Ukraine: The Next Crisis?
The Russian invasion of Georgia has sent shock waves throughout the West and the former Soviet space - especially Ukraine. Indeed, Ukraine could be the next potential crisis.
Georgia's increasingly pro-Western course, including growing ties to NATO, has been a thorn in Moscow's side. But it did not pose a serious threat to Russian security. Georgia's army is small, ill-equipped and no match for Russia's, as was amply demonstrated this month.
Ukraine's integration into NATO, by contrast, would have far-reaching strategic consequences, ending any residual Russian hopes of forming a ampquot;Slavic Unionampquot; composed of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine - a dream that still beats in the breast of many Russians. It would also have important implications for the Russian defense industry, notably air defense and missile production.