Mar 25, 2014

Don’t overthink Russia, we’re all Transnistrians now

Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea because Kosovo. Because Mom jeans. Because shirt off. The neocon Right projects its own failed fantasies onto cautious Russian realpolitik.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Six years ago, a month or so before the 2008 United States election, the Russians invaded Georgia after months of back-and-forth between the Russians and the Georgians over South Ossetia, the breakaway Russian-majority province that had ended up in Georgia during the carve-up of the USSR.


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11 thoughts on “Don’t overthink Russia, we’re all Transnistrians now

  1. klewso

    Russia is in the doldrums, Putin needs a distraction? Ukraine almost understand Vlad following that precedent set by the “Coalition of the Shilling”, acting on dodgy intelligence, for the benefit of the folks back home?

  2. Steve777

    “Thus Afghanistan, had it been run on the model of Putin’s Georgia invasion…”. I’m not sure what that would mean? That the USA should have invaded and detached portions of Afghanistan to create small client states, leaving the rest of the country to the Taliban? What would that have achieved? Not much, although nor has the strategy that was actually followed. Certainly it would have been far less costly in lives and treasure.

  3. Stevo the Working Twistie

    Hang on. If I’m Transnistrian now, do I lose the periwig and harpsichord?

  4. ianjohnno

    Thanks, Guy.
    I also remember Reagan’s invasion of mighty Grenada in 1983 – possibly the only truly successful US military action since WWII.

  5. Ian Brown

    ” …that Crimea holds Russia’s only warm-water port access…”

    Que? Google Maps show an extensive Russian coastline in the Black Sea. According to this “Stars & Stripes” piece dated 3/3/2014( )

    “Although Russia continues to construct a navy base in its own territory in Novorossisk, near Sochi, analysts agree that Sevastopol remains the navy’s preferred base in the Black Sea region because of its size, location and infrastructure.”

  6. AR

    The OZ, as usual, is vapouring away with fascinating claims such as Russia will collapse if the EU ceases to buy its gas – because the wunnerful US can simply ship all their spare gas over to make up for eschewing the filthy kommi stuff, which rots your stoves anyway.

  7. fractious

    A bit too much flowery language for me Mr Rundle, but points well made. Certainly got me thinking a bit more deeply than I had about what Putin is really up to.

  8. Iskandar

    Guy, if your simple, rational and, I believe, essentially correct summation of the Ukraine/Crimea situation was all that was needed to be said, what else would the hyper-ventilating neocon-controlled scribes of the corporate media have to fulminate about? The late lamented Gore Vidal, who saw things more clearly than most, once predicted that the National Security State would one day set Russia up as an enemy again. Perhaps he is looking down, shaking his head and thinking “here they go again”.

  9. j.oneill

    The only thing misusing from an otherwise excellent piece Guy was a discussion on the asinine response of the Australian government, desperate as always to play lapdog to the failing empire aka the USA. There have been a number of thoughtful discussions in foreign outlets, but one looks in vain for a similar analysis in our msm.

    Pepe Escobar has again hit the nail on the head with his analysis in Asia Times Online when he points out that Russia holds all the aces, because Europe needs Russia more than Russia needs them. Her predicts that after a spell of huffing and puffing from the usual suspects the whole episode will be forgotten in 12 months. I hope he is right. The danger is that the neo-con hotheads in the US and their Oz echo chamber will drive us into another pointless war.

  10. Keith Thomas

    Ian Brown – the point about the port and facilities on the Crimean peninsula is that they are already established and operating and huge. The situation for Russia became urgent once the Russians’ tenure of their other warm water port – Tartus in Syria – became at high risk of falling to the anti-Assad lot.

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