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Posted:  3/18/2014 9:39 AM #41086
CTD Blogger

Joined: 7/14/2009
Posts: 10828
Last Post: 8/20/2014
Subject: Russia Examines Its Options for Responding to Ukraine
By George Friedman-The fall of the Ukrainian government and its replacement with one that appears to be oriented toward the West represents a major defeat for the Russian Federation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia accepted the reality that the former Eastern European satellite states would be absorbed into the Western economic and political systems. Moscow claims to have been assured that former Soviet republics would be left as a neutral buffer zone and not absorbed. Washington and others have disputed that this was promised. In any case, it was rendered meaningless when the Baltic States were admitted to NATO and the European Union. The result was that NATO, which had been almost 1,000 miles from St. Petersburg, was now less than approximately 100 miles away.

This left Belarus and Ukraine as buffers. Ukraine is about 300 miles from Moscow at its closest point. Were Belarus and Ukraine both admitted to NATO, the city of Smolensk, which had been deep inside the Soviet Union, would have become a border town. Russia has historically protected itself with its depth. It moved its borders as far west as possible, and that depth deterred adventurers -- or, as it did with Hitler and Napoleon, destroyed them. The loss of Ukraine as a buffer to the West leaves Russia without that depth and hostage to the intentions and capabilities of Europe and the United States. Read more »

Posted:  3/18/2014 2:13 PM #41089

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 2063
Last Post: 9/30/2014
This whole situation is Deja Moo - I've heard this bull before. Every time for the last hundred years that Russia and the west have gotten into a shooting war, we've been allies - not enemies. We faced common enemies - Germany and Austria-Hungary, and once, Italy. Russia needs to realize that the "West" is not a monolithic bloc it needs buffers against. The principle (and winning) nations of the west - The USA, the UK and Commonwealth, and France have always fought WITH Russia - never AGAINST. And after 60 years of American occupation, the Germany of today is hardly a threat to anyone. Whether a border is 300 miles from St. Petersburg or 300 feet is no longer relevant - ballistic missiles can traverse the globe in mere minutes. Washington, D.C. is half a world away from Moscow, and for all intents and purposes, it really wouldn't matter if they were just across the street from each other - in fact, that proximity might protect them both better from destruction than a greater distance does.

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