Ukraine, Russia, and Putin Ethnic Protection or Rise of the New Cold War?
History of the Modern Conflict • 1945-1990- Soviet Union controls Eastern Europe either directly or through puppet governments • The countries with puppet governments begin to protest and break-away in the late 1980s • Aug 1991- Ukraine declares independence from Russia • As part of the independence deal with Russia, Ukraine surrenders all nuclear weapons that belonged to the Soviet Union • Dec 1991- Ukraine holds an “independence referendum” and over 90% of the population votes yes.
Descent into Chaos • Nov 2013 – Cabinet abandons an agreement that would create closer ties with the EU • Dec 2013 – Small protests turn into a massive Occupy movement with over 800,000 protesters in Kiev • Putin agrees to buy $15 billion of Ukrainian debt and reduce price of Russian gas • 16-23 Jan 2014 – Parliament passes anti-protest laws. Later 2 people become first deaths. Protesters storm regional government offices in W. Ukraine • Feb 2014 – Protests become increasingly violent culminating on 20 Feb where 88 people are killed in 48 hours.
New “Legit” Leadership • 22 Feb – President Yanukovych disappears. Parliament appoints Turchynov as interim President, and an arrest warrant is issued for the former president. • 27 Feb – Pro-Russian gunmen seize key buildings in Crimean Capital • 1 Mar – Russian Parliament authorizes Putin to use force to “protect Russian interests” • 7 Mar – Russia says it will support Crimea if it votes to leave Ukraine
Anyone for a Second Cold War? • 13 Mar – Ukraine’s parliament votes to create a 60,000 member National Guard • 16 Mar – 97% of Crimean voters choose to choose to leave Ukraine and join Russia • 18 Mar – Putin signs a bill to absorb the Crimea into Russia • 1 Apr – NATO suspends all civilian and military cooperation with Russia • 7 Apr – Protesters attempt to repeat what Crimea did in several eastern Ukrainian regions • 15 Apr – Acting President declares “anti-terrorist operations” to combat the pro-Russian rebels. (doesn’t work)
How does it end? • 20 Apr – The shooting of 3 people manning a pro-Russian checkpoint infuriates Russia • 22 Apr – Ukraine orders a re-launch of military operations to counter against pro-Russian militants • 25-27 Apr- 8 international military observers are detained by pro-Russian rebels as spies • 1 May – Ukraine re-instates conscription (draft) and is now on full combat alert. • Late May – Eastern Ukraine will hold elections to join Russia.
Let’s Discuss • Should someone (the US, NATO, EU, Micronesia, etc…) intervene to stop Russian expansion? • Who should do it?