Today there was a bit of relief from the building tension when Vladimir Putin said there was no need for immediate action in Ukraine. Just as quickly as that happened, Russia fired an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.
Reuters reports that a US official said proper notification of the ICBM test was given prior to the launch, and the dummy warhead hit its target as expected...
The Obama Administration is urging a pullback by Russia in Ukraine. That likelihood would appear slim regardless of the hour you're checking..
But in trying to understand what exactly is happening in Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia, one must consider several things.
The only part of Ukraine with a majority of Russians today is Crimea.. Crimea was a 'gift' to Russia in the mid 1950s. But it goes back further than a present to the USSR: In the 1800s, there were three years of bloody fighting between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain, and Sardinia. Russia lost that war but Crimea remained a part of the motherland.
Besides a bloody history, there's another important feature in this part of the Russian continent: Gas! Gas and EU agreements--and Russia supplying a lot of the product to Europe.
To understand the crisis, there's history and lots of text to pour over. It's not easy--no war ever starts out of no where and no peace ever comes from war. We are heading into troubled times, I fear..
In 2012, President Obama scored debate points over Mitt Romney when he joked that the 1980s were calling to ask for its foreign policy back. Obama went on to say that the Cold War was over and that Russia was not an enemy. Mitt Romney responded by saying that Russia was a geopolitical foe.
I don't present these videos as any endorsement of a candidate (or former candidate) but as a message: You never know where your foreign policy crisis may be. And it's also never safe to assume State Department or CIA meddling in an independent nation will ever lead to any good results.