Sunday 17 November 2019

The Ukraine Crisis: Questions and Answers

Q&A

Soldiers who were among several hundred that took up positions around a Ukrainian military base stand near the base's periphery in Crimea on Sunday.
Soldiers who were among several hundred that took up positions around a Ukrainian military base stand near the base's periphery in Crimea on Sunday.

What does Vladimir Putin gain by seizing Crimea?

Immense bargaining power over the new government in Kiev. Now that he has 10,000 square miles of territory, he can try to shape the new government and gain a veto over decisions affecting Russian interests.

What might Russia do next?

The question is whether Mr Putin will go into eastern Ukraine. Crimea was taken mainly by using forces already there. Taking eastern Ukraine would mean an invasion and Mr Putin could hold this threat over the rulers to win more power.

What options does Ukraine's new government have?

In the event of an invasion of eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian army probably would be capable of inflicting losses on the Russians. Whether it could halt a Russian advance is another question.

What about the West?

America and its allies will try to exploit Mr Putin's Achilles' heel: the Russian economy, which has become stagnant in the previous few years.

How great are the chances of war?

A war between Russia and the West is highly unlikely. However, a war between Russia and Ukraine would start if Mr Putin invades the east.

But Ukraine's new government has clearly decided not to fight for Crimea. If the status quo persists, a war might yet be avoided.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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