A quite timely take on the events in the Crimean region is at Sackerson’s place.
You can read the fine print there but in essence, this Wiki map of the gas pipelines is more than interesting in the context of the political games and grandstanding:
Apart from the new ports and infrastructure developed through the Sochi Olympics and with the acquisition of the Crimea again, Russia is in a position to drive through the South Stream pipeline to the EU countries, bypassing the Ukraine and Belarus. One can understand the “special relationship” between Germany and Russia and Italy and Russia as well.
Western Ukraine is largely beyond Putin, they’ve done the puppet President bit and I can’t see him being back to be caught in the mire of international law the EU loves so much, plus NATO and the CIA. The regime is clearly spoiling for war and that’s the US influence – those 20 000 stormtroopers are more a provocation against a 700 000 man army, so that US/UK troops can be invoked.
The loose cannon in all this is the ultra-nationalist and holocaust-loving Right Sector which has the Ukraine in its grip right now. Even the forces of Them can’t control these psychos. There are going to be some demographic shifts, some displaced people coming out of the conflict. The people of the Ukraine will suffer yet again, either way.
Putin needs to decide whether gas is sufficient blackmail to tame the nationalists – and that demands South Stream – or if he’ll feel he needs to do the thing, take the Ukraine on the grounds of removal of a legitimately elected President and that would be a blitzkrieg and fait accompli. But that’s then occupied territory with a hostile western Ukrainian people.
Our media is largely to be ignored for its pro-cabal stance and the Russian media is what it is – Russian biased, as you’d expect. On the other hand, there is good comment coming out now in the blogosphere and some dailies – it must dismay the cabal to see that the peoples of the US/UK largely haven’t bought the c**p. Hearts and minds have not been won in a new Tony Blair type crusade.
We people out here are being very obstinate you know. We always used to race to sign up for the glorious war.