|The gray areas between Russia and its neighbors highlighting the faultlines between Black and Caspian Seas. Transnistria is coincidentally on Ukraine's border. Map is from Washington Post.|
Now that the G-7 summit is wrapping up, Obama has once again turned his attention from economic future of the G-8 and global economy to Ukraine's security. G-7 is regarded as one of the most exclusive meetings of economic and financial leaders ie the important economies in the world. The US and European Union has threatened more sanctions against Russia for its actions in Crimea.
The Ukrainian government including the Parliament is anxiously sounding alarms bells of Russian army's capture of the last Ukrainian base in Crimea. The Ukrainian soldiers have been given an ultimatum to either join Russia or go back to Ukraine. At least one soldier was reported shot during the Russian tanks' entry into a previous Ukrainian base two days ago. Many officials in Kiev government are panicking that the Russian Army, on a high from being able to capture all the remaining Ukrainian bases and have security control in Crimea will now be heading into Eastern Ukraine. The reference to the Russian invasion of Georgia's autonomous region South Ossetia is not lost anyone watching the events closely. Moldova's autonomous region Transnistria has also been following events in Crimea. Transnistria also has Russian soldiers in its territory while Moldova has spent a decade negotiating Transnistria's final status with Russia without experiencing Ukraine's recent geopolitical headaches. Crimean Tatars are also anxiously eyeing the Russian Army to see what its next move is. Both Ukrainian and Russia officials are trying to woo Crimean Tatars in hopes of developing a lasting alliance. In an upsetting move according to the Pentagon, Afghan President Hamid Kazai recently said he supported Russia's Crimean annexation. Russia's other Central Asian neighbors are still anxiously observing the breakdown in Crimea. Russia's next move involves much patience.
Slip of the tongue?Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Ukrainian Prime Minister was recently caught up in her own Victoria Nuland moment when she candidly and frantically stated to , "We need to grab guns and kill those damn Russians." Tymoshenko was previously jailed for over a year prior to Maidan protests for .
Politicians world wide have allowed what's on their mind to slip out over leaked phone conversations with their peers. Often times they do not consider their consequences until after the fact. Of course when demonized and condemned politicians Putin or Hassan Rouhani are quickly called out for their blatant, occasionally offensive statements. It doesn't matter if the politicians is referring to their counterparts around the world or specific countries. Senator John McCain's laughter over Russia's sanctioning him as persona non grata is treated as comedy. Yet, the media stereotypes of Russia as a reemerging Soviet Union or the German media's framing Putin as the new Hitler will be dismissed as no harm no foul.