Vladimir Putin once said this:
“Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory.”
This was in 2005. Here we are, nine years later, and Putin's Russian Federation has re-taken control of the Ukrainian region of Crimea. 60 years ago Crimea was given to Ukraine. Russia took Crimea back. The referendum where over 90% of the people voted to rejoin Russia, there's evidence that the ballots were tampered with, pre-marked.
Imagine this: Someone gives you a gift. The gift that you were given was in the giver's family for generations. The giver at the time felt that you deserved the gift. Time goes by, and you've become used to the gift, you admire the gift every day, it's something that has become a part of your life. Now imagine that the person who gave you that gift, suddenly wanted that gift back. You didn't want to give it back, it's your gift, it belongs to you. But the giver demands that if you don't give it back, he will use force to take it from you. VERY reluctantly, you give the gift back to avoid further conflict.
This is what Russia has done to Ukraine. Russia has taken back its gift. If the Ukrainians balked, Russia had its forces on standby to seize the country by force. A couple of minor scuffles broke out, but it was a largely peaceful takeover. Unfortunately, Putin isn't satisfied with just Crimea.
It is looking more and more likely that the Russian Federation will soon invade eastern Ukraine. Kharkov, Donetsk, Odessa, those areas will probably be under Russian control in the not-so-distant future. The Russian opinion polls show that the vast majority of the people want to re-establish the Soviet Union. Re-take regions that were once Russian territory. The economic consequences would be severe, yes, but Vladimir Putin would solidify his legacy as a Russian hero, the man responsible for the rise of the Second Soviet Union. And to the Russian president, all that matters is power, control, legacy, and expansion.
About The Author
Matthew Frank Kot was born and raised here in Sault Ste Marie. He first starting writing articles for Soonews.ca in early 2008, becoming the city's youngest columnist and journalist. He then went on to write for Local2, and for a short time had his "MATTer of Opinion" column on SaultOnline.com. Matthew was very involved in the 2010 and 2014 Municipal Elections and wrote several opinion pieces about important issues. In 2011, Matthew started Sault Transit Reform and has continued advocating for a better transit system since then.