Could the Crimean crisis spark a war?
Vladimir Putin has obtained parliamentary approval for troop deployments not just in Crimea, but Ukraine as a whole. Moscow, which regards the new authorities in Kiev as fascists, could send troops to “protect” ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
That would enrage nationalists in western Ukraine, who hold positions in the new government. There could also be international repercussions. Western powers have strongly condemned the Crimea takeover. Nato is unlikely to react militarily, but is beefing up air force cover in the Baltic republics, warning of increased Russian military activity in the enclave of Kaliningrad.
The US and EU are considering sanctions, but President Putin may believe that they will not last – as was the case during the Georgian war.
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