Social media can be a powerful tool, especially when considering how it empowers regular people with the ability to reach a large audience. It certainly played a prominent role in the Arab Spring protests of 2010, when protestors took to Twitter and Facebook to document the uncensored reality of their experience.
When the pundits talk about Vladimir Putin’s offensive in Ukraine, they usually mean troops and tanks, but his greatest weapons are ,in fact, his propaganda machine and the gullible western media. So far, he has been winning stunning victories without firing a shot.
The U.S. won't send a presidential delegation to the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the White House announced Monday in response to Russia's military advances in Ukraine. President Obama is still in full support of the U.S. athletes and wishes them success, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.
Turkey will do everything possible for the Crimea to remain part of Ukraine, according to the Head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Ahmet Davutoglu. "Turkey will make every effort to secure Crimea’s future within Ukraine’s territorial integrity," he wrote on Twitter.
A little more than a week after the Ukrainian Parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and Putin's Winter Olympics in Sochi came to an end, Russian troops are now in control over Crimea, a chunk of Ukraine a bit larger than Vermont. Russian troops are consolidating their hold on the region, and Ukraine's still-shaky interim government is trying to organize a coherent response.
President Obama's diplomatic effort to head off a violent breakup of Ukraine ran aground Saturday as a top U.N. envoy was blocked from a peace mission to the disputed region of Crimea and Russia's parliament, or Duma, approved a request by Russian President Vladimir Putin to send military forces to Ukraine in support of pro-Russian Ukrainians.
My previous article on what Russia was likely to do in Ukraine described the costs of a Russian attempt at territorial aggrandizement. The title and subtitle were picked by the editors; my read on the situation did not give me certainty that Russia wouldn’t invade Crimea, and indeed I argued that an invasion was likely if there was violence against ethnic Russians there (which is why I urged the Ukrainian government not to rise to the bait by permitting or encouraging anti-Russian violence in Crimea).
It seems like one reason why Russia’s actions in Crimea appear so jarring and brazen is that it’s a form of warfare that was once common but rarely take place anymore. Russia may not formally annex Crimea – it seems more likely that the territory will declare independence under heavy Russian influence – but it has essentially invaded another country to lob off a piece of territory that was, despite longstanding nationalist sentiment, an undisputed part of Ukraine.