Russia, U.S. Trade Blame Over Ukraine

As the Ukraine crisis evolves, it’s instructive to step back and look at some of the claims, and counter-claims, that are driving the conflict. They include:

Claim: The U.S. says Russia is deliberately destabilizing the interim Ukraine government

Counter-Claim: Russia says an illegal coup brought the interim Ukraine government to power. Russia considers the current government illegitimate

Reported Facts: Ukraine elections are set to elect a new government on May  25th 

Claim: Russia maintains that NATO expansionism destabilizes eastern Europe and that Ukraine is a victim of Western overreaching

 Counter-Claim: The U.S. believes that NATO counters Russian intimidation of Europe and that Ukraine benefits from closer EU relationships

Reported Facts: Both countries seek outcomes in the Ukraine that strengthen their respective positions 

Claim: The U.S. maintains that Russia is illegally annexing Crimea in an unprecedented land-grab with nefarious intent

Counter-Claim: Russia claims humanitarian intentions, and says its actions in Crimea only follow the Kosovo precedent previously set by the US and NATO

Reported Facts: NATO cited humanitarian reasons for intervening in Kosovo

Claim: The U.S. believes that Russian special forces are stirring unrest in eastern Ukraine

Counter Claim: Russian says civil war will erupt if Ukraine uses force to quell eastern Ukraine unrest

Reported Facts: Ukraine has deployed some forces to eastern cities in an attempt to retake government buildings held by the pro-russian groups.