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Are Ukraine-Cold War Comparisons That Far Off?

As Russian troops gather near the Ukrainian border, many are preparing for a possible conflict.
Posted at 3:37 PM, Mar 28, 2014

Ukraine-Cold War comparisons seemed to pop up in mainstream media from day one of the conflict. A month ago, the analogy might have sounded ridiculous, but now it might not be so far off.

After all, there do seem to be two superpowers with competing ideologies — triggered by what the West views as Russia's unlawful annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. (Via Euronews)

Even U.S. President Barack Obama warns Russian President Vladimir Putin's escalating military presence in the region resembles "the darker forces of the past" — despite denouncing any comparison of the crisis to the Cold War. (Via Politico)

OBAMA: "He said that he considers the breakup of the Soviet Union to be tragic. I think there's a strong sense of Russian nationalism." (Via CBS)

As Russian forces increase along Ukraine's border for so-called "exercises," tensions between Russia and the West are starting to be very reminiscent of the past.

More than half of the population the Kremlin formerly controlled found independence after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, still a point of embarrassment for some in Moscow. (Via Discovery)

But as The Washington Post reports, Russia today has the world's largest nuclear arsenal. And the recent annexation of Crimea hints at Russia's nostalgic desires for expansion.

Russia's interests in Ukraine are vast. Not only does Russia have its largest military base in Ukraine, but Ukraine is also one of Russia's major economic partners. (Via ITN)

All this has some speculating another war is inevitable. According to CNN"Kiev has already begun improving its defensive capabilities. ... [And] tanks and other defensive weapons have been deployed along the country's border with Russia."

President Obama sees the amassed troops near the Ukrainian border as only a sign of intimidation and has threatened more economic sanctions if they are to move into Ukrainian soil. Still, everyone seems to be preparing for the worst.

According to Newsweek, despite doubts about further escalation, the U.S. began training exercises in Poland and NATO allies are even reportedly planning for possible involvement.