A Russian Invasion of East Ukraine Would Make Crimea Seem Like a Cinch

Escalation. Not surprised, just resigned and hoping that the volatile situation doesn’t devolve into a war that will only lead to death and destruction. Living in peaceful Singapore, it’s often hard to get a perspective of just how violent the rest of the world is, and how bloodied some countries are.

Pray for MH370? Pray for Ukraine. For Central African Republic. For Syria. For South Sudan.

TIME

The newest wave of separatism in eastern Ukraine feels very familiar. In the last few days, protesters waving Russian flags have seized government buildings by force, barricaded themselves inside, declared their intention to break away from Ukraine and appealed to Russia to send in troops to protect them. At every step, they followed the script that ended last month with the Russian annexation of Crimea. But the stage this time didn’t seem to fit the performance.

Eastern Ukraine is not like Crimea. It is far bigger, more diverse, better integrated into Ukraine’s economy and more vital to its survival than Crimea, and if the action proceeds again toward a Russian invasion of these territories, the Kremlin’s choreographers will have a much harder time pulling it off. The stakes this time are incomparably higher.

For one thing, Ukraine will defend itself. In February, when pro-Russian gunmen seized the Crimean parliament and…

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