freeland-why-russiainvadedukraine-matters.html

Last week, Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, said he could take Kiev in two weeks. This week, he disavowed a cease-fire, then proposed a peace plan. Now a cease-fire is in effect. These zigzags did their job, leaving the West confused about his intentions, just as the European Union and NATO were meeting to figure out how to counter them.

[…] What makes the Ukrainian conflict consequential is that it is not a civil war. It is an annexation of territory, the invasion of one European country by another. As Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister, argued in a speech in Berlin in June, Europe’s entire security structure is built on the agreement that this would never happen again.

“The principle of respecting existing borders was laid down as one of the key foundations of peace in our Europe,” Mr. Bildt said. “And it has been adhered to up until March of this year.”

In other words, Russia has broken Europe’s geopolitical rules, and thereby changed them.

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4 thoughts on “Why #RussiaInvadedUkraine Matters – NYTimes.com

  1. The problem is not breaking some rules but doing it in disguise and behind rhetoric of peace. If Russia started a war in traditional sense all would be clear. Instead what we have are soldiers pretending to be someone else, disguised support and PR disguising all of this. The West doesn’t want another war and pretends that everything is okay because Putin says his intentions are pure… Someone there did a lot of thinking

    • Exactly, and agreed. And a worry is the intoxicating effects of power and expansion, and the greed for more and more. It has to be very tempting for Putin to see how far he can go before there are real consequences..

      But, his so-called “Eurasian” project is in shambles already, as the borderstates are terrified and running away from him. I’m thinking that none of this can be in Russia’s long term interest, objectively….

      • I have the feeling that right now it’s more about what he has to do than what he wants to do. What he started is intoxicating, agreed, but not only to him. Polls show he has an immense support in Russia so to keep up with this level of support he can’t simply give up… It would make him look weak and defeated… So he needs to incite old sentiments of greatness. He has to create conditions where it’s us vs them. It’s why I think there is no turning back. It’s what we, the Western world should understand

        • Yep, it’s the fine balance of stopping him while giving him an “out”, without him losing face.

          This slow-motion strategy seems to be working really well for him though..

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