Friday’s Reading List
By Taylor Marvin
What I read this week:
Brushing off Obama’s accurate reference to a “regional power,” Russia strives to shore up diplomatic support among its BRICS compatriots. This appears to have been somewhat successful — though yesterday’s UN General Assembly resolution condemning the Crimean referendum vote invalid easily passed, Brazil, India, China, and South Africa all abstained.
Ukrainian military families in Crimea face the agonizing dilemma of whether to stay in the newly Russian territory — and thus risk future retribution should Crimea ever return to Ukraine — or flee, abandoning their homes and often families.
There are ominous signs that Vladimir Putin may be planning an invasion of Ukraine beyond Crimea, which would notably could allow a contiguous land-grab stretching to Transnistria. For his part President Obama has strongly warned against any Russian move.
Flush with oil revenue, African states are going on military spending sprees that include top-flight Russian air superiority fighters, expensive aircraft useless for the low-intensity wars most common in the continent. Why? Most likely, prestige.
“Not much has changed” in the chaotic Rio de Janeiro slums the Brazilian government struggles to exert its control over (via Brazil Characters Lab).
From earlier in the week, more links at Political Violence at a Glance.