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    Posted March 19, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

    asandle and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Ukraine crisis as it unfolds
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    Putin Decrees Annexation of Crimea: Cheers from Russia and Warnings from the West


    After the Crimean government and people largely approved a referendum to seek annexation from Ukraine, Russia has quickly responded, announcing on Tuesday that it would annex the peninsula it once controlled, and while Russians and Crimeans seem more than pleased, the rest of the world is anything but.


    Russia vs. The World



    Vladimir Putin officially signed a decree announcing Russia’s intent to annex Crimea an action met with cheers and applause from officials within the Kremlin and people gathered in Russia’s Red Square. Yet western officials have had a much different reaction.


    Following sanctions already put in place on Monday by the U.S., the E.U., as well as Australia, western governments are now considering even further consequences for Russia’s actions. President Obama has reportedly spoken with E.U. and Russian officials alike, as has Secretary of State John Kerry, who both stressed the gravity of Russia’s actions and forewarned of further consequences if they continued the invasion on Ukrainian territory


    However, Russia seems to be unphased by the imposed sanctions and the threat of more. With numerous Russian officials rebuffing their efficacy, while also condemning such actions by western governments.While the U.S. government has now announced an expanded list of sanctions, will it do anything to deter Russia?


    Why Crimea?



    While Crimea may seem like a somewhat insignificant province to the world as a whole, Russia has long coveted control over the region. The peninsula which currently still hosts Russia’s naval fleet also connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov to the east. The region has long been considered valuable to many, causing the Crimean War during the 1850’s.


    So Russia’s incursion into the region is nothing new, yet that doesn’t make it any less troublesome for regional stability. But one must consider if there is a real way to stop Russia, with both the governments and populations of Russia and Crimea alike expressing a majority of support for an annexation, as well as an indifference to the economic sanctions put in place. What will it take to keep Crimea a Ukrainian province?


    What Will The West Do?


    The next steps in the ordeal are becoming ever more precarious, tensions are certainly rising, and governments are scurrying to find an effective solution. President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed that “international monitors” should be put in place in Ukraine. However, the E.U. and the U.S. are jointly still pushing for a diplomatic resolution and a cease to all military actions.


    Though reports are now emerging describing an attack on a Ukrainian military official in Crimea by Russian soldiers, the question of how much of a military ordeal Russia wants this to be still remains unanswered. However, with rising tensions,and if sanctions prove fruitless the west will certainly have to start reconsidering its plans.

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