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Russia’s desire for naval ports explained a lot, be it the annexation of Koningsberg (now Kaliningrad) at the end of WWII, Poti in 2008 and the move to secure Sevastopol in 2014.
Gromit’s comments about Putin are quite accurate: he (and not only he of course) is a gangster and those sorts of people have no moral compass: if they want something, they take it if there’s no cost to them
Russia has a similar problem with its naval base at St. Petersburg. The Russian navy has to pass Estonia (a NATO member) to reach the North Sea. Which is why Russia sabre rattles with Estonia.
I am not really into Russian politics but dont they have elections in Russia?....is Putin a new Stalin or something?Cant the Russian people not just vote him out,like the Yanks did with another nut-job,Trump?
Gromit, I wrote, "With the collapse of communism, & the removal of the 'Iron Curtain' Putin moved back all Russian military to within Russia's borders"

You are correct, that should not have been 'Putin', but, of course, the Russian Administration.
Khandro
The Russians did not withdraw from Sebastopol. And never will. Even if that means war.
Crimea has belonged to Russia since Catherine the Great & was given to Ukraine as a gift. 'Presidium of the Supreme Council gathered for a session on 19 February 1954 when only 13 of 27 members were present. There was no quorum, but the decision was adopted unanimously.

The transfer of the Crimean Oblast to Ukraine has been described as a "symbolic gesture", marking the 300th anniversary of the 1654 Treaty of Pereyaslav. That "symbolic gesture" came out as a post factum and was never discussed as one of the reasons prior to the transfer which was attributed to Nikita Khrushchev.

It made little difference at the time for Russia to access the Black Sea via Crimea, but with the dissolution of the USSR it was critical for them that it was regained.
It is unbelievable to think Russia would invade Ukraine, but i would not trust Putin, he has turned into a dangerous despot.
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"It made little difference at the time for Russia to access the Black Sea via Crimea, but with the dissolution of the USSR it was critical for them that it was regained. "

As previously explained, Russia never lost access to the Black Sea as the Russian navy never left Sevastopol, where it co-existed with the Ukrainian navy.
As also previously explained, Russia was due to vacate the base by 2017 but under the Yanukovich presidency this peolicy appeared to be reversed.
Regrettably, since Russia's annexation of the peninsula in 2014, it has resumed ethnic cleansing of the returned Tatar population, originally carried out by Stalin in the 1940s.
The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken commented re the recent events in Kazakhstan that once you invite Russians into your house it can be difficult getting them to leave, but the real issue is what they do once there.
Surely Putin should remember history.Didnt Hitler say the invasion of the USSR back in 1941 would be a formality,all over by xmas,etc.Putin is probably saying the same thing about invading Ukraine.Got your pistol ready in the bunker underneath the Kremlin,Putin?
ichi: //Russia never lost access to the Black Sea as the Russian navy never left Sevastopol, where it co-existed with the Ukrainian navy.//

That's exactly what I said - before the dissolution of the USSR it was all one entity.
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Do you didn’t FWIW

You said it was critical to regain it
ichi //You said it was critical to regain it//

Of course it was, because after the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine became an independent nation state & Crimea was no longer part of their 'empire' & they could no longer access their fleet without crossing another country.

The blunder was, as I said earlier made in the 50s, giving Crimea as a gesture to Ukraine in the first place, which is considered to have been an illegal, unconstitutional act anyway.
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Of course they could access it!
They had the same “access” as they have to the annexed territory of Kaliningrad.
They do not have land access to Sevastopol other than the bridge that now exists across the Kerch (“The Crimean Bridge Built With Love” lol)
The danger is they could still try to occupy SE Ukraine to create a land route
I personally think the assessment would be that the cost would be too high, and posturing with a troop build up is more the intention - but you have to assume the worst sometimes to stop the worst from happening
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“ which is considered to have been an illegal, unconstitutional act anyway”

by you :-)
Conveniently ignoring the events of 2014 and the commandeering of Crimea’s autonomous parliament etc
Why you apologise for this is your business of course
good thread itch
thx
ichi ; You are continually blindsided by your personal connections to Ukraine I think. These are the historic facts which go back a long way before 2014:

https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2014/02/27/283481587/crimea-a-gift-to-ukraine-becomes-a-political-flash-point?t=1642423710461
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We all know the history Khandro and your interpretation of it is as biased as anyone’s.
Especially the startling idea that the Soviet Union’s ceding of Crimea was “illegal” (!)
I’m simply going by the events of 2014 which were by any standards “illegal”. And it’s something the entire civilised world holds to be true
ichi: //.. the startling idea that the Soviet Union’s ceding of Crimea was “illegal” (!)//

I say the decision to donate Crimea to Ukraine was illegal, because the meeting at which it was decided was not quorate & no minutes were kept.

btw, I also remember the decision had something to do with the fact that Khrushchev's mother lived there, & who would want to argue with Khrushchev anyway?
Ukraine and Russia signed ‘a big treaty’ in 1997. Amongst other things it forbid either country from invading the other.
Gromit, I think that was a bit of a one-sided treaty don't you think?
How would you rate the chances of Ukraine invading Russia?

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