Richard Maass, international security and U.S. foreign policy expert, the author of an upcoming book that examines great-power annexations, and a visiting assistant professor of government at Cornell University, says the ongoing crisis in Ukraine shows that it’s a realist world.
“The ongoing crisis in Ukraine shows that it’s a realist world, but not only for the reason you think.
“Yes, Russian military forces occupied Crimea, achieving its de facto separation from Ukraine while international leaders howled in protest but refrained from using force to defend Ukraine. Some would say this was a victory for Russian hard power over U.S. and European soft power, and such a verdict resonates at least in terms of dictating the future of Crimea.
“Yet the realities of power politics explain the international response as well as Russian aggression, including both the vehemence of diplomatic protests against violating the ‘territorial integrity’ of Ukraine, and the limited material punishments Russia has faced as a result.”