The clock is speeding up for the Kremlin’s attempt to crush the “Russian imperial movement,” which has swept across Europe and the United States, according to a new analysis from Vice News.
The clock is accelerating for Russia’s invasion of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, as well as its attempts to push back against NATO in the Baltics, the Middle East and Africa, the analysis says.
Russia is preparing to seize control of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in response to NATO’s expansionist military moves in eastern Europe and NATO’s “zero-sum game” with Russia, the report said.
The Kremlin has also seized Crimea as a means to bolster its claims to a slice of the territory occupied by Ukraine since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
The Russian-backed takeover of Crimea was supported by a resurgent Russian nationalist movement and the Kremlin has tried to create an independent state there since 2014.
In the years since the annexation, Putin has deployed the army in a campaign to prevent Ukraine from returning to Moscow’s control.
Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, claiming it was under threat from Ukraine and the West.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denounced the move as an illegal invasion.
“This is the second time that the Russian Federation has taken over the Black and White Sea.
We have already suffered from this,” he said at the time.
Poroshenko said Russia would “destroy” the Black sea region that has been the home of Russian sailors for centuries, including the former Soviet navy.
In March 2017, Russia invaded Crimea, moving into the Black seas in what it called an “unprecedented and aggressive move.”
Ukrainians have accused the Kremlin of using military force to annex the Crimean Peninsula in a show of force against Western-backed President Petro Putin.