1) The journalists talking about anschluss are morons. This is not Germany in the 30s, Russia is not going to try and conquer Europe.
2) The Ukraine was part of Russia for centuries, and has been independent for about 20 years.
3) The Russian Army is not the Red Army: it is not capable of conquering Europe.
4) The Crimea is majority Russian already and had been part of Russia, yes, for centuries.
5) Russia was NEVER going to allow Ukraine to kick them out of Sevastopol and the Crimea.
6) Americans spent 5 billion dollars promoting the Ukrainian revolution. That’s a lot of money. Granted that the Ukrainian government was a corrupt bunch of thugs, Putin is not crazy to think the West fomented the revolution. The West DID foment revolution. There was fertile ground, but 5 billion dollars is not chicken feed.
7) The West is not going to fight a war for the Ukraine. Russia is.
8) The East of Ukraine is still pro-Russia.
9) What the Ukrainian parliament did with armed protesters standing over them is not, ummm, necessarily what they would have done without guns being waved in their general direction.
Analysis: it is highly unlikely that Putin will go for Kiev, though I won’t categorically rule it out. Crimea will be part of Russia, whether de-facto or de-jure. The eastern parts (which is where all the industry is, by the way), may be partitioned off as a rump state, or brought into Russia. In both cases, if it happens, referendums will be held. They will not need to cheat on them, as long as they don’t go too far West, they’ll win them fairly.
I will be frank: the West needs to stop fomenting these revolutions. Russia is not going to allow NATO to creep up to their border without taking action. You’d have to be crazy to think that Russia was going to allow the Ukraine, including Crimea, to become part of NATO, and yes, that was the West’s (or rather, America’s) endgame. (The Europeans think the Americans are crazy to be baiting the bear like this. But the Europeans need Russian natural gas.)
Russia is no longer the USSR. It is not an existential threat to the West, or even to Europe. It is a corrupt resource state with a big army and nukes which controls a lot of territory, but the idea that it would win a full-on conventional war with America is deranged.
All the US is accomplishing here is driving Russia into the country which is actually a danger to American dominance: China. This was totally unnecessary, but the entire thrust of US policy since the USSR has been to try and cripple Russia, starting with the completely deranged “shock doctrine” economic policies foisted on Russia right after the USSR’s collapse: doctrines which lead to an actual collapse in Russian population.
Putin thinks the US and the West are Russia’s enemies. He is not wrong.
Can you imagine if Russia spent 5 billion dollars fomenting a pro-Russian revolution in Mexico? How would the US react? (And let us not forget the US invasions of Grenada and Panama). If the US had broken up and California was its own state, would the rump US state feel they had a right to intervene in it?
Also, once more, the IMF will give Ukraine money in exchange for “reforms”. If you think those reforms will be good for the Ukraine, you are not just sadly mistaken, you are an idiot, or I hope you’re well paid to have such opinions. IMF reforms do not help ordinary people.
Finally, if I were a Western Ukrainian, I probably would have supported the revolution: Yanukovych was just too corrupt and too brutal. This isn’t about choosing sides, this is about understanding them.
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