The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Crisis in Ukraine Stopping Putin’s Irredentist Project

The West is treating the fighting in eastern Ukraine as a sui generis crisis, rather than what it is: part of Putin’s larger strategy.

Published on July 29, 2014
Today Russia fires missiles across Ukraine’s border. Ever-more sophisticated Russian weapons flow into the hands of so-called rebels in Donetsk. Russian “volunteers” fight against the Ukrainian military on Ukraine’s sovereign territory. Vladimir Putin and company barely took note of the international outrage after Russia-supplied forces downed MH17; Moscow merely deflected responsibility and quickly doubled down on its military operations. Having seized Crimea, the ongoing fight is but a means for Putin, with his ultimate goal being to undermine the government in Kiev and, directly or indirectly, to control the whole country. So if Western leaders believe Ukraine is a...