Global Tensions Spread from Crimean Peninsula

Posted on April 8, 2014 by


The wars in the Middle East have been replaced by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia as the hot topic in foreign affairs. Russia recently invaded its neighbor Ukraine, a country of about 233,000 square miles and 45 million people.

Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union on 24 August 1991. Viktor Yanukovych was kicked out of parliament 21 February 2014.  Oleksandr Turchynov is the current president.

Russia has a naval fleet in the Black Sea guarding the Crimean Peninsula. Ukraine and Russia reached a deal with each other to keep the fleet stationed there until 2042. This has all the gas and oil pipes that go to Russia. Russia supplies about 30% of the oil and natural gas in Europe.

According to the New York Times, Russia announced new military operations in several regions near the Ukraine boarder.

Russia has a total of 774,500 soldiers compared to the Ukraine’s 139,000. Russia has 2,850 tanks, and Ukraine has 735. Russia has 219 ships to Ukraine’s 25. Russia’s military expenses are around $78 billion, dwarfing Ukraine’s meager $1.6 billion.

The Russian Prime Minister had these harsh words for Obama on the sanctions:

“I think the decree of the president of the United States was written by some joker.”

“We need to show solidarity with Ukraine, and therefore Russia leaves us no choice,” the Polish Prime Minister said.

Crimea had a vote and they are a part of Russia now.

“The crisis in Ukraine calls for a far more significant response from the United States. Today’s Executive Order could be an important part of that response, but sanctioning only seven Russian officials is wholly inadequate at this stage,” Senator John McCain said.

“The U.S. and our European partners must quickly ramp up pressure on Vladimir Putin and his accomplices to show that their aggression in Crimea and beyond will hurt personally,” Ed Royce said. “Putin has engineered this confrontation. We should show him and his accomplices that they will pay a heavy price if they don’t respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

There are about 3,200 Ukrainian descendants living in Berks County, history teacher Paul Kochanasz among them. There are about 3,600 Russian descendants living in Berks County.

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