Hillary Clinton is one of many former and current high power officials comparing Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s military action in Crimea as to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Many see it as a sign of things to come. A pro-Russian army, believed to be under the orders of President Putin, began the takeover of military bases in Crimea, the southern peninsula of the country Ukraine, two weeks ago and have then since annexed the region. The United States, the European Union, and N.A.T.O do not officially recognize the annexation and calls the invasion of Crimea “illegal” and “Illegitimate”.
Financial and travel sanctions have been placed on Russia as a result of the invasion, straining the already weak economy and heavier sanctions are expected to be on the way. While Vladimir Putin is giving the European Union the cold shoulder, his hotheadedness and stubborn position has left the citizens of Russia frozen in a state of apprehensiveness. Although the travel sanctions were limited to a few chosen high officials, the financial market will not be so limited. Investors have pulled more than $5 Billion from Russian bonds and equities. Visa and Mastercard will halt all transactions in the coming days. Even FIFA has threaten to strip Russia of their World Cup seed, costing millions of dollars for sponsors. We can not assume the citizens of Russia will not be happy with any of this. Unfortunately, Vladimir Putin’s government has a heavy influence on their news media so fears of Russians favoring escalated retaliation due to these sanctions are not only plausible, but very legitimate.
Russia succeeded in capturing all military bases and Ukraine’s only submarine. This is not the first time Vladimir Putin exercised his military strength on a neighboring country. International relations with Russia began to spiral since its short-lived war with Georgia in 2008, where Russian tanks stormed the region. While its not made clear what the motivation for Putin’s invasion into Crimea officially, it can be assumed that after Ukraine’s people successfully overthrew their government, Vladimir Putin lost footing in the country and is attempting to reclaim it, all by force. Pro-Russian demonstrations have been scheduled around the the bordering cites of Crimea while Ukraine military saw an increase of 20,000 enlistees. The United States have also sent jet fighters to Poland with more expected in the next few weeks in preparation of things to come.
Talks about war have been running rampant online and on some editorial news broadcasts. While a resolution can be had peacefully through strong panel talks and open communications, I also believe our current route is not leading us towards peace. The G8, now known as the G7 after removing Russia from its organization, is example enough on how far apart world leaders are. Vladimir Putin maintains the position that the actions taken place in Crimea was legal and warns of consequences if further sanctions are placed. This is where the world stands at the moment and honestly lets be happy its still standing at the time you are reading this.
Written By: Hector Carrion