Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lucia Eastern Ukraine is next in the Russian land grab

When I read the following article on New Republic by Julia Ioffe, it was called After Crimea, Putin is going to take Eastern Ukraine Next. It's now called The Maps That Show the Inevitability of a Russian Land-Grab in Eastern Ukraine, because when it comes down to it, Russia cannot support Crimea without taking the east. 

Already a gas plant in Ukraine has been taken over by Russian troops, a gas plant that supplies Crimea with gas.  On Sunday, the new pro-Russian prime minister of Crimea was appealing to Russia to send in the fleet to "protect" this gas plant.  Julia explains, based on the geography, why it's important to Crimea (and Russia) to get gas from the Ukraine and ensure that it's not cut off and how in order to do that, the likelihood is that Eastern Ukraine is next in the land grab:
Crimea qualifies as a peninsula on the slightest of technicalities, dangling from the Ukrainian mainland by an isthmus (Perekop, on the left side of the map) that, at its widest point, is just 4.3 miles wide. The rest looks like Greece, or lightly melted Swiss cheese.


What’s Crimea’s physical connection to Russia? Well, there isn’t one. There is just the bay just off of Kerch. No bridge there, nothing to connect it to Russia’s Krasnodar region just across the water (on the right side of the map).

... what happens if, as is quite likely, Kiev cuts newly-Russian Crimea off from gas, electricity, and water, which Crimea has none of on its own? How will Moscow, the new owner, supply its latest acquisition with the necessities?

Take a look at those two maps again.

If you’re Russia, do you really want to ferry the necessities across the bay, or build an expensive bridge, or lay down expensive new pipelines? Wouldn’t you rather use pre-existing land routes (and pipelines)? Wouldn’t it just be easier to take the land just north and east of Perekop and the Swiss cheese area, now that you’ve already put in the effort to massively destabilize it? And while you’re there, wouldn’t you want to just take the entire Ukrainian east, the parts with the coal and the pipe-making plants and the industry? You know, since you already have permission?

Related link: The Maps That Show the Inevitability of a Russian Land-Grab in Eastern Ukraine ~ The New Republic

9 comment(s):

Andrei said...

At this point Lucyna its all "so what"?

Ukraine as a Nation is finished, it is now a matter of keeping the bloodshed and human suffering that its demise entails to a minimum.

There is no real Government in Kiev, the people who claim they are do not even have control of the streets of "their" own capital for goodness sakes.

They have no army, or not one they can rely upon or trust, and no money the country is bankrupt.

All of this is going to take someone with the wisdom of Solomon to resolve and that someone aint Barack Obama and that's a fact - indeed his latest move is to impose sanctions on a more or less random group of Russian politicians which in real terms will effect those so honoured not a whit

For example this woman is on Obama's bad peoples list.


You can only shake your head

Lucia Maria said...

Andrei,

You should stop relying on Russian news - the propaganda that is being peddled is just out of this world. I've seen it before, of course, having studied the Soviet takeover of Poland in WWII, so all of this is pretty much familiar to me.

The author of The Last Man in Russia interviewed a Ukrainian woman in Crimea after the vote:

I went to a cafĂ© with Tatyana Skorik, a handsome blonde Ukrainian woman whose hands shook throughout our conversation, a bracelet in the Ukrainian colors of blue and yellow trembling on her wrist. She had not gone to the square to see the Russians’ celebration, or even watched it on television. “I could not watch this, it would be like watching lunatics celebrate. The Soviet Union used to put sane people in mental hospitals, and that’s what I feel like, as if I am a sane person who’s been put in a mental hospital,” she said.

Skorik asked how Crimea could move from one country to another in just a few weeks. Where would it get gas, power and water—all of which come from mainland Ukraine? What would happen to the rights they had got used to? Would they have to adopt Russian laws, such as one that mandates prison for anyone supporting separatism? “We Christians believe we have three mothers: our mother, our motherland, and the Virgin Mary. I lost my mother to cancer a year ago, and now this cancer is killing my motherland. All I have left is the Virgin Mary,” she said.

Link: The Morning After: Crimea Awakens to Hangovers and Confusion

I think you'll find quite a lot of people in Crimea and the Ukraine who consider Ukraine a "real country". So when you say, "So what?", I'm just amazed, as if I could be amazed even more by this whole debacle.


Because the fear is all over that part of the world that Russia will not stop with Ukraine.

enjiner said...

"Austria as a Nation is finished, it is now a matter of keeping the bloodshed and human suffering that its demise entails to a minimum.

There is no real Government in Vienna, the people who claim they are donot even have control of the streets of "their" own capital for goodness sakes.

They have no army, or not one they can rely upon or trust, and no money the country is bankrupt.

All of this is going to take someone with the wisdom of Solomon to resolve and that someone aint Neville Chamberlain and that's a fact"

I'm guessing that's what you would have said back in 1938 Andrei? Or is it only good when Russia does it?

Andrei said...

The New Republic isn't hard core left wing propaganda site?


You could have fooled me.


Why do you care if Crimea returns to Russia?

Andrei said...

That analogy is facile

blairmulholland said...

The Russians aren't Nazis. But some of the Western Ukrainians are.

Lynda said...

Its a challenging situation. If we compare Russia to the USA in terms of American rights etc then they seem rather reprehensible. But the USA's understanding of rights is rights prior to anything else. This is erroneous and can become totalitarian; the many can be muzzled for the rights of the autonomous individual to do whatever. Russia sees rights perhaps in terms of what Russia permits. This is closer to Christianity in that truth is prior to rights. But there is a flow of rights and obligations. The problem is that Russia perhaps misses its own obligations and duties to human persons on the basis of their innate dignity not their Russianness. They can be and promote Russia and its values but not at the cost of innate human dignity. As a Catholic Christian well disposed to the Orthodox faith I worry that the Russian character of Russian Orthodoxy will suppress their Christianity. Will they act like Christians or Russians? I don't think the Orthodox priests on the ground will simply go with politics over social realities...at least I hope not.

Lynda said...

Eastern Europe has a profound history. Almost from its foundations it were the division between Byzantium and Rome met. Then the Ottoman Empire took its toll. Then Napoleon. Then the World War II and Marxism. Its understandable that a heady nationalism is the pivotal sense of freedom. Its a shame Russia and the West can't help them to form a nation rather than tugging on them for Russian and Western interests.

Lynda said...

Just a tiny point of clarification. I said earlier "The problem is that Russia perhaps misses its own obligations and duties to human persons on the basis of their innate dignity not their Russianness". That innate human dignity is Christological (or more broadly arising from Judeo Christianity). Human dignity is given in our createdness; as image and likeness of God. This was the error Maritain made in the UN construction....human beings of themselves without this 'image and likeness' of God don't have innate dignity. Rather it is bestowed on them by their Creator. Take away Christ (again Judeo Christianity) and human dignity unravels we head back into barbarianism.

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