Why Crimea? It is home to those persons of Russian ancestry who were granted passage and encouraged to move there by current President Vladimir Putin and prior Russian leaders in an attempt to gentrify this eastern portion of Ukraine.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union under the stewardship of Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian business leaders and former KGB operatives, not to mention the military, have felt humiliated by the change brought on by Western forces led by the United States.
It is Putin’s singular mission to erase that loss of territory and influence. His show of force in Crimea (eastern Ukraine) and troops on the border of Western Ukraine are designed to firmly reestablish a one Russia model. But overlooked in the New World Order that Putin now seeks to establish, are the economics that will once again prove to be the Achilles Heel of his Russian unification initiative.
True, Russia has vast oil reserves and pipelines that flow through Ukraine that in turn supply much of Eastern Europe. The shut off of the pipeline could wreak havoc for a moment. But this is not the world of 1950 or ’60 or 70’ or ’80 or 1990. It is money that motivates those who have supported Putin’s ambitions. Just as most of the Western Allies are seeking any alternative to “boots on the ground” and “Hell fire missiles” flying over head, the same is true of the Russian Oligarchy. These men will stand behind Putin as long as the Land grab equates to money and power.
Is Western Ukraine next? Yes. This would complete the unification of all of the territory lost with the end of the Cold War. There will be no military action from the West, despite the recent pact signed by the Allies with Ukraine's interim President Oleksandr Turchyno. There is simply no interest among the American Public in particular to either lob bombs or put “boots on the ground” in support of a country where we have no direct interest and shows no immediate effects on the U.S. economy.
High anxiety will reign in Eastern Europe. But that is a story for another day.
President Barak Obama has limited options that are based on how far European Allies led by Germany want to go. Again, aside from the use of Special Forces personnel on secret missions and continued economic pressure, Obama’s hands are tied.
In the end, Putin will annex Western Ukraine and there will be one Russia again. Putin cares not about economic sanctions or threats from the West that have no military force behind them. History repeats itself. Once again we have strongmen oblivious to civilization in favor of the kind of “one land, one king” attitude that felled Czars of old, Kings of England, and Pharaohs of Egypt.