As we huff and puff at Russia over Crimea and the rest of Ukraine, NPR urges us to remember this:
Russian troops enter a former Soviet republic claiming they must protect ethnic Russians who have strong ties to the motherland. The U.S. and other Western nations threaten sanctions, but do little. Russia effectively gets its way.
We’re talking, of course, about Russia’s 2008 decision to send troops into South Ossetia, a breakaway Georgian region with a large Russian population.
More than five years later, a similar crisis exists today. This time, Russian forces are in control of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Again, Moscow says the reason is to protect ethnic Russians. The West has expressed strong opposition, but now, as in Georgia, the options appear limited….
Here’s hoping we can find a way to be somewhat more effective this time…