Brief: Ukraine and Russia’s War of Words

Both flex their militaries from time to time, but neither wants to go to war.

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Background: Ukraine and Russia are still at odds over Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. (A popular referendum later upheld the annexation.) Both flex their militaries from time to time, but the truth is that neither wants to go to war, preferring instead to use tools such as the media to shape the outcome of the stalemate. What Happened: A lot, actually. Back in August, Ukrainian intelligence predicted that Russia would invade Ukraine by invading the Kherson region and taking over the dam at the North Crimean Canal. The reason for the delay between the publication of the theory and the public outcry is unclear. Meanwhile, an adviser to Ukraine’s delegation to the trilateral group on Donbass said Kyiv would take the offensive in the event of war with Russia, even as Ukraine’s defense minister claimed Russia is preparing to place nuclear weapons in Crimea. Finally, Ukraine’s foreign minister promised to get the international community to apply more pressure on Russia. Bottom Line: This is very likely a war of words being executed in the media. There have been no apparent troop mobilizations in the places you’d expect to see them – Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania and so […]

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