Ukraine, Russia and the West

Ukrainian tanks are transported from their base in Perevalnoe, outside Simferopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Ukraine has started withdrawing its troops and weapons from Crimea, now controlled by Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

No great power will lift a finger for a small country, unless its vital interests are at stake, translated more often than not to read=OIL. And the US is getting its energy independence back thanks to shale gas and oil, so they don’t even need to bother for that. For a small to medium country to survive, it needs a strong network of alliances and a good, modern defence. Which doesn’t mean millions of men under arms, but small, highly trained, motivated and well equipped professional units. Just the contrary of the bulk of the Russian army. Best of all – but no absolute guarantee of peace – live at least 1000 Km away from any part of Russia. Lacking any of the above, there is a high probability that you will have to cave in under the Russian diktat, sooner rather than later. Not because they are more powerful, but simply because they are totally ruthless in their use of force, not having a strong civil society to account to. Russian rulers just have to trigger a crude propaganda campaign, as we are witnessing at the moment, and their citizens are very happy to invade any neighbour, without a second thought. Those who are not happy will rue the day they spoke up, as we’ve seen in videos from the Crimea, with pro-Russian mobs beating up the few people daring to speak in defence of Ukraine.

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