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 (1,644 Responses)
  1. Eddie

    The problem for the Europeans is that they rely on natural gas from Russia. That's why some countries like Germany don't want to suspend Russia from the G8 because they are afraid of retaliation in form of reduced gas delivery. The EU is in a bind between following the US and endangering the gas deliveries or doing nothing for a lot of gas. [pun intended.]

    March 3, 2014 at 10:07 am | Reply
  2. Jigglybits

    Can you imagine if this author was an ambassador? We would be skrewed.

    March 3, 2014 at 10:10 am | Reply
  3. Andrewww

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

    Are you high? Is Crimea located in Caucases? Really? There is no surprise Americans fail in international diplomacy so much and so often...

    March 3, 2014 at 10:11 am | Reply
  4. Fred

    And what about US agression to other countries all over the world? When US needs some country to be more proameric, US bombs it or sponsors so called "rebels" inside the country to overthrow its government.

    What a duplicity!

    March 3, 2014 at 10:11 am | Reply
  5. Michael

    Problem is Obama is the wrong man to deal with a problem like this. He's more likely to bend over than to stand up to Putin.

    March 3, 2014 at 10:16 am | Reply

      I think, that Obama is the right man. He is doing his job.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • Fred

      Do you really need a nuclear war?

      March 3, 2014 at 10:21 am | Reply
  6. irunner

    Crimea is Putin's Sudetenland. The parallels are all there.

    March 3, 2014 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • JACK


      March 3, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
      • Turbo

        As the world accepts the reality that the free world no longer has a leader, their way of life and liberty will be seriously challenged.

        March 3, 2014 at 11:55 am |
    • arliss

      nonsense. russia has invaded countries around it forever. poland was invaded 3 times by russians within the last 100 years for crying out loud. i hope the ukes and ruskies start shooting each other. then there will be less of both.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • JACK


        March 3, 2014 at 11:01 am |
      • Loren

        If you believe the comparison is nonsense, then you have no knowledge of the historical comparison. Prior to World War II, HItler used the pretext of protecting ethnic Germans to force the annexation of territory to Germany. The policy of appeasement, which Obama is not thankfully saying, resulted in the annexation of the Sudentland and the incorporation of Austria into Germany. Germany then used agents to foment unrest in border areas of Poland and Germany and used the pretext of false crimes committed against ethnic Germans to invade Poland, joined ironically by Russia. The Russians paid a far greater price for their duplicity through the loss of over 20 millions civilians and soldiers during the war. Russia now uses the same pretext to invade its far weaker neighbor. So yes, the comparison is accurate.

        Moreover, to think that it will end with only Ukrainians and Russians killing each other is the depth of stupidity. It will have a global economic impact.

        March 3, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • roy graves

      Is the worlds main issue with the situation in Ukraine "how will the world's economy be affected"?
      If so, how sad.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
      • 3saphira

        i know was thinking the extact thing....I understand its importance, but it seems we care more about that than those innocent people who are just caught in the middle that could die

        March 3, 2014 at 11:44 am |
    • Hal Conner

      Zakaria, a guy so dumb he was for the Iraq war. How come he still has his job?

      March 3, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • dale

      Negotiations will now get under way. Putin will agree to not take the rest of Ukraine if he is given Crimea. The weak Obama and the rest of the west will see this as a good option as it will avoid war.

      This will be agreed to. Six months will pass and Putin will invade the rest of Ukraine, and make it all his.

      China now will have the green light to annex and invade as they see fit. We'll have multiple battles on our hands as we try to defend Poland from the new russian invasion while defending various islands from the Chinese invasion.

      This will be the start of the third world war.

      World war two began the same way when HIltler 'negotiated' with Neville Chamberlain for Sudentland, a small area of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain agreed after Hiltler assured him he would not invade the rest of Czech. Sudentland was strategically important as it now gave Hitler control of the mountains, and left the rest of Czech defenseless to his invasion which took place a few months later.

      This situation with Putin is almost identical. Obama is weak like Chamberlain. Putin will take Crimea based on his assurances, which he will obviously not adhere to. All of Ukraine will fall to Putin. We will be in a war with Russia once Putin begins his bllitkreig. World War 3 will be the result.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • GT58

        So what do you suggest then? What is your solution? We can not bomb the area. An invasion would take many weeks (or months) to organize. I do not see anyone saying it is okay to happen. Russia will be sanctioned initially and NATO may build up troops in the region as well.

        March 3, 2014 at 11:38 am |
      • phillip

        actually the strategy is to preserve peace and stability to allow the people of Ukraine to vote. Then all can see what the majority of the population wants. Not what the fascists wants, not what east or west Ukraine want, but what they want as a united or federated state. Do people know that Russia once owned California and Alaska and gave it away. Russia is not interested in expansion, they have all they need in their own country.

        March 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • JKM

      If the phrase "peace in our time" or anything similar comes out of the President's mouth I'm defecting.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:25 am | Reply


    March 3, 2014 at 10:21 am | Reply
    • DonnaS.


      March 3, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • tepeters

      And you do

      March 3, 2014 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • lol

      sometimes I screw that up.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • yuri pelham

      It's all posturing. Russia needs it's Black Sea port. It will windup with Crimea, and Ukraine will be freed from Russian influence (for a while). But we have to pretend there's a cost. They wrote the script during the 90 minute talk. A war of rhetoric is all.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • MarineWay

      Wow, Barack's on CNN's comment page hoping we'll all just go away because we're too dumb to understand.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • Skalballa

      Calm down Joe Biden, take your caps lock off and stay off the white house computers for personal use.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • 3saphira

      i think none of us debating gives us a voice to talk about isssues we know personally we have no control of...lets just those people in charge in our country and theirs' can figure it out

      March 3, 2014 at 11:46 am | Reply
  8. capnmike

    The US should NOT get involved with this. We do not need a war with Russia over the Ukraine. Why do you always think the US should go out and meddle and interfere when other countries have problems between them. We are NOT THE WORLD'S POLICEMAN. We should have learned that long ago.

    March 3, 2014 at 10:23 am | Reply
    • TML3000

      You don't want meet war, it will come to You.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply
      • 3saphira

        well prepare for it and be ready, but don't go looking for a fight...but i get your point it will come to us if its meant

        March 3, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • Jimmy

      "Why do you always think the US should go out and meddle and interfere when other countries have problems between them. We are NOT THE WORLD'S POLICEMAN. We should have learned that long ago."

      Same argument was made as to why we shouldn't get involved with fighting Hitler. Not saying it necessarily applies to this case, but sometimes the cost of non-involvement is higher than involvement.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Jon O'Brien

      Putin and Russia are in violation of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994. The US and UK will have to respond somehow.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • MarineWay

      Peace through strength. It's the only policy that works.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • uki

      In 1994 the US and Britains and Russia signed the agreement to protect Ukraine no matter what if it surrenders its nukes. Ukraine did it and now one of the signors attacked it. US and Britain will have to respond! Putin has to be stopped. If he is not stopped now, he will re-peat what hitler did.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:48 am | Reply
  9. TML3000

    It's too late, third world war is sure, because the West react like before II world war.
    Wladimir Hitler knows that USA and Europe will do nothing special, so he will atack.

    PS Not only Russia but also USA and UK signed treaty guaranteeing Ukraine's borders. Now whole world see that pact with USA is waste of paper.

    March 3, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • sheila

      Not so quick. Russia also needs the rest of the world for exports. If mother Russia is cut off from Europe it hurts his country too. Also, don't forget their are rebels that will make his life miserable with bombings he can't stop not to mention cutting vital gas lines. They have to find a way for him to save face and get this resolved quickly. Kerry has laid out a plan. You can speak softly while saber rattling and still get results.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
      • tiredofitall

        I don't want to see or hear about Kerry's plan....

        March 3, 2014 at 11:40 am |
  10. Phantom Puppeteers

    Washington has been responsible for almost uncontainable hyper use of force and influence in international relations, and of trying to contain one world with one center of authority, one center of force one center of decision making, one master one sovereign. Good, these are given. However, Putin has by many measurement done well. Poverty and unemployment substantially reduced, middle class wealthier, foreign reserve have increased by a factor of fifty, and. Putin had enjoyed popularity than most of his western counter parts. Obama what? True Putin benefitted from high oil prices, but he also captured Russia's mood and did much to revive confidence of his coipuntryman. Putin has been doing a good job for establishing a "managed" democracy.

    Some war brokers want something to happen. Puppeteers are on it again. Why? I

    March 3, 2014 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • larry lawrence

      Soooooooooooooooooooooo True!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 3, 2014 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • Jon O'Brien

      Putin by many more measurements has been an embarrassment to Russia. He represses anyone who disagrees with him, rigs elections, directly controls corrupted officials and steers under-the-table deals to line his own pockets, and disregards the sovereignty of neighboring countries whenever he feels like it. Maybe some crusty old farts in a remote Siberian bar are cheering for him, but nobody with a clue is. And now that he's violated a treaty entered into with the US and the UK action of some kind will be required to put him in his place.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
  11. john vance

    I'll agree with Dr Zakaria that this is a very risky decision by Mr Putin. I'm reasonably certain, however, that Mr Putin is well aware of the risk and has undertaken the move willing to accept the repercussions. He's old-school Soviet military and KGB. He knows that from a military perspective, there are no palatable options for Ukraine or any western nations. He's also Russian to the core and like all Russians, cold winters, cold shoulders and cold wars are burdens they've borne before and know they can bear for a long, long time.
    A bad situation all around.

    March 3, 2014 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • sheila

      and Russia was broke once and needs money which Putin likes. He has lived the good life and he isn't going to want to go back to the old ways.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:39 am | Reply
  12. sheila

    What was outlined above is what Obama has been working for and Kerry made clear they were working towards. This isn't the writers original idea. Putin also has a huge ego and will need to be able to save face for this to be a win/win. NATO must be deliberate in its handling. Also, Russia and Europe stand to loose the natural gas pipeline that the rebels are sure to cut. Europe needs the gas and Putin needs the money! It's always about SHOW ME THE MONEY!

    March 3, 2014 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • oldbear60

      NATO is toothless since the vast majority of Europeans are only interested in their own lives and without the US they couldn't stand up to any real military. We should either rewrite this out of date treaty or let the Europeans clean up their own messes. All of them. Why are we paying for their troubles.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:04 am | Reply
  13. 1smoothdaddy

    Did anyone notice this – "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"
    Seeing how we only get as much of the story as the state media gives us, we know Russia admits to having issued with radical Muslims. Ever think maybe this may be the more to the story we don't have. How is this different than the US invading other countries to take out the radical Muslims.

    March 3, 2014 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Rus

      Crimean Tatars will be happy to team up with other Tatars living in the Russia. Has anyone been in the Tatars capital Kazan? When you come from Europe in Kazan, feel ashamed of Europe. And the state language – Tatar.

      March 3, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Alvaro Fernandez

      I am unaware of any UN resolutions authorizing or even mentioning the use of force in Ukraine for any reason. This is how taking the Crimea is different than the US involvement in Iraq. It looks a lot more like a slow motion Kuwaiti annexation thing. Will Putin stop at the Crimea? He already said he has the right to protect Russians anywhere in Ukraine. Liebensraum.

      China is hardly a respecter of international boundaries – anyone remember Tibet? Incursions into Taiwan? Yes, China is watching, but more to see if the international community yawns. If it yawns, I could see some seizure of disputed islands by China occurring – maybe even some Taiwanese territorial incursions.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:00 am | Reply
  14. oldbear60

    Sanctions and diplomacy only work if everyone is on the same page. The thugs of russia are some of the worst criminals on the planet and will ignore everything. Threats only work if the other side finds them creditable and Putin and the resurgent KGB don't and why should they? Crimea was Russian for hundreds of years. Ukarine is a major food producer and a bottle neck on pipe lines. Think it thru and the Soviet, excuse me, Russians get what they want because money and economy are more important than people and principles.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
  15. Carl

    Wish we could rade obama for Putin! Obama would have Russia in ruin in days, while the US would soon return to its former power with a real man with a real backbone in change. Obama is a joke around the world and the only thing him afloat are his sycophants
    in the media like CNN.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
  16. Julie

    The Russian fleet is in the Crimea. Of course, they will go in. This shouldn't be shocking. You have two countries with a long shared history with the same type of extensive corruption.. The oligarchs bled those countries. The money is in places like New York, London, Swiss Banks, and Israel. Urkraine had already asked for help from it's own czars rather than attacking the corruption. The only weapon for the west would be to freeze all assets. I do not believe there would be mutual cooperation there. The wisest thing the President can do is to not let the media push him too far. Sometimes what appears like weakness is really strength.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:06 am | Reply
  17. felix

    Russia is looking out for their interest, just as we look out for ours. I guess we are the only country that is allowed to invade, and occupy other counties......aka IRAQ

    March 3, 2014 at 11:08 am | Reply
  18. Obama IsUseless

    Obama will do nothing, and Putin knows it.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:10 am | Reply
  19. Henri

    I do not care much for "Fareed's Take". His entire column is undermined by one of his last statements, as follows:

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

    If Fareed does not know where Crimea is, geographically, I doubt he knows what is happening there.

    I usually turn off my TV when Fareed comes on. The above error shows why.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:13 am | Reply
    • Eric

      It is your understanding that is wrong. The Caucasus mountains extend to Crimea... perhaps you should fact check yourself?

      March 3, 2014 at 11:43 am | Reply
  20. Helen

    “Remember, Crimea is in the Northern Caucasus, the area where Russia has been battling a ferocious Muslim insurgency.”

    Mr. Fareed Zakaria should probably look at Geo map of Europe.
    If not University course, but Google Maps could help to understand that those 2 regions (Crimea and Northern Caucasus) are pretty far away from each other.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:14 am | Reply
  21. PeterD

    The weak President Obama can't act on strong President Putin. Putin got Obama by his balls.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • palintwit

      Typical redneck, teabagger response.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:28 am | Reply
      • sly

        Exactly. Anyone on here who would rather let a hill-billie negotiate geo-politics, please speak up.

        The Confederates (aka Republican TeaKKKlan), proved their military expertise in the 1800's, and ended up eating their dead in the freezing mud of Virginia.

        We don't need Gomer Pyle to handle delicate international geo-political issues.

        March 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
  22. Loren

    As other opinion pieces have pointed out, the U.S. is not in a position to militarily do anything about Putin's invasion. Given the shaky U.S. economy, it is also likely that markets won't view favorably any sanctions and that could lead to another economic downturn. The time to have done something was before Putin acted.

    The failure of American diplomacy is evident here. The comparison to the German occupation of the Czechoslovakian Sudentland prior to World War II is apt, as Putin used the pretext of the safety of ethnic Russians as the reason for his invasion. The even more stupid thing about this is that Putin could have gotten Crimea without invasion if he had been willing to engage in diplomacy with the new Ukrainian government, I am sure that it would have been willing to trade an area with a low population of ethnic Ukrainians for financial guarantees and stability that the prior government had been unable to artfully obtain. Just shows how inept U.S. diplomats have become that they were unable to see this and use it to hold Putin off from doing such a stupid thing.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:19 am | Reply
  23. HHHHI

    AH YES! I momentarily forgot about those lovable Muslims.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:19 am | Reply
  24. MK54

    Russia places tremendous strategic value on the warm water Black Sea ports of the Crimea that they have held or had the right to use for centuries. The message coming from Russia is that the price Ukranians must pay to move out of Russia's political orbit and become more Westernized is to cede the Crimean Pennisula to Russia. Viewed through this geo-political prism, Russian actions are more understandable. Crimea is more Russian than Ukranian and popular vote would legitimately establish if the Crimea majority would prefer to be Russian. The peaceful way out of this impasse then is for a referendum to be held in the Crimea about which country they prefer to belong to. If the vote goes Russia's way, the Ukraine would sell the Crimea back to Russia for enough cash and other considerations to jump start the modernization of the rest of Ukraine.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • atc333

      Russia wants all of Ukraine,not just Crimea. Crimea by itself is a liability, unable to support itself, dependent upon Ukraine. We are seeing the opening salvos, not the end game. Putin wants to rebuild the boundaries of the USSR, not protect Russian citizens in Crimea. If the US and EU wants to get Putin's attention, an embargo and stop to all commerce with Russia is the only way to proceed. However, to do that, new oil supplies, materials, and finances will have to be provided to replace what is lost by cutting off Russia oil and funding.
      Seeing the comments, it appears that Chamberlain approach to Hitler's European expansionism in the late 30s is in full operation.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:29 am | Reply
  25. The Fool One

    The solution is very simple: USA should send military personnel to Ukraine to HELP Russians to protect their interest. With this HELP, USA will shield most part of the country for Russians advance. And the good thing is that Russians cannot say no, because USA and NATO are helping to secure all Russians interest from nationalist and themselves.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:20 am | Reply
  26. Gumdrop

    OMG, Russian is about to invade another country and all CNN appears to be concerned about is the potential financial loss or impact. CNN has completely missed the mark, the based reason why Russia is about to invade the Ukraine is that the Ukraine lacks the ability to defend itself due to a reduction in military spending and a reduction in forces. Say that sounds the same as what the US is doing now. King Obama did not learn from US history, prior to WWII, and this that making a loud noise will persuade Russia. It takes years to upgrade and maintain a military force, another lesson from WWII the US got its butt kicked for the first two years of WWII until our military could build up forces and a lot of luck. It is a little known fact that the US almost lost WWII, if not for Hitler's lack of military training. Again there is that thing about military training and letting the military run the military with Congressional over-site.

    I guess I better brush up on my Chinese.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • atc333

      The problem is that the GOP is demanding tax cuts and reduced spending. It refuses to revise the tax code which allows 50% of Corporations to pay only 12% income tax, and some, such as Mobile/Exon to pay 0%, as their talking heads go on CNN and claim Corporate America pays 39% income tax. They claim the US effective tax rate is higher than other industrialized Nations, which is also false. as we are in the lower 1/3 of Nations for Corporate Tax rates. We have Rand Paul blocking attempts to collect information on tax evaders who have money hidden overseas, based upon his concerns with privacy issues. We still give 3 Billion a year to Big Oil as subsidies and tax credits. We still give corporations shipping jobs overseas tax credits, further encouraging more overseas transfers of jobs. We don't crack down on bogus US corporate subsidiaries which have set up empty storefronts overseas, with only an address and phone number, with 100s of US corporations using the same agent to act as their "corporate subsidiary offices. That lost tax revenues is over 80 billion a year. The list goes on and on, so now we see Obama attempting to cut military spending,to cut spending, but also to get the GOP's attention. Their choice is rather to cuts social nets, as spending cuts, which will only reduce money in circulation, and slow the recovery.
      Logic says create more jobs, invest in infrastructure, clean energy, education, alternative energy sources, mass transportation, high speed transportation, thereby creating more jobs, creating more tax revenues, which as more money is in circulation, will creating more jobs. Instead we see block and stall as the GOP hopes to sell America on the very same economic theories which created this mess, and which the GOP is doing its best to continue, hoping for sell the voters on the claim "This time, tax cuts for job creators and deregulation will work, after 3 prior failures.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:45 am | Reply
  27. Dimitry Volkoff

    This is politcally-driven, utter nonsense. It's okay for us to tell Russia what it can and cannot do, but when former President Bush declared war on Iraq to oust the madman, Saddam Hussein, due to NO WMD's and NO involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, that was justified. Give me a break !! Let Russia do what it needs to do and JUST STAY OUT OF IT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD !! Russia is NOT looking to go back to it's old ways and they are NOT looking to bring back the USSR. Russia is solely looking to protect her interests in the Crimean peninsula – nothing more, nothing less. USA – PLEASE STAY OUT OF RUSSIA'S AFFAIRS !!

    March 3, 2014 at 11:26 am | Reply
  28. Choir Loft

    SILENCE should be the American response. In the face of hypocritical exclamations of shock at the Russian invasion, POTUS O the empty suit of Washington oligarchs ought to shut his mouth and keep quiet. USA currently has more than twenty wars and shadow wars engaged upon foreign shores with and without permission of the local governments.
    America simply IS NOT in a position to argue the fine points of diplomacy from the moral high ground. American international aggression is as brutal and ideologically one-sided as anything the Russians throw down. The only difference is that gullible Americans continue to believe their own government is without reproach.

    and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    March 3, 2014 at 11:27 am | Reply
  29. Tony12345

    Zakaria is a fool. Ukrainian nationalists (nazis) taking power in Kiev. Russia will never allow nazis there, where Russians live. I didn't hear any news that Ukrainian military fleets now siding with government of Crimea – looks like CNN likes to skip the truth.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:37 am | Reply
  30. Joseph Stalin III

    Seems to me the entire western world is completely PARANOID !! What do you think?? Maybe you think Russia wants to go back to it's old Soviet ways?? Re-establish the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)?? Are you people really that ignorant and stupid?? Maybe you think Vladimir Putin wants to re-build the Berlin Wall and recapture Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, etc.?? OH NO, here we go again...Cold War, part II... It's all PARANOIA on the part of the western world, that's all it is. I think the western world has been watching too many rerun episodes of the twilight zone...Sheer IGNORANCE and STUPIDITY !!

    March 3, 2014 at 11:40 am | Reply
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