It started with Ukraine's financial problems. Ukraine was trying to work out a deal with the IMF but Russia offered them a $15 billion bailout. The bailout included subsidies for oil. Ukraine does not have its own independent source for oil and actually depends on the Russia to provide it. You may be familiar with Russia turning off Ukraine's supply of oil many times in the past. The majority of people in Ukraine wanted to work with the European Union however Russia's influence on Ukraine (because of the bail out, and the oil subsidies, as well as threats to cut off all access to oil) made the Ukrainian government side with Russia as opposed to working out the trade deal with the European Union.
The people of Ukraine were extremely upset and protested. Eventually protests that were peaceful turned violent. Some of the protests where co-opted by Neo Nazi organizations, and other extremely right wing (and violent) individuals.
The government then made a series of anti-protest laws that were simply ridiculous. For example, simply protesting in front of a building and making it harder for people to enter that building can get you 6 years in prison. If you gather with a group and simply talk negatively about certain members of the government you can now get as much as 2 years in prison. The laws had the opposite effect and made the protestors even more violent.
Within a matter of days the laws were repealed and eventually the protesters successfully ousted the prime minister (who now has been seen in Moscow). The government started negotiating with the protestors. Progress and financial independence from Russia seemed inevitable. This made Putin very angry because this meant that Ukraine would switch their allegiance from Russia to the European Union and the IMF.
Putin wants to create a post communist Eurasian union which Kazakhstan and Belarus have already agreed to join. Many believe that this union is simply a disguise for combining all the post-communist countries into one huge organization resembling the USSR once again. This is the crux of the protesters argument.
Putin believes that even though he has gained support for this union in other post communist countries, the protests in Ukraine might remove some of the successes he has gained. Furthermore, this could potentially stop other post communist countries from joining the union, thus he is putting military pressure to ensure that the protests do not leak to other post communist Eastern European nations.
The WWIII aspect plays into this because Ukraine is requesting NATO support, which the US is part of, but this is not just limited to United States, Ukraine and Russia. NATO consists of 28 sovereign countries that have agreed to support each other militarily in case they are invaded. Many of those countries have other alliances which would increase the number of nations involved in any potential military intervention. The US has warned Russia as has have many other countries that their actions "have consequences".
The question now is what will Russia do? If they don't leave will NATO take military action against Russia? If so, will China support Russia? Pretty soon this could escalate to into war with 35+ countries engaging in military action.
Personally, I don't think we'll get there - but it is a real risk, and one that needs serious thought on how it can be avoided without Putin having to go back with his tail between his legs. If he can't save face this can start another Cold War.
Here's my prediction how it will play out:
1. Easy sanctions from the EU & US will begin. Nothing serious. A pull out from G-8, and a bunch of posturing on TV, and the media.
2 The UN Security Council will do nothing more than censure Russia.
3 NATO's leader right now is sympathetic to their cause. He will try to gain support. The US will make troop movements.
4 China will be courted to make concessions. They will not partake.
5 Sanctions get harder. Oil trade and assets for Russia are blocked.
6 Putin leaves Ukraine.
Creative Director of Mind Camp Technologies
I have become rather enveloped in the social media wave as well as the explosive tech industry that has come about in the last few years, most of my tech thoughts are published on memeburn.
Also as a side note, a Designer, Photoshop junkie, stalker of internet trends, utterly addicted to Google. Oh yeah, and in love with my iPhone
Have Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design specialising in Advertising. Now I know thats practically saying I’m good at making pretty pictures that lie to you, but I swear I’m one of the good guys… honest… no really… stop looking at me like that…
I have accumulated experience in both print and web media over the years working with and pitching to a wide range of clients from CocaCola and FNB to local fashion designers and Chamber Orchestra of Johannesburg.
In 2010 I started Mind Camp Technologies with great developer colleague Joaquim Rodrigues and we have been helping a wide, and some times weird, variety of clients with their digital needs.
If you want to be added to one of my interest-based circles for posts, please let me know:
- Social Media
- Google Nuts
- Apple Fanboys
Summary of What is the situation with Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea?
It started with Ukraine's financial problems. Ukraine was trying to work out a deal with the IMF but Russia offered them a $15 billion bailo
Google rejection: A story of being turned down, and how I'd fix Google+
Recently, for the first time in my career, I was turned down for a job I badly wanted. The aim of the position was to elevate awareness, tho
Want proof that Google+ is no ghost town? Look at how it's being used | ...
Google+ has been Larry Page’s main project since he took the CEO reins of Google and has pushed strongly for it to be the social spine that
First full length 'Guardians of the Galaxy' trailer will get your geeky ...
American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel premiered the first trailer of the highly anticipated Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy.And the ...
Google vs Russia, Facebook timetravel and Ballmer on the curb: #StuffToK...
It's been kind of a needly week online. Google's decided to take on Russia in winter at the same time as science has been taking on God in K
20 Things That Mentally Strong People Don't Do | Elite Daily
I often write about the things I believe we all should be doing, trying or experimenting with in order to maximize our success and happiness
Twitter / twitter: We're now rolling out a refreshed ...
Instantly connect to what's most important to you. Follow your friends, experts, favorite celebrities, and breaking news.
Google doles out $3.2bn for smart thermostat maker Nest Labs | memeburn
Boom... 2014 just got its first really big acquisition. Google has just announced that it has struck a deal to buy Nest Labs, best known for
Gmail now lets you email people on Google+ | memeburn
Many of us who network via the web find one another and communicate on a forum or social media platform and create connections but don’t hav
Movies aren't just starting to influence tech, they always have | memeburn
I heard once that the CIA investigated the producers of Star Trek because they were showing technology on their show that was actually in pr
12 Comedian Quotes to Help You Laugh Through Relationship Hiccups
Happy relationships require laughter. Instead of practicing knock-knock jokes, find humor in love, with help from comedians.
10 amazing tech articles to read these holidays | memeburn
It’s that time of the year where everything starts to wind down (well except the retail industry, but you know what I mean). The staff compo
Printed eyes, Lego cars, Chuck Norris splits and Obama vs NSA: #StuffToK...
The NSA is really getting wave after wave of pressure from all sides to curb their tactics after Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing caused a ri
Chuck Norris shows Jean-Claude Van Damme how an epic split is done | mem...
Chuck Norris is, well, Chuck freaking Norris, so he couldn’t have people going around thinking that he was not the toughest bad guy around a
Yahoo collapses, Firefox drops Java and Instagram kills Snapchat: #Stuff...
While the pope is the person of the year, Yahoo Mail is the undoubted failure of the week. Firefox meanwhile has decided to block Java. YouT