The State of Play in Ukraine and the Crimea

The Russians continue to bully the Ukrainians, stating that Ukrainian forces in the Crimea should “surrender and disarm by this morning or risk coming under attack.” More here. Of course, it should surprise no one to find out that the gangsters in Moscow are not listening to the pleas of the international community to stop the assault on Ukraine, and that world markets are reacting extremely negatively to news of the invasion. It should also surprise no one to find out that under Russian pressure, pro-Russian stooges in Crimea are working to cut off water and power to Ukrainian troops.

The United States has responded by suspending military engagements with Russia, and further economic sanctions and efforts to diplomatically isolate Russia are in the works. One hopes that these efforts work. One also hopes that this Russian military adventure does indeed turn out to be a disaster for Russia; more here on the argument that the invasion will turn out to be a disaster for Russia. Still, I have little trouble buying into the Washington Post editorial page’s argument that the Obama administration is trying to implement a foreign policy vision that does not take power politics into account, and that as a consequence, it keeps getting caught off guard when power politics are played by other countries–especially by Russia.