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ragingloli's avatar

How far do you think Russia will go with their territorial ambitions?

Asked by ragingloli (35830 points ) March 30th, 2014

Just recently, Russia has demanded that the Ukraine “overhaul” its constitution, the most important part of which would be ‘military neutrality’, which would bar the Ukraine from joining Nato, which would make them helpless against a Russian invasion.

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10 Answers

Symbeline's avatar

As far as I can tell they just want control of that one peninsula. I’ll gladly stand corrected. What I keep hearing about this though is that it wasn’t an out of nowhere move, and may have been planned for years. It’s crazy to think that Putin is trying to rebuild the USSR, but is it really that crazy? Thing is, I can’t imagine people will let him act much longer if hr keeps all this up. I mean, if he goes beyond Ukraine. If that IS what he’s trying to do, which I highly doubt.
Russia is a powerful country though, no? Maybe not as much as before, but it doesn’t seem to care about the sanctions and being cut off. Can’t say how far it will go, but they have the will to do it, whatever they’re wanting to accomplish.

antimatter's avatar

I think they were only interested in the peninsula for the gas lines however I stand corrected. But I don’t think it will spark another world war, unless if they try to take Alaska.

Kropotkin's avatar

I think your question contains a false premise.

Just as a qualifier—I don’t think any state is legitimate, and all the sides involved are utterly degenerate and contemptible.

I don’t think Putin has any territorial ambitions, and would have preferred the status quo before the deposition of Yanukovych and not have to deal with all the diplomatic and political fallout.

Yanukovych was courted by the EU, but the EU never presented a concrete proposal or reasonable deal. Putin stepped in and offered a few billion in roubles and gas at ⅓rd the price. And out of the window went any chance of EU membership.

That is until a right-wing coup deposed Yanukovych—there’s some evidence now that the protests were hijacked by right-wing groups, who went so far as to use snipers to kill protesters and then blame it on Yanukovych. Now Ukraine has a regime that is now all too eager to take IMF loans (that’ll work out well) and join NATO and even the EU, and is hostile to Russian interests.

And why would Putin tolerate that? The US has simply not ended the Cold War. NATO has expanded eastward, missile defence shields are to be installed in Poland, and funding for anti-Russian groups in the Ukraine have gone on for years.

I think if the Ukraine breaks apart any more, it’ll be from within the Ukraine with little pushing from Russia.

@Symbeline Completely implausible. The pretext for annexing Crimea was based on the existence of the anti-Russian government in Kiev. How could they possibly plan something based on an event that they neither desired nor could anticipate?

@antimatter No gas lines run through Crimea.

Symbeline's avatar

Completely implausible. The pretext for annexing Crimea was based on the existence of the anti-Russian government in Kiev. How could they possibly plan something based on an event that they neither desired nor could anticipate?

That’s if that’s what that is. If you look at the population in Russia and how the majority of the population is being left to poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, I’m not entirely convinced that Putin cares about Neo Nazis and the like. He does nothing to help the people already there. I think he’s in Ukraine for the resources, and I don’t think he’d be stupid enough to just waltz in there without being sure of his shot.

Kropotkin's avatar

@Symbeline Okay. Let me try another way. Can you imagine Putin annexing Crimea had Yanukovych still been President? The President who had signed a deal with Putin to supply the Ukraine billions in aid and gas at a huge discount. I can’t.

“That’s if that’s what that is. If you look at the population in Russia and how the majority of the population is being left to poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, I’m not entirely convinced that Putin cares about Neo Nazis and the like.”

I don’t see what this has got to do with anything. Alcohol abuse went through the roof under Yeltsin, when Russian cultural predilection for booze met capitalist marketing techniques. Putin has actually been trying to control alcoholism by controlling sale of alcohol and campaigns. Russia’s domestic problems are deep-rooted and go back well before Putin. Bringing this up is a red-herring.

“I think he’s in Ukraine for the resources, and I don’t think he’d be stupid enough to just waltz in there without being sure of his shot.

Most of the troops were already based in Crimea. There was very little “waltzing in”. I’m not even convinced that Putin orchestrated the annexation. Crimea is an autonomous region with its own constitution, and is roughly 90% ethnically Russian. I find it plausible that the movement to separate from Ukraine needed very little encouragement from Putin, and may even have been a quite spontaneous reaction. Putin would then only need to formalise the annexation after Crimea made its decision. As four resources—Crimea was only costing mainland Ukraine. Its main industry is tourism.

kritiper's avatar

They may take eastern Ukraine, hopefully with the blessings of the people who live there and who want to be Russian.

Kropotkin's avatar

I need to make a correction. 90% of Crimea is linguistically Russian, not ethnically.

LostInParadise's avatar

My guess is that for the time being, Putin will be content to consolidate his acquisition of Crimea. Over the longer term, he will do what he can to keep the region unstable to forestall any alliance of Ukraine with the West. Beyond that, he will do what he thinks he can get away with.

cazzie's avatar

BBE and I were trying to think of a similar ‘what if’ scenario to compare to the US. Say, if, Guam or Hawaii suddenly became governed by an anti-American State Senate and they were horribly corrupt and the State became so unstable that the military bases there, that are not the domain of Hawaii but are American military basis there for the defence and protection of the mutual interests, were at risk? Suddenly, Hawaii’s Chinese or Japanese population stop having warm fuzzy feelings for the US and somehow find their way to powerful State government positions? What would the US do?

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