Anonymous said: What are your thoughts on the situation between the Ukraine and Russia? I know I'm quite vague, but just in general ..
It’s complicated! Generally, I think that this crisis has been at least partly forced by other foreign powers, such as Russia or the US. I definitely think that it is being fueled now by factors inside and outside the Ukraine. First of all, the Ukraine, to my understanding, is in fact comprised of a lot of Russian ethnics or pro-Russians, particularly in the Crimea. There is a serious tie to Russia that many have. Then there’s the fact that Russia keeps promising them things and in the lack of a firm “embrace” from the West European nations, the pull towards Russia is even stronger. Russia ,of course, just wants to use them for a nr of different reasons.
On the other hand, Western Powers have nothing to really gain if they were to intervene in a more direct way in this conflict and side with the EU favoring Ukrainians, either by taking more drastic measures against Russia on a diplomatic and economical level or by providing military aid. Countries like Germany have a lot to gain from having good relations with Russia, they need them economically, they need the gas. At the same time, the EU has no real benefits to gain from taking the Ukraine under its wing because it is a big country with loooots of problems of all kind and very volatile at that. This stance is understandable because I don’t think people in charge of nations should do charitable acts at the expense of the well being of their own citizens.
Russia(Putin et co.) are probably dreaming of a mini USSR and flexing their muscles, taunting because they’ve got things going on for them (such as their gas and other natural resources, a large consumer marker and work force, powerful army, etc). But all is not black and white in the Ukraine either and ,in my opinion, this is one of the reasons why Russia has gone down this route, because there is a divide. I’m sure the US has its dirty hands in this as well but I’m not an expert so I won’t speculate more on the matter.
Nice question btw!