During the early 2014, Crimea became the center of attention of the worst East-West crisis ever since the Cold War. Kremlin-supported forces took power over the Crimean peninsula, and the region voted to join Russia in a public vote that Ukraine and the West consider illegal.
The Sevastopol port is a main naval base and the home to the Black Sea Fleet since the Soviet times. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the fleet was divided between Ukraine and Russia. The continuous presence of the Russian fleet in Sevastopol has become the center of tension between the two countries.
Eighteen months ago, when Vladimir Putin seized Crimea and is started a rebellion in the Donbas area. Putin had been roundly condemned, and Russia had been struck with adverse economic supports. The East-West relationships soured terribly, and the diplomats pondered if they were witnessing the start of yet another cold war.
Putin appears to have won this war in Ukraine with his Western critics merely watching from the sidelines, consuming with helpless rage. In this extreme condition, Putin has frozen the chaos gradually, the same as what he did in Georgia in 2008. Putin is now able to control and, whenever needed, influence the flow of diplomatic, political and economic developments in Ukraine.
The attitude of Putin toward Crimea is comparable to that of other Russian heads. He is simply not breaking new ground. His concept of paradise is a Slavic confederation of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. He considers Kiev as the mother of all cities in Russia. Putin believes he got the time. Ukraine squirms out of his hand, which have been futile. He also sees his American adversaries as divided, corrupt and weak, and in this situation, probably willing to strike an offer in his favor.
And then, after several talks with Angela Merkel, a German chancellor, Putin agreed to a ceasefire in February. But to this day, according to NATO and Ukrainian officials, the Russian forces still shell and rocket Ukrainian positions on a regular basis. Not even close from withdrawing its troops or pulling back heavy weapons as expected of the agreement. Instead, it has constructed military bases and deployed about 50,000 troops outside the border and stationed another 9,000 inside Ukraine. The national security council of Ukraine warned a few weeks ago that Moscow had carried out some preparations for an offensive in three directions from the territory it controls at the moment.
The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, said that Russia was still training and arming the rebel forces in Crimea, and he asked for the warring parties to reinforce the ceasefire. There had been some sightings of Russian tanks crossing into Ukraine. There have been some shipping and delivery of equipment, forces and training. People can definitely see the Russian presence and solid support for the separatists in the eastern Ukraine. The bottom line is, Russia still in the region.
And so, Stoltenberg called on Russia to remove all of its forces from the place and to respect and implement the Minsk agreement. The Ukraine government states that the rebels have been concentrating on armaments in depots near the city of Donetsk. Stoltenberg also said that he was worried that the weaponry that was not monitored could be used for future wa
The problem now is they do not fully understand the method of reasoning of Putin and vice versa. In his perspective, the NATO officials, the US and the European Union have launched a proxy war in Crimea as a way to weaken Russia. Putin added afterward that as for their nuclear forces, they are always in a state of total readiness for combat.