18 March 2014


Today saw the first actual death in the 'war' between Russia and Ukraine, with a Ukrainian warrant officer killed when Russian forces stormed a base in Simferopol. One hopes that there isn't any more - I doubt either country really wants a proper war, but what people want and what they get are often not the same thing.
There is a valid case for a referendum on Crimea becoming part of the Russian Federation. However, when that referendum is conducted under what is basically a Russian occupation and with no international monitors present, it is completely invalid. The annexation of Crimea is illegal and invalid.

This said, I do wonder how far the West is prepared to go with sanctions... the EU economies are closely interlinked with Russia and cannot just cut them like what happened with Iran (the jury is still out on the effectiveness of those sanctions until any final deal is reached). Until something major happens in Moscow, Crimea is now a de facto part of Russia.

Oh, well, I needed to buy a new atlas anyway.

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