• Storris

    “The West lacks both the tool kit and the stomach for confrontation with an expansionist power actually capable of defending itself.”

    As if the West wasn’t an expansionist power! The whole mess is the result of the EU’s continuing attempt to annex Ukraine for itself, but Putin takes the blame for defending his nation’s interests?

    The hypocrisy of British, American and European politicians is ludicrously obvious.

    • Lee Jenkins

      Former Warsaw Pact members are trying their hardest to get into the EU. The annexation of the Crimea is not comparable

      • Storris

        No, it’s not comparable, it’s barely even the same subject. The EU attempted to apply its much exercised power, to topple an elected Government/bypass democratic control, and gain control of an unwilling nation who had gone to the trouble of re-electing a Russian leaning President. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea, to give it its full title, decided that enough was enough; declaring a desire for closer ties with Russia, to which Russia acquiesced.

        But yes, call it an Annexation if you like. With 73% turn-out, 95% support for closer Russian ties and a 60% ethnic-Russian majority, I call it as close to ‘legitimate’ as any democratic system can be.

        Given that the British Government is usually elected by 20% of the population, and is considered a bastion of liberal constitutional democracy, I have to ask just what sort of standards are expected?

        • Stephanie

          Yanukovich left the country and Ukranian parliament,including members of his own party, impeached him by two thirds.

          Paramilitary Russian units stormed the Crimean Parliament and, under the rule of Kalashnikovs, a corrupt, mafia connected new president was “elected”(his party had 3%). Outside observers were forbidden to enter the Crimea to watch the referendum… All this took place within 3 weeks.

          Putin’s propaganda war worked like clockwork. Go to Leipzig in Germany ,where the Stasi had its headquarter and where Putin had an office, skin crawling… Putin was perfectly trained in all the tricks of the trade.

          • Storris

            No doubt this is all true. But the timeline needs to start with attempts to bring Ukraine within the EU’s sphere, and it should be remembered that propaganda is not a tool used only by Putin.

            None of it excuses the EU and US’s involvement and response. The basic legitimacy of Crimea’s vote has not been called into question by any power. Stating that it was held “under the barrel of a gun” seems to make up for the fact that to all intents and purposes, it was a free and fair referendum. There have been no accusations of rigging or of pressuring the voters.

          • Stephanie

            To organize a proper referendum takes more than just 2 weeks. I bet it was rigged and the outcome might have been closer to 60%.

            It is a joke that Putin is basking in a democratic referendum… Did Chechnya ever get a vote? No, because it is part of the Russian federation and no way Putin would let it break away.

            Putin rules with his close oligarchs, restricting press freedom and the opposition. The West up to now tried to close its eyes to Putin’s power play, especially the EU depending on Russian gas supplies, and now needs to come up with a proper plan how to deal with Putin’s Russia in the future.