'Russia trying to create climate of chaos in Ukraine'
April 9th, 2014
12:30 PM ET

'Russia trying to create climate of chaos in Ukraine'

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

CNN speaks with Fareed Zakaria about recent developments in Ukraine, what Russia might be planning next, and how the United States should respond. This is an edited version of the transcript.

You've got pro- Russian demonstrators taking over government buildings in eastern Ukraine. You've got this ultimatum being laid out by the Ukrainian government. What do you make of the state of play inside Ukraine right now?

It feels like we're now in phase two of the Russian operation in Ukraine. Remember, Crimea was never the prize. Putin took Crimea because he could, because there was a naval base, because he feared Ukraine was slipping out of his control and he wanted to take that one piece that he knew he could get.

Ukraine was the prize. The whole purpose of Russian policy for the last decade has been to try to dominate Ukraine. So now phase two is, OK, we have Crimea. But Ukraine has become more anti-Russian and wants to move to the West. What do we do?

So, they've done two things. Over the last week or two, they’ve tried to essentially crash the Ukrainian economy. So, they have really essentially cut off supplies, contracts, business dealings. Now what they're trying to do is foment pro-Russian forces in Ukraine so that they create an atmosphere of general chaos.

At that point Putin can say, look, there's general chaos in Ukraine, we need to protect our Russian speakers. We happen to have 40,000 troops right near the border and we can go in. He may not need to go in physically, though he's clearly preparing for that option. But that also allows him to go to the Ukrainian government and say you've got to negotiate on my terms now, and those terms are substantial autonomy for eastern Ukraine, a permanent role for Russia in a kind of special relationship.

So, he's now moved on to the issue that was always his prize, how do I dominate Ukraine?

What is the next move for Ukraine, and for the United States and E.U. and NATO, who are trying to get Russia to stand down? Secretary of State John Kerry in a Senate hearing said very clearly, do not be fooled, this could be very easily viewed as a pretext for moving into Ukraine even further. What can they do?

It's a tough question. The first thing I think is the Ukrainian government is going to have to act well. The Ukrainian government has to be able to assert control over the territory. They did a pretty good job in the last day or two getting rid of some of these demonstrators. But at the end of the day, the Ukrainian government cannot control these protests.

Getting Americans or Europeans in, it's not going to look good or work. Russia just says, ‘you see there are foreigners involved on one side’. First Ukrainians have to get their act together and they're trying.

More from CNN: Turning Crimea into 'Putinland'?

I think secondly, we have to start specifying exactly what would happen if the Russians were to invade. I think that really involves getting the Europeans to take a tougher line. If the Germans were to outline tough sanctions, real sanctions, that might make Moscow have second thoughts.

There's not much we can do. We're not going to fight a war with a nuclear superpower over Ukraine. But the Germans do a lot of trade with the Russians. It would be a body blow to the Russian economy.

It’s pretty interesting that the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia might meet. Isn't that a huge step?

That is actually a bigger step. And it's gotten lost in some of the protests. The Russians, remember, had never accepted the Ukrainian government. They argued this was illegitimate. Now, the Russian foreign minister is meeting with the foreign minister. The Russians have said they would be willing to meet with all parties in the Ukrainian political system, meaning some of the pro-Russian ones. So, Putin is very clever. He's making some very tough moves. He's at the same time making some diplomatic overtures. And he's trying to see which ones work out. I don't believe he's ever had a master plan. He's a master opportunist.

More from CNN: Putin won't stop at Crimea

Part of what he's trying to figure out is how much support does he have in eastern Ukraine? Remember, people say eastern Ukraine is pro-Russian. From my understanding of it and from our good reporting, the younger people in eastern Ukraine, even the younger speakers, are not that pro-Russian. It's an older generation coming out of the Soviet Union that are. So Putin is trying to play all these dynamics and see what he can do.

What we need to do is be a little more specific on what we can do. The reason we're not, of course, is we don't have agreement, particularly with the Europeans.

What do you think about what Senator McCain and other Republican members of the Foreign Relations Committee basically saying that the administration, the U.S., has lost all credibility in foreign policy right now?

I think it's mostly partisan posturing…I would suggest that the way you gain credibility in a situation like Russia is not to have gone around invading other countries. I mean, the idea that if we had only intervened in Syria, we would have more credibility with the Russians. I feel like we tried that experiment in the last administration. We invaded Iraq, we invaded Afghanistan, and Putin still invaded Georgia and he still annexed Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

These situations are sufficiently complicated, that if you decide you want to put a partisan spin on them, you can read almost anything the way you want to. I think that this is a tough period we're going through, and a very serious crisis we're confronting in eastern Ukraine, and I just wish that the United States were able to speak with one voice rather than using this occasion and this crisis to turn it into yet one more partisan slinging match.

You've suggested this may be the most significant crisis involving the U.S. and Russia since the end of the Cold War. Are you still buying that?

Absolutely, because since the Cold War ended, we have had a set of rules of the road that have allowed for an unprecedented level of political stability, the global economy has prospered, the great powers have all been playing by a certain set of rules of the road. And what Russia has been doing over the last few years, but particularly here, is essentially saying, we're going to tear up this order. We are not going to abide by the idea that borders are sacrosanct, because what they are trying to do now in eastern Ukraine is they're trying to foment extreme instability.

The idea, I think, is to create a general climate of chaos, then declaim that the Russian army has to go in as a matter of protecting its own borders, protecting its own Russian speakers…This is stuff that really has not been employed by any major power really since 1945, but certainly since the end of the Cold War. So it's a big deal.

Post by:
Topics: Russia • Ukraine

soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. IdiotsAbroad

    CNN and John Kerry pretend right wing extremists don't exist in Ukraine but they are very real and their violence made the coup possible in the first place.

    April 10, 2014 at 1:08 am |
  2. STOPutler

    So this is the new tactics of the criminal regime in moscow led by the new hitler of europe, putin:

    1)Mass tens of thousands of troops at a country's border
    2)Wait for a provocation created by infiltrated KGB agents
    3)Declare that none of the above is "reason or concern"
    4)Invade the territory at putler's order
    5)Run a "referendum" under the terror of a russian occupation force
    6)Annex country or part of it based on results that are falsified or have no relevance.

    Typical, soviet style imperialistic strategy of russian expansionism.

    April 10, 2014 at 1:24 am |
    • sly

      "Hitler"?

      Ho ho ho ... you have a great sense of humor!

      Wake me up when someone actually gets injured in the Ukraine. Our school killers kill more folks each day than Russia will in the next 20 years.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
      • Igor

        Our media (USA) presents a lot of biased information about what is happening in Ukraine/Russia.

        To make some sense of events one needs to know a bit of history. Ukraine itself was part of Russia since 1654 (when Ukraine asked to become a part of Russia) till 1917 revolution and then part of Soviet Union till 1991. Before 1654, competing leaders (“Batka” – a Ukrainian for a leader; Batka is a word root for one of leading nationalist party “Batkovshina”) were disrupting any possibility of defense from Poland and Turks. Thus, one of the leaders (Hmelnitsky) facilitated incorporation of some territories that are present day Ukraine into Russia. Thus, there were no independent Ukraine ever until 1991.

        Present upheaval (so called second revolution in 20 something years and multiple changes of government must raise some questions: maybe there is something wrong with “Ukrainian democracy”.
        Benderovtsi (Ukranian nationalists) acted as assistants of Nazis in WW2 and their followers took power in Western Ukraine and now helped overthrow the elected government in Kiev. Western financial aid directed for more than 20 years to support “Ukrainian Democracy” was ending up in the pockets of corrupt politicians. Much of it also ended up with ultra-radical nationalist movements training armed nationalists who helped to capture power in Western Ukraine and Kiev. The Western infusion of money was due to a motivation to build a strong Ukraine to have it as an ally of the West against potential threat from Russia. I can understand that motivation. The problem was that money did not help to build an economically strong Ukraine, but rather helped to build corrupt and/or extremist forces, which were destabilizing Ukraine for years. The present government in Ukraine is no exclusion and billions of dollars coming from us (the tax payers) will end up in the pockets of gangsters.

        Crimea was never part of Ukraine (it was part of Russia for 200 years) until Nikita Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine in 1954 (within USSR) to commemorate 300 years anniversary since unification of Ukraine and Russia. This was done within USSR and in reality Crimea was never separate for Russia. Remember times when words USSR / Russia were used interchangeably? I hope the West will sober up and understand that Crimea is part of Russia again per majority will of Crimean population. This is a reality and there is no need to further aggravate the situation. If USA made it so that Kosovo decided its fate, why Crimea (with overwhelming Russian majority) cannot decide its fate as well?

        Why would not USA and NATO offer sending military to defend civil order in Ukraine when Ukrainian nationalists start assault on Russian speaking-population opposing nationalistic regime in Kiev. I think Russia would be interested to discuss with the West involvement of NATO troops to prevent violence and civil war in Ukraine. Since it is unlikely that USA or NATO will send the troops in case violence builds up in Ukraine, there is no other option for Russia other then interfere. It is interesting how USA can justify military operations in other countries without even having a border with those countries (Panama, Iraq, Kosovo, etc) but when Russia states that it will use troops to restore civil order in extreme situation in the area few miles away where Russian population is assaulted, the USA and European governments and Western media start all sorts of accusations and threats.

        Igor

        April 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • Igor

      Russia do not want to have chaos next to the own borders, timoshenko is the only one how will benefit from chaos as she controls PM and Turchinov but has 0 chance to vin elections. She will sponsor every one to disturb elections process until she will get reiting up.

      April 10, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
      • berucem

        So by your logic all territories under roman rule should go back to Italy or maybe When charlamagne ruled england, frances, spain and Italy then those to should be returned to Germany. And then when Henry the 2nd ruled over spain and england and Ireland maybe France can have them back as well. Bottom line and by your Own admission The Ukraine was a Independent Nation who's sovereignty borders are now under threat by Russia

        April 10, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
      • N. Krushchev

        Crimea was not "given" to Ukraine SSR to commemorate anything. The 300 anniversary just happened to coincide with the "transfer" activities in the Supreme Soviet, so they made a show for the occasion. The reality is that Stalin and Hitler made Crimea into a catastrophe because of the war, deportation of all the Tatars, and forced collectivization. Stalin ordered Kruschchev to repopulate Crimea with Russiand, but nobody wanted to live in that wasteland, and they had to be tricked into going. Ukrainian SSR Supreme Soviet Dmitry Korotchenko suggested that it be transferred to Ukraine, which had already started it's network of hydroelectric power plans on the Dniepr River, and a canal system to supply water and electricity to Crimea. It was a convincing argument, and since they were all one country, the transfer was logical and practical. Since then, Ukraine has built and managerd Crimea into a vibrant land, nice to visit and live, and benefitted from many treaties with Russia, which recognized it's borders and promised not to threaten it with economic or military interference.

        April 10, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
      • Igor

        To N. Kruschev:

        I trust validity of your information, which does not change the essense of a situation now (it is possible that you presented it in Rode Island recently) . Nevertheless, majority in Crimea wanted to return Crimea back to Russia. Would be interested to comminicate:
        igorwald@yahoo.com

        April 10, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
      • Igor

        To berucam:

        Unfortunately the borders of all contemporary countries are product of wars. Yes, we have to stop at some point in revising history. But some recent (1954 is very recent for history as many people who were born in Russian Cremea are still well) events remain a subject of revision based on common sense. Please be advised: I do not suggest to give all territories of USA back to Indians and Mexico. One should use common sense, and I hope that when you see that overwhelming majority of Crimean population wanted Cremea back to Russia (this is admitted occasinally on BBC and CNN; search for former USA ambassador in Russia-Jack Matlock for example) it should be taken seriosly.

        Thank you

        April 10, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
    • Jessica McGwin

      Your history and your understanding of this situation is incorrect. Perhaps it is your study on Hitler. Putin is no where near Hitler! It is unfortunate that you have not done your own homework on the matter. Do not be easily mislead by others.

      April 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
  3. rodger olsen

    CNN has the habit of printing everything said by anti-Russian speakers as if it were fact. Perhaps, someday, they will make an attempt to honestly present the other side. 95% of the population of Crimea didn't vote to leave the Ukraine either because Russian guns were trained on them (they weren't) or because the Kiev government was doing such a good job or running the country.

    April 10, 2014 at 1:31 am |
    • SimpleLogic

      If you really believe that 95% of the people voted for something, you are one naive little girl. The true statistics of the referendum only had about 38% of the population vote. And since the referendum about 200,000 people out of 1.5 mil have left crimea for Ukraine. That in itself should tell you how truthful the 95% vote is.

      April 10, 2014 at 2:29 am |
      • Observer

        in 95% of cases you are right, those type of resulst are possible in medieval countries of central Asia and Azerbaijan mostly. But don't you assume that people from Moscow who orchestrated the referendum now about the voting show-up statistics at the west, and that 95% show-up rate will be a point for criticism? I suggest you look a bit into extremallly high electorate mobilization data just before the break-up of Soviet Union. No doubt this was the only period in FSU countries with honest elections: The pols were controlled by communists, who lost all the elections then. High show up rate do happen when public is denied to express its view for long and when public is very anxious on the outcome of the vote.

        April 10, 2014 at 4:35 am |
      • peter pan

        where did you get such a ridiculous stats, lol?

        April 10, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • James

      I am especially happy that the Russians are allowing regions of people to vote on whether or not to remain part of their host country. Perhaps one day soon they will allow the people of Chechnya and Dagestan to have similar referendums.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:29 am |
      • Igor

        You might be interested to know that Chechnya is one of the most well to do Regions of Russia. And Dagestan is doing pretty well. Russia is only 25 years after USSR with its communist nonesense is gone. In 25 years Russia made something of itself. Corruption is there, and it is admitted by government, including so much hated by the west Putin. But it is Putin who noted in the conversation with some young critics in Moscow: "I dare to complement myself that that criticism I am taking points to my small contribution to building democracy in this country". Putin is driving a heavy truck overloaded with problems. Do you think it is possible to ride it fast. To me, the one who left USSR 25 years ago, Russia used last 25 years very well.

        April 10, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
      • History

        You might be interested to know that Chechnya is one of the most well to do Regions of Russia. And Dagestan is doing pretty well. Russia is only 25 years after USSR with its communist nonesense is gone. In 25 years Russia made something of itself. Corruption is there, and it is admitted by government, including so much hated by the west Putin. But it is Putin who noted in the conversation with some young critics in Moscow: "I dare to complement myself that that criticism I am taking points to my small contribution to building democracy in this country". Putin is driving a heavy truck overloaded with problems. Do you think it is possible to ride it fast. To me, the one who left USSR 25 years ago, Russia used last 25 years very well

        April 10, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
      • History

        One should know that most of the population in Chechnya and Dagestan (peaceful population) is not interested in becoming an independent republic because economically they are doing well at present, particularly Chechnya. The family of my wife is there and they do not want this nonsense because being part of Russia's economy gives stability, may be not luxury, but solid economic base.

        April 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Well put, rodger. Thank you.

      April 10, 2014 at 11:32 am |
  4. Matthew Slater

    Ukraine is between a Rock and a hard place
    CHAOS Vs New World ORDER!

    April 10, 2014 at 1:42 am |
    • Dervid

      Matthew, you're onto something ... nobody gets that (as they don't care). Russia is protecting its interests, and by doing so, it's protecting the Ukraine from what's coming if they don't ... under Russia, they'll remain somewhat poor, but under the West/NWO/IMF - the won't be much better off, but they'll get the added glory of being looted, put into debt, and forced to take non-Europeans into their country, turning it from a Ukrainian/Russian nation into a Coca-Cola nightmare like France, UK, NL, and the rest. That's always been the goal of Soros ... to destory European ethnic states. In this case, I prefer them to stay under Russian poverty than EU debt and multi-culturalism.

      April 10, 2014 at 7:19 am |
    • byron

      You are exactly right! CNN fails to show how it is the new world order that wanted to envoke mass taxation of the population to guarantee the IMF loans. Russias deal was better for the people of the Ukraine so they chose to side with Russia.....that is when they "planted" opposition to the former leader and planted ANOTHER goldman sachs executive to run the country.

      April 10, 2014 at 11:18 am |
  5. Sandy

    As a few wise men have stated throughout the duration of my life, believe only what you see for yourself. All else is of another(s) perspective and as such is subject to ridicule and disbelief. As opposed to figuring out that which is actually happening, we are arguing. Does it really matter who is right? The answer is neither side, as there is a bias on both sides. None of us are actually physically there and cannot say for certain. We only assume that we know what is truth.

    As for the US, well, can we really handle another financial blow by intervening? And should either or both sides choose to instigate another nuclear holocaust, how many are necessary to obliterate life as we know it on this planet? The environment is fragile, as is life, it would be yet another embarassment to our species, one that could ultimately result in an extermination of the species. Parts of the world are still radioactive today...

    Arrogance shall be the extinction of the human species.

    April 10, 2014 at 2:43 am |
    • Observer

      Words of a whise man!! We are busy dancing on the bridge. Dance human specie, till the mother planet still tolerates you. Even today we could have built am environmentally friendly society of global prosperity and of rapid advancemend, our technologies already allow for this. yet we prefer to kill, robe and humiliate each other. Is the human being getting any better, or it is just degenerating throughout the technological progress?

      April 10, 2014 at 4:41 am |
    • ✠RZ✠

      “No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.”
      ― John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

      April 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
  6. mikserg

    This article by Zakaria is an example of poor journalism. It is very easy to use throw away phrases instead of building an article by conducting research and analysis. It is absolutely obvious that chaos in Ukraine would be created even in the absence of Russia simply because Ukranians are divided and refuse to take responsibility of their own country. They do not have a leader either.
    The current developments in Ukraine, when the government forces are making attempts to put down separatism by force instead of giving the regions more independence, will result in civil war as soon as the shooting in the East starts. This will happen because the police and the military in the East will take the side of the pro-Russian demonstrators as soon as their relatives and friends are killed.
    So, Zakaria is simply writing what he has been told to. Journalism is one of the most ancient professions after all.

    April 10, 2014 at 3:10 am |
    • Observer

      I believe without an external pressure the chaos in Ukraine would start even sooner.

      April 10, 2014 at 4:44 am |
    • Igor

      Your voice is one of few that displays some knowledge of facts and common sense. I should add that, unfortunately, USA and Europe were involved in Ukraine without understanding the history and its relationships with Russia. This misjudgment contributed to what is happening now. But, yes, civil war will start as soon as Russians are killed in the Eastern Ukraine. Will Russia stay away – no. One way or another there will be involvement of Russia as events are few kilometers away. Remember Panama, Kosovo, Iraq, many other places where USA got militarily involved without even bordering those states? Do you think Russia will let Russians be killed few miles away and not do anything?

      April 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
  7. MD

    I think the solution is very simple here. To those who want to join Russia, then get out of Ukraine and go back to belove Russia. C'mon, it's 21st century!! I don't see the point of referendum in this situation.

    April 10, 2014 at 3:43 am |
    • Observer

      Sounds like talks of a Ukrainian guestarbaiter. The people on the East of Ukraine own their land, they lived and died there. If they are to loeave Ukraine, they will take their land with themselves, especially when they see the modern Ukrainian rulers with long tongue but no teeth in their mouth.

      April 10, 2014 at 4:47 am |
    • mikserg

      There is one wrong word in your message: back. The ethnic Russians lived there as many hundreds of years as the ethnic Ukranians. So, their back is where they are right now. I wouldn't use such groundless statements as yours. Leave to Zakaria, please. He is more proficient in this.

      April 10, 2014 at 7:50 am |
    • Jabberwock

      Is that how it worked in Kosovo?

      April 10, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
  8. DCClark

    OK so Obama say you can have the Ukraine we want Cuba

    April 10, 2014 at 4:25 am |
    • Edward

      We dont want cuba.

      April 10, 2014 at 4:54 am |
    • History

      You can have Cuba. The only use would be Cuban Cigars. Otherwise it will be a cost center – USA would have to restore economy there and pay for it.

      April 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
  9. Edward

    Repub and democrat approach hasn't work, how about libertarian.. we'd save money.

    April 10, 2014 at 4:46 am |
    • byron

      NICE!

      April 10, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • sly

      We have plenty of librarians, and reading a good book is always nice.

      Politics? America is prospering right now, thank you President Obama. Only another Democrat can continue our record stock markets, deficit reduction and economic growth.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  10. Name*martino from Ukraine

    The world is no longer fooled by western media. Ask ourselves. What happened when Iraq was invaded under the pretext that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The tactics was perfected by the media and what did the world or the west do when it was discovered itwas all lies upon lies to destroy an innocent country. Remember, UUkrainian was once part of Russia and know one knows the country better than Kremlin. Russia has a big role to fix Ukrain and maintain stability. Polical journalism had failed. Sorry..

    April 10, 2014 at 4:48 am |
  11. arvay

    What Ukraine needs to do is to begin to secret away weapons and explosives , along with the creation of a partisan force, to deal with any attempt by Putin to occupy. Russia has been wounded by Chechen extremists: facing a "Ukrainian IRA" with people who speak and look like Russians will be orders of magnitude worse. The US can and should keep hands off: the Ukrainians can handle this themselves –as the Iraqis did after the American blitzkrieg - oops - shock and awe failed to shock and awe.
    Included in the current mess is the grasping of our own leaders at the tattered threads of global hegemony: the westward thrust of NATO, that comic-opera war in Georgia, abrogation of a vital European missile treaty, a plant to station de-stabilizing missile interceptors near Russia and the behind-the-scenes encouragement of the Kiev coup.
    Sadly, the leader who arose in Russia to confront these stupidities was not a great or even very clever statesman - but an atavistic nationalist who's made things even worse. In other words, another George Bush.

    April 10, 2014 at 5:40 am |
  12. Chris

    oh really, zakaria, russia wants chaos in the ukraine?? thank you for enlightening us, we would have never guessed. how does this guy constantly think that he is some political analysis genius when all he does is state the obvious. please cnn, have mercy and put an end to his ultra moronic 360 show...id rather watch bill oreilly for the rest of my life.

    April 10, 2014 at 5:53 am |
  13. Munir Katb

    USAID & CID paid over $5 billion to destabilize Ukraine, Hired snipers to kill both policemen & protesters to blame it on the legitimate, elected government, armed fascists to through the legitimate president, but Russia is the one interested in creating chaos in Ukraine. Mr. Zak, is there any limit to your impudence?

    April 10, 2014 at 6:26 am |
    • Munir Katb

      Sorry, I meant CIA

      April 10, 2014 at 6:27 am |
  14. Sir Tony Brenton

    Zakaria really needs to get his facts right on the 2008 Georgia war. Abkhazia and South Ossetia were under Russian "protection" for years before the war began (and that is what their populations wanted). Sakashvili decided he wanted them back, and expected US support. After a long series of provocations from both sides he (as confirmed by a very thorough subsequent EU invetigation) launched hostilities in South Ossetia, forcing Russia to respond and leaving the US sitting awkwardly on the sidelines. Having won the war Russia then withdrew its troops from Georgia proper, but recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia as iindepenent, still under its protection. What did not happen (as Zakaria asserts) was Russia gratuitously attacking Georgia in order to take Abkhazia and South Ossetia. I was in Moscow at the time of the war. Putin had no choice but to respond vigorously to the Georgian attack.

    April 10, 2014 at 7:14 am |
    • Steve

      Dead bang on. And the only thing I approve of Bush and Rice doing back then was obviously telling Sakashvili that he mistakenly thought the US would follow him down the rathole he dug for himself. If nothing else, the fact that there is a NORTH and SOUTH Ossetiya should alert folks to the fact that there was and is something else going on. And, no, the NORTH Ossetians have not begged the peace-loving Georgians to come rescue them...

      April 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
  15. Suhail Ahmad

    Russia is planning to claim the Holy Land – Jerusalem. Israel is very isolated today..its the time..

    April 10, 2014 at 8:09 am |
    • sly

      Ho ho ho ... good to see at least some of you have a good sense of humor!

      April 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
  16. Ashley

    I think Zakaria is trying to create chaos. He should stop to write if he can not write the truth

    April 10, 2014 at 9:42 am |
    • rrjkr

      Zakaria is one of the most well informed and objective journalists out there. Whose "truth" would you like him to report?

      April 10, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
      • Alex

        Great joke! Thank you for good laugh.

        April 10, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
  17. il

    if not Russian, there would be many corpses right now there.

    April 10, 2014 at 9:42 am |
  18. Ferdi

    Lets not forget that all this would have never happened if the West hadn't mingled in the internal affairs of a sovereign country. Now, that you have awaken the sleeping giant deal with it. When you here Victoria Nuland clearly talking about replacing a legitimately elected government, one starts to wonder how many of such government have been replaced by the US. What I think, is the US and EU didn't expect such a reaction by Russia thus didn't prepare a plan. Now that its happened diplomats don't know what to do.

    April 10, 2014 at 9:47 am |
  19. LK

    Every Ukrainian regardless of whether they are of Russian descent or not is fighting for their own self interests. The typical micro-economic evaluation of indifference curves if you will. Now, should it really surprise us that out of Ukrainian forces stationed in the Crimea, only a a fraction chose to go back to mainland Ukraine, while the majority became naturalized Russian citizens? Of course not! Their salaries increased 4x overnight! Whether Americans want to admit it or not, as it stands now, Russia is still the #6 economy in the world and has relatively more to offer to their middle class citizens than Ukraine. Why do we feel so strongly about stopping pro-Russian protests in Eastern Ukraine when they are rooted in the ikndividual desire to have more economic stability?

    The EU has proven itself as a failing regime. The terms are not and have never been equal. The quality of life in Germany and the Netherlands are far different from Greece, Portugal or Bulgaria! Team America World Police needs to stand down – we have enough issues domestically to keep us occupied for generations. Let Eastern Europe decide what's best for them and let's all do our part to get Neo-Cons out of Washington so that we can have a better life for our children here, instead of devoting our energy and resources to prove a point to Putin.

    April 10, 2014 at 9:56 am |
  20. palintwit

    Pinatas that resemble Sarah Palin would probably sell very well north of the Mason-Dixon line. I mean, who wouldn't want to hit one of those things with a stick.

    April 10, 2014 at 10:16 am |
    • I would buy one but

      I would buy one. But once it's broken open, then BS spews out of it instead of candy. Use outdoors only.

      April 10, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
  21. Dr veruju

    Zakaria, you are a tool.
    The US has been stirring up unrest world wide for decades including the current events in the Ukraine.
    All so we can keep the gravy train flowing to the military industrial complex

    Russia has simply taken a leaf out of the US playbook.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:12 am |
  22. parabolid71

    This guy Zakaria is ridiculous, every other day he is contradicting himself, but it does not matter he gets paid to write this nonsense so he is happy. That is all it matters to him.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:35 am |
  23. Joseph McCarthy

    I noticed how CNN is always spewing out this anti-Russian manure from these right-wing fanatics. Now they're making up this phony story about how the Crimean people "voted at the point of a gun". Did the Afghans also " vote at the point of a gun", too? This goes to show just how biased CNN really is!

    April 10, 2014 at 11:37 am |
    • ✠ RZ ✠

      Pleased to see very much and strong contention in the comments to this post. Not that it will send a ripple up through the ranks at CNN, but one can certainly hope.

      April 10, 2014 at 11:48 am |
  24. GOPhers - Please read the GOP Mantra Together and Out Loud

    The GOP Mantra/Solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. And don't forget the GOP all time favorites........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    Amen.

    April 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
  25. Some of Donetsk

    Why do not you understand that the real evil is politician that now seized power in our country. These are real fascists who do not care for citizens. Russia is our brothers They act according to the situation..

    April 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
  26. jack2

    On March 5, Putin announced to the world that "military maneuvers" were successfully completed and by March 7 all Russian soldiers, together with their equipment, would be back in their usual location, leaving Crimea alone.

    However, instead of the promised end of these "maneuvers," more than 10,000 Russian troops arrived in Crimea.

    April 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
    • Some of Donetsk

      Arrive in guests and you will understand that ordinary people only won from tacking to Russia

      April 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
  27. rrjkr

    Although some argue that the Ukraine has been 'a part" of Russian for some 300years, that needs to be qualified. The most recent memories of Russian oppression go back only 80 years to Stalin's forced collectivism and deportation and extermination of the Kulaks. Party sympathizers and Russian transplants were awarded lands that had belonged to Ukrainians deemed to be enemies of the state. Prior to that Russia waged cultural warfare against the Ukrainians, even forbidding the speaking of their native language. So is it any wonder many Ukrainians are wary of being under Moscow's thumb once more..

    April 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
  28. YV

    Oh oh oh, it's information war

    April 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
  29. Rick

    Fareed Zakaria is a member of the CFR, the Council on Foreign Relations. Thats all you need to know.

    April 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
  30. Michael

    This article is not true. People in the East and South of Ukraine are very different from people in the West part of Ukraine. They are not pro-Russian, but they do speak different language, have different traditions and history. They love Ukraine and they do not want to be forced to speak different language and forget their history just because the new radical government wants them to. They do not like the nationalistic ideas of the new government, and they do not want to recognize Bandera who was committing atrocities with Hitler's troops during World War II. The West of Ukraine installed a monument to Bandera. The nationalistic groups existed in the West part of Ukraine for many years, they are also in the new government. This is what the people of East and South of Ukraine are protesting against. They want to be more independent from the West. The coverage of the events in Ukraine by the main steam media is very strange to say the least.

    April 11, 2014 at 12:36 am |
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