24 March 2014
By Masha Karp
Correction - An earlier version of this article stated in error that Mr Liam Halligan had acted as a strategist for the Russia Today channel. This is not the case, and the author apologizes to Mr Halligan for this error.
A week has passed since the so-called Crimean “referendum”. Over the course of this week, Crimea has swiftly become a part of the Russian Federation and analogies with the Sudeten crisis and Austrian Anschluss have been rightly invoked.
Yet for me a different historical analogy of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis seems even more appropriate – the Prague Spring of 1968 and the subsequent Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia. The Soviet rulers did not want to put up with a neighbouring country’s attempt to build a better life for itself, and chose to suppress this attempt with tanks. In exactly the same way Putin today is using all the means open to him – including the annexation of parts of Ukraine – to stop the Ukrainians from liberating themselves from the “elder brother’s” powerful embrace and making their own choices about the future. [Read more]