News / Europe

Crimea Moves Draw Comparisons to US in Iraq, Nazis in Europe

Crimea Moves Draw Comparisons to US in Iraq, Nazis in Europei
X
Kent Klein
March 07, 2014 11:26 PM
While Moscow still claims the troops who have taken control of much of Crimea are local self-defense forces, their activities have drawn comparisons with Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland and Czechoslovakia, and with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. VOA's Kent Klein reports several experts disagree.
Crimea Moves Draw Comparisons to US in Iraq, Nazis in Europe
Kent Klein
While Moscow still claims the troops who have taken control of much of Crimea are local self-defense forces, their activities have drawn comparisons with Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland and Czechoslovakia, and with the U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Several experts disagree, however, on whether those comparisons are accurate.

Is Russian President Vladimir Putin behaving like Adolf Hitler?

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently suggested that Putin's claim that Russia must protect Russian minorities in Ukraine was similar to statements Hitler had made in the 1930's.

" ... when Germany under the Nazis kept talking about how they had to protect German minorities in Poland and Czechoslovakia and elsewhere throughout Europe," said Clinton.

That comparison resonates strongly in Central Europe, according to Atlantic Council senior fellow Jorge Benitez.

"Because at that time, the international community issued just diplomatic condemnations but didn't stand up to protect the integrity and the territory of Czechoslovakia," he said. "So there's very much a lot of pressure on the international community to see, 'How will they respond to Russia's use of force to seize Ukrainian territory in Crimea?'."

Georgetown University professor Anthony Clark Arend mostly agrees, but cautions against comparing any modern leader with Hitler.

"If we accept the fact that, okay, he's like Hitler, then it's going to say to us that we have to respond as we responded to Hitler. We have to act as we acted in World War II, and that's not the case here," said Arend.

According to James Goldgeier, Dean of the School of International Service at Washington's American University, the closest parallels with the situation in Ukraine are Russia's previous military actions in Moldova and Georgia. He said the Russians have removed a part of Ukraine's territory from the control of the central government in Kyiv.

"And this is a highly destabilizing situation for Ukraine, and it makes it difficult for Ukraine to pursue a pro-Western course, just as their actions in Georgia and Moldova have made it difficult for those countries," said Goldgeier.

Georgetown's Arend believes Putin was more concerned with what he saw as unrest on his border. "I don't think that Putin wanted any of this. I don't think that he wanted to destabilize Ukraine. I think, rather, he saw things moving in a way, and felt, 'we gotta act before things get worse.'"

Another possible parallel in Ukraine is with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Arend contends that also was a violation of international law.

"It was not authorized by the Security Council. The action was not taken in response to either an existing threat or a potential threat against the United States," said Arend.

Benitez said, however, there is a difference. "The United States went in there to remove a regime that was building weapons of mass destruction that the international community believed were there and were going to be used to harm. This is just a blatant power play in the Crimea by the Russian government to seize the territory of another country."

The ultimate resolution of the Ukraine situation will determine how it's seen by history.

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
March 09, 2014 3:57 PM
The occupation of territories, on the pretext of helping "one's tribe" goes well back and before the dark ages. It is not something of a recent invention. Quite often, it was used by empires, to expand their territories. The notion of violating borders, of established states, in the 20th was very much the tribal pretext, used by facists states, later on by communist states. The US has not invaded any countries on the pretext that its people, US citizens living in the particular country, were under threat with the sole exception of Grenada, the case of the medical students at the university. Putin's military intervention in the Ukraine, was a situation in which he took advantage of the Ukrainian crisis; and given the fact that overnight the Ukraine's Crimean region was taken over, without even firing a shot; clearly indicates a high level of preparatory planning. It is very unfortunate, but the toppling of Yanukovych, was about the very serious economic crisis, not about a Uk/Ru ethnic conflict.; this Russian expansionist incursion, now may make it about a Ru/Uk ethnic conflict. If it is not resolved diplomatically; it will expand well past the Ukraine, and ethnic Russians we no longer be seen as loyal nationals, much the same as it occurred after the nazis started to expand on the same pretext, all ethnic germans suffered a devastating reaction= wipped out. EU economies will need to rapidly diversify away from any Russian dependance; minorities living in Russia will no longer feel safe; Europe will revert to 19 century nationalism, we are seeing already growing nationalist forces in most EU countries; all in all the region will become more unstable; a nuclear arms race can't be ruled out. It is all about one "prima donna" outmanuvering the other one, as in the old days of stupidity.

by: Anonymous
March 08, 2014 5:51 AM
Arrest Putin!!! He is also feeding the genocide in Syria he is forcing it to happen. War criminal cant be any clearer.

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
March 08, 2014 4:13 AM
I disapprove any foreign army deployment in any sovereign country. However, who needs such appalling reporting as this and whom are you willing to fool? Such unprofessional “reporting” undermines public trust to mass media all over the world. The reporter was elementary dishonest or was heavily, very heavily biased. Even children know no reporting can be torn off its context. How can the ‘reporter’ hide the facts known by everybody in the world? The deployment in Crimea hasn’t happened as if out of nowhere but had been preceded by unconstitutional overthrow of constitutionally elected president. Constitutional means to remove him from power hadn’t been tried out. Instead there had been launched coup d’état with ultra-nationalist, far-right forces at its the core. So, in order to be honest, the reporting should have started from the ultra-nationalist, far-right coup d’état in Kyiv.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs