By Jack Minor –
Political experts have expressed sentiments that the ongoing events in Ukraine are reminiscent of events during the Cold War. The observation is particularly interesting when one considers the roots of the current situation go back to the days of Nikita Khrushchev.
The stakes were raised over the weekend as Russian troops have taken over the strategic Crimean Peninsula, home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. According to reports, the Russians were able to take control of the peninsula without firing a shot.
The invasion follows Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval from the Russian parliament to use the military to protect what they see as Russia’s interest in the region.
The move by Putin is also a direct rebuff to the United States and President Obama, who had warned on Friday that “there will be costs” if Russia intervened in the region. However, the president failed to lay out any specific steps America might take against the Russian giant.
Events unfolding have caused some to make analogies to the Cold War. The reference is even more poignant when one considers that Putin is a former member of the KGB, the dreaded Soviet spy organization that struck fear in the hearts of citizens of the USSR.
Current events began after Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych decided to turn Ukraine back towards Russia, rather than the European Union. This resulted in protests that ended up installing a new government in Kiev. If the Cold War analogy proves correct it would be ironic as the roots of the current conflict actually began during the height of the Cold War.
The Crimean Peninsula is practically an island, connected to the mainland only by a narrow strip of land in the north. On the eastern shore, a small finger of land nearly reaches out to Russia. The Crimean Peninsula is the location of the historic Yalta Conference where President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin met to discuss the postwar division of Europe.