Putting aside Russia's phony claims of "threats to ethnic Russians" and "Ukrainian fascists run amok," there are real reasons for its invasion of Ukraine. Understanding these is central to crafting the West's long-term response. And it must be a long-term response, because Crimea isn't the end of Russia's neo-imperial ambitions.
Russia chose to fight American-armed Georgia over the territory of South Ossetia - a piece of land the size of Rhode Island and containing only 70,000 people. Why? And what are the implications for the United States and Russia's neighbors?
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Reviving Greater Russia? The Future Of Russia’s Borders With Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova And Ukraine
In December 2001, a new Russian law laying the basis for the peaceful territorial expansion of the Russian Federation went into effect. The entire country of Belarus-as well as parts of Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine-are the most likely candidates to join Russia.