via Telegraph: The maps which explain the Ukraine crisis

The maps which explain the Ukraine crisis

As Russia and Ukraine come ever closer to blows over Crimea, we explain, using maps, the issues at stake

10:35AM GMT 04 Mar 2014

Ukranian and Russian Military Balance

Ukraine’s regular army has only 65,000 soldiers, compared with almost 300,000 deployed in Russia’s western and southern military districts, which border Ukraine. Russia also has an established military presence inside the Ukrainian region of Crimea, centred around the Black Sea Fleet base at the port of Sevastopol. These forces have now fanned out across Crimea and seized de facto control of the territory.

EU gas dependency

The three pipelines that carry gas across Ukraine to Poland and Slovakia and on to the EU. Trade sanctions are unpopular among European countries, which are heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas. Europe gets 40 per cent of its natural gas from Russia. Germany is particularly reluctant to get into a sanctions war since it imports more than a third of its oil and gas from Russia.

Distribution of the population speaking Ukrainian or Russian

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Reblog: The Red Badge of Geopolitics: Remembering D-Day from a Geopolitical Perspective

The Red Badge of Geopolitics: Remembering D-Day from a Geopolitical Perspective.

The original article can be found at the blog link above.

Topics: Political Geography, geopolitics, rimland theory, heartland theory

Landscape

The Red Badge of Geopolitics: Remembering D-Day from a Geopolitical Perspective

“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland
Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island
Who rules the World-Island commands the World” -MacKinder
Too often, we learn of history as a narrative. History has become a subject dominated by anecdotal evidence and non sequiturs. As a result, important facts become eclipse and their significance diminishes. D-Day, too, falls victim to this historical revision. So let us take some time to discover what geopolitical lessons we can glean on the 69th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion.
When the Nazis seize control of Germany, they sought to acquire “living space”. They fully believed in the heartland theory. The heartland theory states that the lands of Eastern Europe to the Ural Mountains in Russia along the Mongolian Plateau and down into the Hindu Kush form a resource rich land, which, if unified, would allow the controlling state to dominate Eurasia and the rest of the world. For this reason, the Nazis have a strong Prussian feel to them. Intensely focused on expansion into Eastern Europe, the Nazis sought to gain control of the heartland and from there to dominate the world.
With the early failings of Western Europe against the Nazi war machine, Germany had come to dominate Europe. This representative geopolitical nightmare, as this allowed the Nazis to gain the European rim. Although the heartland theory mentions nothing of Western Europe or the European rim, rimland theory goes into this geographic region in detail. In rimland theory, states located along strategic coast of Eurasia, or rimland’s, come to dominate these rim regions. (Rimland theory considers Europe one of the most important rims.) From these rimland’s, states proceed to project power into the Eurasian heartland. With access to the world’s oceans and should teach it resources, rimland states go on to dominate the world.
Accidentally, the Third Reich transformed into a rimland power. With an empire, which at its height, stretched from the Atlantic to the gates of Moscow Nazi Germany had control of one rimland and flirted with dominating the heartland. If not for the brave actions of the D-Day heroes, the Nazi jackboot would still fly high today.
After all, D-Day liberated the European rim. D-Day had denied the Nazis access to the world’s oceans and the economic and industrial advantages that come inherently with sea access.
Although one cannot question the heroics involved in D-Day, Operation Overlord clearly involve much more than courage. D-Day took into account geopolitical theory and formulated a strategy that allowed the United States and the Allies to ultimately win the war. Therefore, let us not lose sight of this fact. Further, with the challenges facing us today, we must pursue strategies that best implement geopolitical theory.