All this talk of Russian expansion is just off, the thing that Russia wants to secure is the naval base in Crimea, they are not going for more land grabs that mean very little.
I've seen this sort of comment here and there... But I have not seen documentation that the new Ukrainian government was going to somehow undo the whole base lease anywhere. Have you? I do understand the renewal of the lease happened in a turbulent time before the former president was ejected... But was the opposition actually campaigning not
to renew the lease, as a major platform? I'm not really clear about that.
Apart from that... No military threat to speak of, and Russia's taking over a whole region. That is not simply and legally reinforcing where they normally had treaty rights to add troops on the base
anyway. I get more the impression that Putin wants people to believe everyone with arms in Ukraine is either a Nazi, or supporting Russian intervention. But if you don't buy that, then why would he need so many more
troops deployed all over the region to "secure" bases that already have thousands and haven't been attacked at all?
Going or not going for more land... There is the little matter of Lavrov saying Russia may be "forced" to "protect" people in Eastern Ukraine such as Donetsk... Which is the same language used about Crimea. That really comes off more like going
, so far.
Finally, while there may be a certain tradition of major powers claiming greater rights to meddle with their close neighbors, relying on that alone as justification for whatever Putin feels like... Well, that would suggest that the US has every right to attack Venezuela, or Cuba for that matter. And just how close or far is a "backyard" anyway in the age of long-range radar (remember that little system proposed for Poland) and cruise missiles? Could get a bit out of hand fast, for lack of ethical basis. At an extreme someone could argue that you know, Japan was right in the Pacific War and actually eastern Siberia is their
"near abroad" and of much more value to them than to very distant Moscow...