MAP: Why Europe Is Dismayed By Russia's Invasion Of Crimea

The PBS Newshour had top-notch coverage of the Ukraine crisis last night.

Gwen Ifill noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin reserved the right to intervene where ethnic Russian are under threat of “lawlessness,” then quoted U.S. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey saying how dangerous that would be:

“If Russia is allowed to do this, which is to say move into a sovereign country under the guise of protecting ethnic Russians in Ukraine, it exposes Eastern Europe to some significant risk, because there are ethnic enclaves all over Eastern Europe and the Balkans,” Gen. Dempsey told PBS on Friday.

Here’s a map of the ares in question, which includes a substantial part of eastern Ukraine as well as five other post-Soviet states.

Januzs Bugajaski of the Center for Strategic and International Studies explained Europe’s perspective on the map:

“There’s a palpable fear throughout Eastern Europe that the Russian government no longer respects the borders of Europe, the map of Europe, that it will unilaterally change the borders of its neighbours on the pretext whether of defending minority rights, restoring law and order, or whatever it is, in order to try to expand its influence and expand its control over parts of territories of neighbouring countries,”

Later in the interview, Bugajaski added: “
It opens the Pandora’s box to potential annexation of numerous neighbouring states of Russia.”

On Tuesday, Estonia’s foreign minister said that “Russian aggression changes the situation for the whole of Europe.”

Last week, Poland invoked a NATO rule allowing any ally to consult with the others if it feels its security is under threat.

That makes sense since the post-Soviet states are the geographical buffer between Europe and Russia.

Here’s the initial report:

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