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America's role in the Russia Ukraine conflict

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TYLER (KYTX) - The Ukraine is still struggling to keep control the Crimea Peninsula as Russia looks to take it over. But the international community including the United States is supporting the Ukraine.

The Russian Ukraine clash is something that's been brewing for centuries.

"The conflict has been going on for at least 400  years," said UT Tyler political science professor Marcus Stadelmann. He specializes in European and Russian relations.

Recent protests and the ultimate ouster of the Ukraine leader who ended up fleeing the country -- were the most recent triggers.

With a new government in place the Crimea Peninsula of Ukraine, which houses mainly Russian speaking citizens, is vulnerable. 

Stadelmann said, " I was not surprised. I was surprised at how quickly the invasion occurred and I was surprised how pres. Putin was able to  deceive the Obama administration and the CIA."

From a military standpoint -- taking over the Crimea Peninsula in southern Ukraine was a strategic move for the Russians. They now have control of the warm water ports on the peninsula.

"If Russia doesn't have control, their fleet would be frozen for six to eight months."

However Putin's decision to invade isn't sitting well with the US and other world leaders.

Stadelmann said the first strike against Russia was the 2008 invasion of Georgia, and now this.

"If we don't show power, he very likely will continue what how's been doing for the last few years."

So far, America has only vowed to lend military weapons and economic aid to the Ukraine. No move to send American troops over to help has been made.

A US Military warship has made its way to the Black Sea near Ukraine -- but it's officially there as part of military training exercises with Romania and Bulgaria.

Lawmakers in the Crimea have set a public vote for March 16th allowing the people to decide whether they want the region to rejoin Russia.


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