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Obama Should Act Like M.L. King, Not Khrushchev

At its core, the likelihood that Ukraine will become a U.S. satellite is no less of a threat to Russia’s national security as Soviet missiles in Cuba were to the U.S.

Published: April 23, 2014 (Issue # 1807)




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After CIA director John Brennan’s recent visit to Kiev and his talks with Ukrainian intelligence officers, it is clear that the Ukrainian crisis has ushered in a new cold war in which the U.S. and Russia are battling each other on the territory of a third country. In the previous Cold War, that struggle took place in African and Asian countries, but now, with Russia weaker than before, the battle has come to Moscow’s backyard — Ukraine. What began as a disagreement with Europe over Ukraine’s future has now become an open conflict between the U.S. and Russia.

Also by this author: Russia Must Stop U.S. Aggression

This is probably the worst conflict between the two countries since the Cuban missile crisis, but in the Ukrainian crisis the two sides have switched roles. This time, U.S. President Barack Obama is not taking President John F. Kennedy’s role in the standoff, but that of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. In 1962, Khrushchev thought the U.S. was weak and that he could therefore place Soviet missiles in Cuba. But in placing nuclear missiles so close to U.S. territory, he had crossed a red line that provoked a tough U.S. response.

Also by this author: Why There Will Be War in Ukraine

Now Obama, like Khrushchev, has crossed a red line by helping a Russophobic government to seize power by force in Kiev. Obama’s main mistake was that he failed to understand that Moscow would view U.S. support for the new anti-Russian government in Kiev as both an act of aggression and an existential threat to Russia — and that Moscow would be prepared to resist blatant U.S. meddling in Ukraine at all costs. Just as Khrushchev became emboldened by the Soviet Union’s emergence as a superpower and overestimated Washington’s weakness, Obama, it would seem, is emboldened with the U.S.’ status as the only remaining superpower, while overestimating Moscow’s weakness. Russia might not be a strong global superpower, but it has great strength in its own region.

At its core, the likelihood that Ukraine will become a U.S. satellite is no less of a threat to Russia’s national security as Soviet missiles in Cuba were to the U.S.

Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians in Ukraine are not opposed to each other. In fact, the two even blend together in some places. For example, 75 percent of the population in the rebellious cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk speak Russian as their primary language, according to recent polls. Meanwhile, 65 percent of all Ukrainians speak Russian as their primary language, even though they are able to speak Ukrainian.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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