1. Steve Saideman on Crimea’s sham referendum, scheduled for this weekend.
2. Boaz Atzili at Political Violence @ a Glance, “The Annexation Vexation”: “To annex or not to annex? That is Putin’s question. … creating a puppet state in Crimea is likely to be a net drain on Moscow’s resources over time. It will cost Russia more in economic assistance (since that will not be forthcoming from anyone else). It will require maintenance of a sufficient troop level in the “independent” state to secure it from within and without.” (All of which…doesn’t mean Putin won’t try.)
3. Ralph S. Clem, “Why Eastern Ukraine is an integral part of Ukraine.”
4. Stephen Benedict Dyson, “What Russia’s invasion of Georgia means for Crimea.”
5. Marlene Laruelle and Sean Roberts, “Why Ukraine’s crisis keeps central Asian leaders up at night”: “The ‘frozen’ conflicts inherited from the collapse of the Soviet Union can become hot again at any moment, especially if Moscow seeks to make it happen under the pretext of protecting minorities or Russian-speaking populations.”
6. Joshua Tucker has a useful roundup of commentary on the situation in Ukraine.
7. I’m glad in a way that I wasn’t the only one who incorrectly predicted that Russia would not dare to invade Crimea: see equally off predictions in the New York Times and Foreign Affairs. (H/T: Taylor Marvin.) See also this analysis by Erik Voeten at the Monkey Cage (only 14% of 905 international relations scholars interviewed in late February by the College of William and Mary correctly predicted the invasion).
8. Well, that’s one way to show solidarity with Ukraine, I suppose: “Tennessee Liquor Store Stops Russian Vodka Sales to Support Ukraine.”
9. Could be useful: “Ten handy phrases for bluffing your way through the Ukraine crisis.” (H/T: again, Taylor Marvin.)
Image Credit: Battista Agnese, Map of the Black Sea, from the Portolan Atlas, circa 1544. Source: Wikimedia Commons.