flamming_python wrote:Crimea is a deadweight without the rest of Eastern Ukraine; both strategically and economically. The access route to the peninsula will be cut except via a new Kerch bridge, and the region's economy (hardly great - it makes its bucks off tourism) will be completely reliant on Russia; moreover it won't be recognized by anyone else.
Crimea is actually a region that wont be totally reliant for russia. It has shipbuilding and fishing industries, and of course tourism.
It's quite economically underdeveloped; compared to the Ukraine on average. It's a receiver of federal funds, not a donor of them. If you're looking for shipbuilding - then you can look at Nikolayev, Kherson maybe. The majority of industry in Eastern Ukraine is located in places like Dneprpetrovsk, Donbass, Kharkov, etc... not the Crimea.
Biggest trouble though, is that it would literally be cut off from mainland Ukraine. I'd imagine that this is with who most of its trade is with, not to mention tourism. Tourism can be made up for by Russia, but the trade will be harder to replace.
Remember that the Crimea has been part of the Ukraine's rusting industries and fail economy for the past 23 years. Who in Russia will be interested in the Crimea's exports?
Heck, Russian tourists might not even be interested in what the Crimea has to offer; I mean what kind of tourist infrastructure is there anyhow, compared to places like Egypt, Turkey, Mallorca, Cyprus, even Krasnodar Krai, etc... that the Russian tourist has been spoiled with over the last decade?
If the Crimea today is still like when I visited there back in 2001; then it may be a beautiful country alright, but the facilities just won't cut it.
BSF's position will now be more compromised not less; before we had a neutralish Ukraine with the BSF in Sevastopol. Now we're in danger of having that same fleet in the same place but surrounded by NATO forces right next door in Odessa, Mariupol, Nikolayev, etc... or at the very least a hostile Ukraine that will cause problems and invite the US the first chance it gets.
The situation was grave, nationalsts and nazis are in power in Ukraine and was to kick out both BSF as well as russian culture from Crimea. Nato forces are already on the south and west coast of black sea, to keep Crimea as main naval base for BSF is very very important.
Hah! All the new authorities said (not that we should recognize them), is that Russia should respect the Ukraine's "European choice", but that they are ready to do business with us, and develop ties. No threats or anything there against the BSF or anything else.
Nazis haven't disappeared, they haven't demobilized, disarmed, etc... they are there patrolling around and waiting on the sidelines for their time to come, just like the Bolsheviks after the February revolution.
But... for now at least in the new parliament they've been mostly sidelined; their leader secured a 2nd line post.
While Svoboda's initiatives looked more like trolling and populism than any real attempt at threatening Russia.
Basically what I'm saying is that there was no real threat to the BSF. No-one is offering the Ukraine NATO or EU membership anyway, and especially not after what has just transpired.
Now this isn't to say that we should have accepted the putshchists, or let them have the Crimea. Just that it's perfectly possible to refuse to recognize them and do as we please, even without introducing any forces in theater.
I mean, what were they going to do? The Ukrainian army had been neutral all throughout the crisis. Why would it have suddenly started listening to the putschists if they ordered it to storm Crimea?
And anything else would have ended in failure; half the Berkut units in the entire country ended up in the Crimea, and set up their own checkpoints there, defenses; complete with their own arsenals of machine guns, grenade launchers, etc...
That's not to mention the large number of volunteers and the Sevastopol militia, who could have be trained and armed if need be.
Access to the Crimea is very easy to control.
And of course if the new government DID use the military, then THAT'S when Russia should have introduced it's own forces, and rapdily mobilised its marines who are already stationed there and could respond very quickly if needed.
The Crimea has to be integrated into either a federalised, de-centralised, neutral or Russia-friendly Ukraine; or become part of a new South-East Ukrainian republic; comprised of the Nikolayev, Odessa, Kherson, Zaporozhia and Donetsk regions at the least - to secure the entire Black Sea coast and to secure access to Pridnestrovie.
Those are the only possible positive outcomes. A Malorussian republic would be good, if a federal state can't be agreed upon. But looking at the current state of things - a dim prospect so far; most of these regions right now are fairly passive and subordinate to Kiev.
In fact Nikolayev, Odessa, Kherson, Zaporozhia and Donetsk have expressed their will to join Crimean region and vote for independence and assosiation with russia. Either way, Crimea is back under russian rule and will stay that way. Not a deadweight but a strong region with huge strategic value and a prosperus future with russia.
They're all suckering out, the authorities in Kiev are tightening their grip and they have a good amount of people from exactly such regions as Odessa, Kherson & Zaporozhia on their side. Pro-Russians in these regions aren't doing anything. I really don't think the Russian operation to seize the Crimea helped matters. In fact I think it weakened the resistance in these regions against the center; because now the conflict has shifted to one between Russia and the Ukraine; people are afraid of getting accused of seperatism while many who were neutral before are now pissed off at Russia.
Since the Russian military started disarming the Ukrainian military; a lot of them have now openly taken the side of the putschists too.
The situation therefore, if it doesn't get result as part of a Russia-West agreement, could be quite dire; the BSF will be surrounded by angry hohols from Odessa to Melitopol. They won't be able to do anything themselves of course, but in time they could invite in somebody who could.