Ray comments on how the coup is left out of discussions but surprisingly he leaves out a different coup. An older one. What happened to the Crimean Tartars? Russia deported them and settled ethnic Russians in their homes and farms. They were allowed to return to the Crimea in the nineties but we're not resettled and remained homeless for the most part while the ethnic Russians remained in the expropriated homes. The Russians eventually deported the Crimean Tartars again into the desert interior of the Crimea and little attempt has been made to rectify this situation.
Russia conquered the Crimea since Peter the Great had his eye on it but despite referendums by these much newer immigrant ethnic Russians (assisted by polite Russian soldiers) the fact remains that Russia annexed the Crimea.
That said, does anybody including Ray think that Russia had ever given up the Crimea? I think Ray falls back into Intelspeak a bit here maybe out of force of habit or familiarity with the region but nevertheless? Intelspeak leaves out a lot that gets too complicated for the average reader to follow. A case of which country is saying what when neither is saying anything that comes close to the whole truth.
The coup was important but why was the coup? The neocons pushed too hard and made the former understanding become facts on the ground but who said neocons were smart? Putin simply said "You must be joking." and annexed the Crimea putting an official end to the fiction that the Crimea was not Russian. The world understands why Russia held the Crimea but not why it annexed it at this time. The answer was obviously the prospect of NATO on the border.
That bizarre and seemingly absurd neocon notion (do these people really believe that they would simply install ballistic missiles there? Like if Russia had wanted to install them in Cuba in return maybe? Remember that was tried once?). What I don't get is the dance. The dance steps leading up to the bridge where Russia wanted a bridge since Stalin days seem apparent but why the dance at all?
Who did what first? All I know and everyone else knows who has any common sense knows is that there would be no way that Russia wouldn't keep control of the Crimea and not because of centuries ago or ethnic enclaves or crap! Russia needs the Crimea almost the same way as we needed New Orleans (and still do). But did they want to annex it first? The first dance step? Or was the coup the first dance step as implied in this article?
Maybe I just want people like Ray to teach us to understand Intelspeak rather than him using it too. Was this all merely cover for a deal where Russia annexes just the Crimea rather than the Ukraine? Russia needs the Crimea but not the Ukraine at least not in the same way. In fact I think Russia would rather have the Ukraine as a buffer anyway as long as it isn't turned into a threat.
This article defines what went on not what was going on behind the goings on. Still Ray gives us that clearer perspective nonetheless by pointing out the implausible neocon absurdity of NATO going 'ballistic' in the Ukraine for what it was... a provocation! But was it a deal as well and never a serious pre nuclear risk as has been touted?
Was it 'really real, really?'