Thursday, March 06, 2014

Crimea

Andrew Higgins, writing in the NYT, has some observations from Sevastopol. Quick summary, its complicated but there is a lot of Russian feeling there:

Explaining the city’s agonies this week to a group of visitors, mostly Russians, at Sevastopol’s Crimean War museum, Irina Neverova, a guide, recounted how Britain, France, Turkey, Germany and other nations had all tried, and ultimately failed, to loosen Russia’s grip over the centuries.

“Every stone and every tree in Sevastopol is drenched in blood, with the bravery and courage of Russian soldiers,” said Ms. Neverova, who complained that school history textbooks written under instructions from Ukrainian officials made scant mention of Sevastopol’s heroics and focused instead on the deeds of Ukrainian nationalist fighters in the west of Ukraine, whom many Russians view as traitors, not heroes.

Of course there is a substantial non-Russian minority there who now feel trapped.

It seems unlikely that Putin will be dislodged from Crimea. The big question is whether he will try to grab more or all of Ukraine.