Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Russia Direct — Why Cold War-style military exercises of Russia and NATO are heating up

Relax. Training and checking preparedness after a period of reduced tension now that tension is rising. 

Don't read too much into it — yet. But it is putting focus back on the military and is certain to result in increased military expenditure and likely the introduction of more advanced systems.


Ralph Musgrave said...

Both sides seem to be primarily interested in military posturing here, with almost no one taking an interest in what LOCAL PEOPLE in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, etc actually want. I’ve seen no information in the UK press (including the left of centre press) on what THE PEOPLE of East Ukraine want, as expressed in referendums, elections, public opinion surveys etc.

Tom Hickey said...

Actually that information is available, Ralph. The referendum in Crimea shortly after the Russian annexation was overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia, and polling shows the majority of people there still favor it, which is a no brainer given the state of Ukraine now.

There is no homogenous Eastern Ukraine. Eastern Ukraine is the territory east of the Dneiper River. The number of Russophiles and Russophones increases toward the Russian border. So it is difficult to speak precisely about "Eastern Ukraine."

Polling shows that the majority of the people in Eastern Ukraine prefer to remain part of Ukraine, although the separatists want a full political split and separate republics. But they agreed at Minsk 2 to a federal solution if it can be negotiated to their satisfaction. The recent action in the Ukrainian Rada has pretty well ended any hope that such an arrangement can be reached, however.

One of the difficulties, the biggest one, if that the Ukrainian nationalists want to extirpate everything Russian from the entire country. This is the reason for the fighting in the East. Since there is a great deal of intransigence, this is not going to die down anytime soon, it seems.