The turmoil leading to WW II was largely ignited by Adolf Hitler when he unilaterally declared the Peace Treaty of Versailles irrelevant and ordered occupations by the German army of the Rhineland, Austria and "Ethnic" "German-Speaking" regions of Czechoslovakia. The infamous British Prime Minister Chamberlain �gave away� Czechoslovakia which did encourage Hitler to attack Poland for which he needed te complicity of Josef Stalin.
The territorial integrity of Ukraine was guaranteed by the 1994 �Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances� signed by Russia, United Kingdom and United States of America. Mr. Putin trampled the agreement and the United Kingdom and United States of America virtually did nothing after the unprovoked Russian attack on Ukraine. Promptly, Crimea was "incorporated" into Russia. The EU view was that Crimea can be �given away� to Putin with a caviat that he should not behave so badly in the future. Putin did as Hitler did - continued his attacks - now (April 2014) �anonymous� armed �non-Russian� �Russian-speaking� armed agents engage in simultaneous coordinated operations across Eastern Ukraine under the watch of a nearby Russian army. Mr. Putin is probably waiting to see how much canl Ms. Merkel inhibit the reactions by other EU members to the Russian push in Ukraine.
In the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement, Russia included clauses for the protections of �Russian-speakers� living in �border-lands� - if Baltic states leaned �westward� such would be viewed by Russia as an �indirect aggression� toward the USSR. In 2004, when Ukraine "leaned toward the EU", Mr. Putin invaded Crimea to �protect� �Russian-speakers�.
At home, the response of Germans and that of Russians to the invasions ordered by Mr. Hitler and Putin respectively engendered a surge of their popularity. The tepid sanctions imposed on Russia by �capitalist minded democracies� were seen as insignificant and the logic to justify the German-Russian bonds, as in 1930�s when Germany needed Russian raw materials and the USSR needed German technology are invoked today as the need by Germany of Russian gas and by the Kremlin the need for investments in Russia by German industries. There is a flaw in such "logic" since the goals of Hitler and Putin are unrelated to �corporate profits� but stem from a dream to build a �Reich� or what is increasingly called today USSR-2.
In December 1917 the Bolsheviks attempted to organize an �All-Ukrainian Council of Soviets� and to seize power in Kyiv. Having insignificant support in Kyiv they retreated toward Kharkiv replica watches, a habitat for a minority population of �ethnic Russians� and a Red Army in its proximity. On December 3rd. of 1917, the Bolsheviks declared Kharkiv as the capital of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic and the Red Army invaded Ukraine. Next, the Russian Bolsheviks fomented the formation of �Regional Soviet Republics�, among them the �Odessa Soviet Republic� and the Donetsk-Kryvoi Rog Republic�. On December 17, 1917, V. Lenin issued an ultimatum to the Ukrainian Central Rada (Council) demanding that the " ... bourgeois Republic of Ukraine ... put an end to attempts to crush the armies of the Soviet ... " (the Central Ukrainian Rada had no army).
Now (April 14, 2014) as the Russian commandos continue their assaults on Ukraine and "stand behind" ethnic Russians, the Kremlin strategy appears to be to wait for cadavers to litter the ground and justify an invasion by the nearby Russian Army to "liberate" the Russian speakers from Ukrainian oppression. There is even a further parallel. Shortly after declaring Kharkiv as the capital of the Soviet Ukraine, Mr. V. Lenin and now Mr. Putin, issued ultimatums to Ukraine. Mr. Putin demands that Ukraine should recognized the illegal annexation by force of Crimea to Russia and change its Constitution to cede authority to "regions", a euphemism "ethnic Russian speakers" in eastern Ukraine - one of the latest Russian ultimatums was conveyed by Mr. Anton Siluanov replica watches, Finance Minister of Russia to his German counterpart. This step by the Kremlin points toward some interesting questions: who is a "Russian speaker"? - is this notion emanating from the same chauvinistic roots as did the notion of "volksdeutsch" upheld by Hitler? - why is the ultimatum routed through a German minister? - it probably is so replique montre. because Germany is among the most persistent apologist for Mr. Putin. In any case, Ms. Merkel achievement is to have insured that the EU economic sanctions against Russia have minimal if any impacts on the Kremlin. Intended or not, Ms. Merkel"s more significant achievement is to have increased the discord among EU members and to have splintered the leadership of NATO. It remains to be seen if she will be condecorated by Russia for her services.