Members of the Russian armed forces stand guard around a Ukrainian military base in Crimea (photo:dpa)

Ukraine: meaningful talks are only way to avert civil war

The situation in Ukraine is escalating by the minute. But Europe has so far failed to realise the immense importance of immediate meaningful dialogue with Russia. The West’s policy on Ukraine has been seriously flawed – particularly in not fully comprehending the importance of Ukraine to Russia. Western leaders believe Russia can be bullied into retreat. But should the West continue posturing, the Kremlin’s vision of a restored great power may well be within its reach - courtesy of the West.

THE CRISIS in Ukraine has entered a dangerous phase. Heavily armed men, believed to be Russian military personnel, have seized strategic points on the Crimea.

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Crimea has no Ukrainian tradition, and more than half of its two million inhabitants are ethnic Russians. Moscow has long wanted to see it returned. The events that played out in Kiev provided the pretext
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