Russia Imperialism Stalemate

Russia

With over 90 percent of Crimea’s voters choosing today to move forward into a “union” with Russia, a perversion of democracy to anyone who cares about it, the situation in Eastern Europe has become a stalemate in so many ways that America is starting to call its own bluffs for diplomatic positioning.  Crimea’s government, which has its own constitution and is considered an autonomous parliamentary republic within the Ukraine, announced this referendum to rejoin Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Ukraine was previously a breadbasket for Soviet Imperialism, and since their dissolution it has become one of the biggest exporters of grain, ranking only behind the US by some estimates in global grain production.

The fact that it has the shortest distance to travel before being shipped to international markets makes it important for short-term global starvation concerns, and since the Crimean peninsula is strategically a vital connection for Ukrainian exports to the Black Sea, Russian military aggression in the region and a desire to have their breadbasket returned has led them to commit what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has referred to as tactics reminiscent of the Nazis.  She also declared that Putin is a tough guy with thin skin, and she is absolutely right to marginalize the opportunistic tendencies of the failing Russian government, because it is only resurging with imperialism due to its economic desperation, even if through their actions they are essentially declaring war against developing nations who are most at risk for widespread famine.

In this political stalemate, the US is pushing for economic sanctions against Russia because there is little else that can be said, being that America hopes to diffuse the situation in the gentlest way possible to avoid escalation, a limited threat against a culture descended from Slavic tribes and Vikings.  The Russians were a formidable adversary during the Cold War, but they are as amoral as they are practical in regards to survival.  They have clearly already weighed their options and determined that the boost to their economy by swallowing surrounding sovereign nations is more beneficial than the detriment caused by sanctions meant to exacerbate their preexisting woes presented by currency depreciation, capital flight, low growth, and their weakening current account surplus, as evidenced by a slackening of the exchange-rate regime.

Higher energy costs acting as a boost to their energy exportation is the current Russian economic lifeline, but Hillary is willing to attempt a retraction on the seriousness of her imperialistic insinuation against Putin, so perhaps she knows more about America’s ability to sway international energy appetites than the general public, or she is verbally softening the US intent to send a fastball directly across their chins.  The Crimean government, being a codependent republic, latched onto the Ukraine for the same reason that it is now being forced to latch back onto Russia, which the United States has hoped to offset with plans to loan Ukrainians up to a billion dollars in assistance.  As national economies falter around the world, this is a fairly sizable band-aid that has no promise of healing the wound itself.

Crimea has been ruled by everyone from the Cimmerians, Bulgars, Greeks, Scythians, Goths, Huns, Khazars, Kipchaks, Turks, Tatars and the Mongols since antiquity, but now the most pertinent question concerns the extent of the abuses against those who oppose the Russians, along with the 24 percent of the population of the Crimean peninsula that are ethnically Ukrainian.  With the history of Communists in Eastern Europe still fresh in memory, their imposed silence upon the situation can only bring imaginations to assume the worst.  What is known for certain is that Euromaidan is already bloodstained in a way that the Orange Revolution was not.

Unfortunately, Russia understands that the rest of Europe cannot speak out because a third of their energy needs come from importing oil and gas from the east, making them political slaves in this respect, and Russia has enough solid connections with Iran and China that they have no reason to become desperate over economic sanctions imposed by America, unless the US can bring other nations to the same conclusion and break this imperialism stalemate.

Opinion By Elijah Stephens

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