March 2nd, 2014
01:44 PM ET

How U.S. should respond to Russia

By Fareed Zakaria

In a strange act of historical coincidence, it is 60 years ago this week that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed the Crimea over to the Ukraine. It might not have seemed a big deal in those days – everyone was part of one big, unhappy Soviet Union. But that act has created today’s geopolitical crisis.

Russia has now made its move. It has essentially detached Crimea from the Ukrainian government’s control. What remains unclear is what Vladimir Putin wants to do with it. Incorporate it into Russia? Use it as leverage to negotiate a deal with Ukraine? Both?

In any event, Washington’s response should be clear and forceful. Russia has violated all kinds of laws and norms, including most crucially, a treaty that it signed with Ukraine guaranteeing that country’s borders, in return for which Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons.

For Washington, for Americans, for people around the world, it would be a terrible precedent to allow issues like this to be resolved not through diplomacy, but by force. If Russia could detach parts of neighboring countries with impunity, won’t other great powers like China decide that they too can act in such ways?

So what can be done? Well, for starters President Obama should cancel entirely his attendenace at the G-8 summit to be held in Sochi in June. He should try to persuade the other major powers to follow suit. Russia’s membership in the G-8 should be suspended. Remember,  the G-8 was created to recognize that post-Soviet Russia was behaving like an honorable member of the international community, not a rogue state . If the behavior has changed, Russia’s status should also change.

Militarily there is less that can be done. After all, Russia’s military budget is about 18 times that of Ukraine. But NATO should restart talks on providing assurances to countries like Poland – including perhaps building the missile defense system that was abandoned.

In economic terms, Washington and the EU should consider the only sanctions that would be effective: ones targeted specifically at individuals who could be held responsible for these acts of aggression against Ukraine.

Washington cannot do much to stop Vladimir Putin as he creates facts on the ground in Crimea. But step back and consider what a strategic disaster this is for him. Ukraine has slipped out of his orbit and most of the population there is going to be hostile to Russia for generations. Countries like Poland that had eased up relations with Moscow will now view it with great suspicion. All European countries will put their relations with Russia under review. Even China will surely oppose the brazen violation of national sovereignty, something Beijing is always concerned about. Within Russia people have seen that Putin is terrified of a democracy movement and will brutally oppose it, not really the image he wants to present.

So Putin gets Crimea, which is only 60 percent Russian. Parts of it will be deeply hostile to this Russian takeover – including the population of Crimean Tartars, who are Muslim and getting radicalized. Remember, Crimea is in the Northern Caucasus, the area where Russia has been battling a ferocious Muslim insurgency.

So even as he lines up one more piece – or half piece – on his chessboard, Putin will find that the price he has paid for it will be quite high.

Post by:
Topics: Fareed's Take • Russia • Ukraine

soundoff (1,638 Responses)
  1. Johnjo

    I think Vladimir the Tzar should empty his house of all it's valuables as the Russian population & press will soon be calling to visit it as tourists when they overthrow him. Or at least take out insurance on it – or ahem... would insurance company's not pay up because he acquired most of the goodies fraudulently? I guess homelessness is his future as well.

    March 2, 2014 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  2. politiciansOpoliticians

    Some words of advice for all the politicians,

    When law and order in countries is missing, the end result is chaos and anarchy. If you look at any of the countries such as "iraq, egypt, afghanistan, lebanon, mexico, thailand, pakistan, libya and several african nations", where killings/anarchy is the norm, the root cause is almost no proper governing law and order body. Now lets look at countries which are actually dictatorships "china, north korea, iran and even russia", there are killings within the populace, however there isn't chaos and anarchy resulting in the killing of thousands of people, purely because there is a governing body which handles law and order.


    good/bad ?,

    The politicians should watch this ted talk,

    March 2, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Reply
    • john no one

      Really, you have a good observation there.
      But I just want to point out something about how you worded it.
      Anarchy is sort of the opposite of law, and order is definitively the opposite of chaos. So yeah, where order is missing, there will be chaos. It's kind of inevitable based on the very definitions....but you still have an astute observation. It's just that the way you worded it, kind of makes it seem like a pretty obvious point. If you used those words to emphasize your thesis, instead of them being the thesis itself, it would actually be a very persuasive argument.

      March 3, 2014 at 12:07 am | Reply
    • DKR

      You know another great example that supports your observation.

      Bad: Philippines now.

      good/bad: Marcos-run Philippines

      March 3, 2014 at 2:16 am | Reply
  3. A viswa

    Plagiarist Fareed Zakaria trying to make up for his past sins and doing his best to fit in again.... Trying to look all hard and tough all over again, not recognizing that he's merely a cog in the wheel of the PR effort to redeem himself by talking tough. No word on the hypocrisy of criticizing Russia for occupying Crimea while the US occupies various countries and squawks at others who do it (even if far less egregious). I see hypocrisy all around.

    March 2, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Reply
    • Cezz

      Yeah, he made a mistake once. I guess you never have.

      March 3, 2014 at 12:17 am | Reply
      • notus

        People who make his type of mistake should not be kept on -he has to bark the words of the US government isn't it? He has no other choice.

        March 3, 2014 at 12:31 am |
      • Toni Johnson

        Mr. Zakaria can do better, either he's choosing not to or he's just intellectually lazy and I'm leaning towards the latter. Ironically, this piece from him is not even an original thought, his opinion can be summed up to what Sen. McCain intoned after the event happened.

        CNN needs to cut ties with him or at least reassign him.

        March 3, 2014 at 1:18 am |
    • ehunt29

      Hypocrisy is seeing the wrong on both sides and equate them as essentially cancelling each other out. In reality though Russia has just committed an international crime. Pointing the finger at the US doesn't change that. Why because two wrongs don't make a right. If the US is guilty so be it but it doesn't validate what is happening in Ukraine.

      March 3, 2014 at 12:27 am | Reply
      • mutt

        Only Americans are too dumb to realize that half of Ukraine is actually Russia, and it has always been.

        March 3, 2014 at 12:39 am |
      • Edwin

        mutt: if it is a part of Russia, then Putin did not need to do anything - because it was a part of Russia. The problem is that it is NOT a part of Russia.

        Maybe there are a lot of Russians in Ukraine; maybe they are under threat by what is going on. But if they are in the COUNTRY of Ukraine then in fact they are not in the country of Russia. I think the dumb ones are the ones who do not grasp that Putin has taken over part of a foreign country.

        That is war.

        March 3, 2014 at 1:06 am |
      • Halo


        No mutt, you are mistaken. Cities in Ukraine during Tsarist times were predominantly Russian speaking. But the countryside was always Ukrainian speaking. After the Holodomor, the Bolsheviks moved Russians to Ukraine, predominantly in the East, to Russify the population. Now, in Eastern Ukraine, the population is still predominantly Ukrainian, though after a century of Russification, the Russian language is spoken there, as it is even in Central Ukraine.

        The Crimea was always somewhat mixed, and predominantly Tatar until Stalin deported them all after WWII. Since then, it has been predominantly Russian in population, and still is about 60% ethnically Russian.

        March 3, 2014 at 1:52 am |
      • dacimationer

        Why a criminal has a right to justify others? he ought to be dropped to prison now. it true that impudicity can be a weapon in US?

        March 3, 2014 at 3:23 am |
      • dacimationer

        If is a war, US has launch many wars all over the world these years in the same sense.

        March 3, 2014 at 3:30 am |
    • Henri


      In addition, Fareed stated: "Remember, Crimea is in the Northern Caucasus, the area where Russia has been battling a ferocious Muslim insurgency."

      Fareed is wrong... again. Crimea is NOT in the Northern Caucasus region.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:09 am | Reply
  4. nav

    lol why would anyone take this guy seriously... he probably lifted this little piece off of some other blokes' blog.

    March 2, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Reply
    • myle ca

      Because Obama will listen to him, the 2 clueless

      March 3, 2014 at 12:06 am | Reply
  5. Johnjo

    Many Russians arrested today for protesting about this move on Ukraine by Putin, you will see more of these protests & people in Russia will begin to lose their fear of his thuggish security forces. No wonder RT & other pro networks like it are working like clockwork spewing out more of their propaganda by the day.

    March 2, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  6. PM

    "Those who fail to remember the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them." Your article above sounds alot like what British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said in the late 1930's and we all know how that turned out. (If you don't then Google it.)"Peace at any price" isn't worth it..

    March 2, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Reply
    • BLE7481

      Indeed it does. This especially caught my eye:

      "Militarily there is less that can be done. After all, Russia’s military budget is about 18 times that of Ukraine. But NATO should restart talks on providing assurances to countries like Poland – including perhaps building the missile defense system that was abandoned."

      Russia takes over the Crimea from the Ukraine, so NATO should provide assurances to ... Poland?

      And perhaps Zakaria doesn't know what happened the last time a major power responded to territorial aggression by providing assurances to Poland, instead of doing something about the original aggression.

      March 3, 2014 at 12:57 am | Reply
    • Dale

      Yep. Hitler began by annexing Austria. Then he convinced Chamberlain to not oppose his taking of part of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain was weak and agreed to this because he didn't want a war with Hitler. Hitler assured him this was the extent of his ambitions. A few months later, Hitler took all of Czechoslovakia. Then he took Poland, France, and virtually every other country in Europe. After Russia, North America was next on Hitler's list, as he was developing his atom bomb. Now here we are with Putin. In his mind, he is 'annexing' Crimea. He sees Obama as weak and not wanting war. Just as Hitler saw Chamberlain. Putin now has Crimea unopposed. His next move will be to take the rest of Ukraine. Obama and the rest of them will be wondering whose assets they can freeze next while Putin goes ahead and takes Poland, and the rest of them. History is already repeating itself. Putin is Hitler, and Obama is Chamberlain.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:07 am | Reply
      • dacimationer

        are u dreaming? US has much stronger military force than Russia and ten times more military expenditure. I think, Russia should worry about USA, not on the contrary.

        March 3, 2014 at 3:46 am |
  7. JT

    They're not going to kick Russia out of the G8 for the same reason Ukraine couldn't join NATO, Putin would cut of their gas.

    March 2, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  8. Bob C.

    Even Joseph Stalin strictly adhered to honoring his international treaties.
    Now it appears that Russia will not honor their international treaties and commitments.
    What does this tell the world about Russian integrity?
    It really isn't US credibility at stake but Russian credibility.

    March 2, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Reply
    • Halo

      Well, not completely. Stalin did ensure all the elections in the Soviet bloc were rigged in favour of the communists.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • Jack

      Stalin didn't honor international treaties! He promised that Poland would have free elections after the war at Yalta. Then he rigged the elections in Poland to ensure that communists would run the country. Plus, he created the Ministry of Public Security in Poland which up until Stalin's death was responsible for hunting down, torturing, and executing over 10,000 Polish Home Army patriots that fought the Germans during WWII.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:01 am | Reply
  9. Nick Broderson

    Remember that just before WWII Hitler invaded the Sudetenland to protect the Germans living there.

    March 2, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Reply
    • RobertF

      your argument seems to be that any intervention to help any people should be compared to Hitler, which is an absurd argument. countries do intervene to help people, even Russia,

      South Ossetia really was overrun by Georgians...and Russia did not take over Georgia and make it a vassal state. they merely gave the land back to the South Ossetians, and Georgia is not occupied, is not behind the iron curtain, and in fact is an independent democracy to this day.

      March 3, 2014 at 12:02 am | Reply
  10. RobertF

    this editorial makes no sense, what democracy movement? yanukovych was elected, our 'recognized' president was not. Crimeans vote doesnt count. the guy they voted for...tossed out. as for when they could elect a president of Crimea, Kiev removed that office in 1995, and their prime minister is appointed by Kiev, not elected.

    when you say things like democracy movement and use that to support undemocratic moves, like tossing the elected leader of Ukraine, your message is confused and muddled and i begin to suspect you are commenting on matters of which you have no knowledge.

    March 2, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Reply
    • RobertA

      You are an idiot spewing half-truths and lies....go back under the bridge, troll

      March 3, 2014 at 1:08 am | Reply
      • Halo

        I am an ethnic Ukrainian, and I would have to agree. Yanukovych may have been corrupt, as every Ukrainian politician in power has been. I can't say, as there is not yet verifiable proof. However, he was elected as the president of the country. Everyone in Ukraine knows the Ukrainian opposition parties are corrupt, and that they did this to regain power and more importantly, access to their stolen money. Most Ukrainians did not protest on Maidan, and most know that this was not about democracy.

        March 3, 2014 at 1:58 am |
  11. Ruslan Ishkov(Russia)

    Si vis pacem, para bellum. I say it for USA govermernt. Your's expansion of Earth..... Russia SAY NO!

    March 2, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  12. TJeff1776

    Hitler invaded his neighbors. At the time a regiment could have stopped him. Later it required multiple armies to defeat the third Reich. In yet another example- Jewish doors were being knocked on- neighbors said nothing as if it was none of their business- but ultimately their doors were knocked on also. The time to move is now and NOT later
    even if some lives are lost. Land grabbing never stops EVEN if the grabber sincerely shakes his head to the contrary.

    March 2, 2014 at 11:57 pm | Reply
    • Patt Porter

      I agree with you 100%. We can't let this go on without
      doing something!!–but whether Obama will have the courage
      to do anything is another story.

      March 3, 2014 at 12:26 am | Reply
    • JimNasium

      Minor detail: Hitler's Germany was a not a nuclear power.

      March 3, 2014 at 12:39 am | Reply
  13. annebeth66

    Fareed Zakaria who us from India, needs to give advice on how India should respond to Russia. The US needs to ignore what is happening outside of America and focus on the problems here. There will always be civil war issues that have to be resolved by the people involved and we need to leave them alone.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:04 am | Reply
    • A Viswa

      I agree. With US invasion and occupation of so many countries, I don't see the moral platform to squawk at the Russians this way. They probably have a better rationale for military intervention than the US has had in a majority of its own transgressions. All this is hypocrisy and politics on the part of world powers, including USA, Russia, W. Europe, and so many other countries. It is ultimately the ordinary people/citizens of the affected countries that pay the price, not these "leaders," "visionaries," political pundits, and bloggers like us. Zakaria is a joke, mostly interested in looking good to western audiences, wearing false patriotism on his sleeve, and generally atoning for his plagiarism in the past. I think countries should generally focus on their internal affairs and intervene only in extreme cases where innocents are actually getting hurt significantly or national interests are truly threatened. Otherwise, world peace and harmony are threatened.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  14. larry lawrence

    The USA is destabilizing the Ukraine and not Russia. It is a joke when Kerry and Obama are screaming bloody murder. Look what they have done in Libya, that is totally destroyed–a failed state–and it was so secure and beautiful before.
    Look what they try to do in Venezuela. Think about the poor Afghan people who are suffering under the US for more than a decade. Think no further than Iraq–every day car bombs and at least 30 people killed–every day. Think further back to Chile when the CIA removed Salvador Allende the president of a Latin American country through open elections and replaced him with the monster Pinochet. The USA government should not have their dirty fingers in any other country–but of course their CIA agents are arming and financing opposition groups to cause harm to Russia or China.
    What a miserable country the USA is: health care is now so expensive that only a few can afford it–in all other Western so called civilized countries and even in the Middle East there is a single payer system and schools and universities are free for everyone. The Press is only reporting pro-government opinion–critical voices and thinking is left out.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:08 am | Reply
    • RobertF

      thats a very real point. although our press is free, unfortunately, the hope and dream that a free press would be a type of independent voice and deterrent to overreach....didnt pan out.

      free presses become government mouthpieces because thats the mist economically viable position to take. its not evil, its just the truth, our free press by and large reports the government line. Fareed is a vreat example, his motivation isnt to be known as a radical, his viability depends upon the appearance of impartiality, and the safest thing to do is riff off the general consensus....

      its a sad state of affairs, and our government needs a check and balance or two

      March 3, 2014 at 12:20 am | Reply
      • JohnnyB

        Surely you've heard of Fox News where one can get paid quite handsomely without pandering to the US Gov't. You'll need a stronger argument than that for questioning his motives.

        March 3, 2014 at 1:47 am |
  15. Afif

    That's what happens when we elect a gutless president. In a normal world, Obama should not have been more than a primary school principal based on his qualifications and track record . Being a slick talker alone should not be a factor in electing a US president.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:08 am | Reply
  16. Greg

    Putin is helping the people of Crimea fight for their freedom. He has begun Operation "Crimean Freedom." I personally know many people in Crimea who have dreamed for generations that they would not be under Ukrainian rule. They have the right to decide their own fate. They also have the right not to be under a rogue government that toppled a democratically elected president and was not democratically elected. May the dream of the Crimean people come true...

    March 3, 2014 at 12:12 am | Reply
    • Johnjo

      They are not deciding their own fate, Putin deciding it for them. As a Crimean woman said today, to a reporter standing beside Russian soldiers, quote/unquote "We don't need these soldiers help, we never asked for it, for we're attacked us or is going to attack us". Also isn't it amazing Putin sent the troops first & then got the Duma to vote permission for same it the following day, because he says his new Crimean leader pal asked him for help? Now if you believe that you'll believe anything. This plan was talked out between them & the only reason Putin got the Duma to vote is he wanted to cover himself from the illegality he acted out in the first place & then sending them in like nobody's without insignia on their uniforms. Did he think the world would be fooled by this little idiotic trick of his. Seemingly, everything about them gave away the plot. Sly-boy failing his sly test.

      March 3, 2014 at 12:47 am | Reply
      • Greg

        For this Crimean woman you quote, there are 9 other women who say the opposite. Also, don't forget that the current Ukrainian "government" seized power illegally and may even have Weapons of Mass Destruction. Putin needs to ensure that they don't have any WMD and that they don't use them. What I mean is that after Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Pakistan, the U.S. is gonna be laughed out of any international peace talks. And rightly so.

        March 3, 2014 at 10:25 am |
  17. Blind Freddy

    Now would be a good time for China to formalize control over those Diaoyu rocks in the East China Sea.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:29 am | Reply
  18. Johnjo

    News you might or might not know, Sarah Palin predicted this in 2008 that Russia would invade Ukraine. Sadly, she didn't get/give a prediction of how the episode will end. So she's only half right.

    A ruble for your thoughts...

    March 3, 2014 at 12:34 am | Reply
    • Rob S

      2008? I predicted it in 1946 at 6 years of age!

      March 3, 2014 at 1:54 am | Reply
      • jojnjo

        Who were you a clone of Putin as a boy?

        Greg know all, there are many Pro Russians in Crimea that don't want Russia near them... & Ukrainian Parliament voted in the government after Yukonovych skedaddled with the money. Plus, US wasn't involved in Kosovo...go back & do your history exams again.

        March 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
  19. ct

    This is not journalism.. it is crap commentary, fit for a war monger. Fareed has slided down where he can not be called a journalist.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:36 am | Reply
  20. harry

    Who gives a toot how Zakaria thinks the US should respond. If he was so all-knowing, why ain't he president instead of talk show host?

    March 3, 2014 at 12:37 am | Reply
  21. bart smith

    The best strategy is to threaten Putin that if troops are not withdrawn within a week, then Nato (not UN because Russia has veto power) peacekeeping troops will be invited by Ulkraine and station at the Eastern border as well as the Crimean borders. This will absolutely drive Putin crazy as he does not want any Western troop near his own border. This is probably one of the few feasible event that is doable that can pose a clear threat to stop Putin.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:38 am | Reply
  22. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    I wrote the following resp. on CNN over 2 weeks ago, and HERE COMES THE TRUTH FROM ZAKARIA's MOUTH........YET AGAIN!!

    Mr.FAREED ZAKARIA's critical comments on Putin and Russia are least surprising as Mr. Zakaria simply HATES Putin and Russia for their successful containment of the Mr.Zakaria's RADICAL BRETHREN.....the Chechan ISLAMIC TERRORISTS.

    Here's my earlier resp:

    Firstly, it's deeply disturbing to see people destroy their own nations, and killing each other in the name of political ideology.

    What's going on in Ukraine is power play between Russia and the West, and for a non-affiliated observer, it's difficult to take sides. Russia needs Ukraine as a buffer between itself and the still unfriendly Europe having already lost the entire eastern bloc. And, Ukraine absolutely needs Russia to continue providing its hugely subsidized gas, and for bailing it out of its immediate misery ($15 Billion in debt which the EU was NOT willing to do) and I don't at all grudge Putin dangling that carrot.

    Bottom line the common man in Ukraine does NOT seem to realize what they would have lost had Ukraine chosen EU over Russia. We would have probably seen even worse protests citing rising price of gas, and the burden of debt!

    March 3, 2014 at 12:45 am | Reply
    • Johnjo

      The Chechen Terrorists haven't gone away you know...& there's a saying from the IRA when they were doing unsightly ghastly horrible things in Northern Ireland etc "That they (terrorists) have only to get lucky once"...whereas security forces have to be lucky all the time. And Sochi still has to hold Para-Olympic Winter Games starting this Friday. were wrong because the Ukraine people have in the majority dumped their corrupt previous President & chose EU over Russia & that's the reason Putin is seething in anger & invading them right now

      March 3, 2014 at 12:58 am | Reply
      • Johnjo

        & under the guise of helping the Crimean Russians you know...

        March 3, 2014 at 1:07 am |
  23. stepan KOPENKIN

    Crimea was historically Russian, and should remain Russian, not very clear why Ukrainians think, that it is theirs now, after Khrushchev gave it to them in 1954? Is it really enough? Russia just wants return it back as it was before, so at the end Ukraine loses nothing at all.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • RobertF

      In violation of treaty. The arrogance of the Putin Impunity knows no bounds. I guess a few other Russians are of the same mind. Stop your bullying.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:12 am | Reply
      • stepan KOPENKIN

        Understand that, no problem. But still Ukraine loses nothing, Russian Crimea came and gone back to Russia or become independent and Ukraine happily remains in the same borders as in 1954. Why somebody should start a war for that? Treaty of 1994 sounds pretty unfair, never heard about it unfortunately. Looks like warheads should belong to Soviet Union but not Ukraine; they were simply located there to shorter flying time to possible targets in Europe. And Eltsin was probably unconsciously drunk signing it.

        March 3, 2014 at 2:25 am |
  24. Leo

    Crimea is more than 60% Russian. Where does this guy get his facts?

    March 3, 2014 at 12:52 am | Reply
  25. Sydney

    How about suspending the US, Britain and France for their recent occupations – Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, CAR etc.? NPWMD were found in Iraq. Can Bush be brought to court? Fareed is seating in the US and am sure, is cognizant of the human and financial toll that the occupations have had on the US.

    Only a fool would have feigned ignorance for Russia's interest in Ukraine. Alas, it seems Fareed and indeed the US government belong to this group. Why is it ok for the US, Britain and their allies to invade other countries, but, not for Russia when its core interests are at stake. Ukraine is a very modern development. In fact, the western half where a group of politicians have grabbed power in the name of democracy, used to belong to Poland and the Austro-Hungarian empire for centuries. The Eastern half has always been Russian, and, Crimea was Russian territory until the 1950s.

    The British are another bunch of hypocrites. They essentially chased the people of Diego Garcia and sent them to Mauritius so that the US can have a base there. How is this fair?

    You want to solve the Ukrainian problem? That calls for recognition of Russian interests in Ukraine. Sadly, the bunch of politicians who seized power did the very thing that says otherwise. Denigrate the Russian language from official to the second-tier status. Now they want the world to come to their aid. And the foolish EU is only too happy to get sucked into the quagmire.

    Fareed owes a great deal of critical analysis to do justice to his own intelligence. This piece of his is worst than amateurish. It shows contempt for other nation's interest. Maybe, Fareed has now turned into another bellicose and jingoistic American.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:11 am | Reply
    • Rob S

      Russian interests in Ukraine? Ukraine, as I understand it, is an independent country and Russia can have no "interests" there. For some really stupid reason Russia gave Crimea to Ukraine? And now they want it back? Why on earth would Russia give away its main naval base to another country (Ukraine) and then have to lease it back? Hahaha! How utterly dumb is that? I can see why they would want it back, but maybe they should have thought of that before giving it away... ya think? The Russians used to be good at chess, what happened?

      March 3, 2014 at 2:05 am | Reply
  26. Allie Zar

    "Remember, Crimea is in the Northern Caucasus..."

    Really? Have you checked a map lately?

    March 3, 2014 at 1:14 am | Reply
  27. Chi

    I think President Obama and his adviser must stop making the USA look weak and in sleeping slumber by send military defense with the help of EU to Ukrain immediately to send a strong message to Putin that he has Europe and the United State to contain with his behavior. Eu and the United State must provide emergency mobile nuclear advantage to Ukrain when will threaten Russia safety and in turn make radical Putin to back off.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:20 am | Reply
  28. Glen Wright

    What I find amusing here Fareed is your sudden expertise on Ukraine. I would like to remind you that a few months ago you asked the question of who was the first American president to visit Russia. You said it was RIchard Nixon because you thought Crimea was part of Ukraine when the Yalta conference was held. I had to correct you when you put that question out that actually Crimea with Yalta was part of Russia at that time and not part of Ukraine until 1954. When you want to know something about Ukraine, give me a call.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:49 am | Reply
    • Rob S

      It was President Roosevelt!! He went to Yalta, sick as he was. I win!

      March 3, 2014 at 2:09 am | Reply
  29. Dj Crenshaw

    I love how everyone wants Obama to do something about it militarily; however, it won't be Obama fighting the Russians. It will be you, your parents, your kids, your aunts and uncles, your friends, your neighbors taking up the fight.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:59 am | Reply
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