GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – The Second Crimean War & the return of Russian Imperialism


Russia continues attack on Mariupol – Eueditorial › russia-continues-attack-on-mar…
The above headline tells you all you need to know about Russia’s war of choice in Ukraine.

As the aggressors, the Russians could call off their assault on Mariupol at any time.

The capture of Mariupol will link Russia to their military base on the Crimean Peninsula.

Russia’s invasion has nothing to do with denazifying Ukraine, or any other lame excuse. The War in Ukraine is all about Putin’s grab for strategic military advantage in the Black Sea.

Russia is within in reach of achieving their strategic goal of linking the Crimea to Russia.

Cut off and surrounded, without food and water and electricity, with their city mostly destroyed by Russian rockets and artillery, it does not look likely that the Ukrainian defenders can hold out much longer.

The First Crimean War

From Wikipedia

The Crimean War[e] was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856[4] in which Russia lost to an alliance of France.  the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom and Piedmont-Sardinia……

…..causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the expansion of the Russian Empire in the preceding Russo-Turkish Wars, and the British and French preference to preserve the Ottoman Empire to maintain the balance of power in the Concert of Europe…..

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….. led to a war that stood out for its “notoriously incompetent international butchery”[6].

Will the capture of Mariupol mean the completion of Russian imperialism’s goals in this war?

The continuing rocket attacks on Kiev and Kharkiv indicate not.

The next logical military goal for Russia in their continuation of the war, is the port city of Odessa. Control of Odessa, alongside control of Muriupol, will give Russia strategic control of the whole of the North Coast of the Black Sea . Russian control of Odessa and Muriupol gives Russian imperialism control of the Black Sea.


Pat O’Dea is a unionist and human rights activist.


  1. All that may be so, but would any of it be happening if the US had not expanded its sphere of influence in Europe, since the collapse of the USSR? After years of “cold War,” Russia had “come in from the cold,” disbanded the Warsaw Pact, and joined the Capitalist family, and so what was the justification for Nato’s expansion? By almost doubling Nato membership, and so surrounding Russia with a “Iron Curtain” of military might, the US has deliberately restricted Russia’s capacity to engage on an even footing with its European neighbours – why?
    Under circumstances of virtual siege, with the last piece of the US/Nato blockade of Russia about to be established in Ukraine and it having repudiated the Minsk agreement, is it any wonder that Russia cracked and went on the offensive?
    With US fingerprints so plainly all over this most tragic of crimes, to be casting Russia in the role of the villain responsible for it, is simply disgraceful.

    • Yes Nato had expanded right up to the border of Russia (in parts) however there is realistically no way that Nato would have ever invaded Russia, and those recently joined countries such as Lithuania and Poland had every reason to join given the occupation and genocide that they had experienced in the recent past at the hands of Russia.

      • Soviet, learn some history. Stalin was a Georgian as was Beria. Trotsky a Jew, Kruschev a Ukrainian. Dont be so bloody lazy, if you read ablut Soviet leadership it was not Russia, it was international within the old empire.

        • I didn’t use Soviet because the USSR no longer exists and it is Russia that is again threatening it’s neighbours (and hate to burst your ‘I’m special bubble’ but I have been well aware since something like the age of twelve that Stalin was Georgian, Trotsky was Jewish etc . . you seriously think that there is anyone out there who believes that the ‘Soviet All Stars’ were all ethnic Russians?

    • So Malcolm did the Nato member countries not have a right to choose which alliance they joined? May be for some former states years of being in the USSR sucked. Did Russia really disband the Warsaw Pact or the member countries mutually agreed to end it? A number of former Soviet states formed the CSTO which essentially sounds like NATO for the remaining states (admittedly lighter on membership) Your view seems to paint the US as the root of all evil, and the Russians as just a lovely bunch of Europeans. I get it, the US meddle, but I hardly think its one way traffic

      • Your comments lack depth, and rational perspective.. Rather like most of what I’m reading when it comes to the current conflict in Ukraine.. All that has been established beyond debate now is that we in the “west” are still no more than a flock of chicken heads that will fly about screaming whatever idiotic, and palpably false propaganda spewed at us by our “friends” the USA… The actuality is that making excuses for the aggressive, and deliberate encroachment onto Russian borders by the American puppets in Europe proves nothing apart from just how weak minded we prefer to be on our side of the fence.. No, the need to invade Russia isn’t necessary, because if the CIA sponsored coup in Kazakhstan does it’s job, like it did in Ukraine, then there will be a ring of missile batteries thousands of km long around the Russian border.. Is there a single person here that has thought about that reality? From what I’m seeing, I doubt it.. Enjoy your world war chicken heads.. You’ve earned it.. No side in this situation comes out with clean hands, but the one eyed drivel that passes for “mature debate” in this country, and others that really should, and would know better if they engaged their brains before going straight to mouth frothing jingoism as is now the norm rather than the exception.. The one thing I would change is not being born here, as then I could just leave, and not give the idiots another thought..

        • Leave then you clown – I’m sure Russia would have you (you can try voicing your ‘independent thought’ over there).

        • That’s funny Stefan, I believe your comments lack perspective as well. You along with a number of contributors seem so anti US anything that Russia can do what likes because someone ‘poked the bear’. I am not defending the US at all (and I get their agencies have a lot to answer for), I was attempting to ask Malcom about the self determination of the former states of the USSR and which direction they took after the end of that union. Malcom has basically stated that this where all the problems started.

          I will take it that you will say something to the effect of those that went the NATO way are puppets, those that went the CSTO road made a considered choice with no coercion or interference. You know, some sort of “one eyed drivel”

      • On average, the NATO states invade Russia two or three times in every century. Last century it was Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1914, then after the Bolshevik revolution the combined allied powers, Poland and Ukraine and in 1941 Germany, Italy and Hungary. In the century before Napoleonic France invaded the Russian heartland, then Britain and France combined in the Crimean war. The Russians know that the next invasion is overdue, so they naturally tend to paranoia when a revanchist Ukraine is working towards joining the NATO military alliance.
        The Realm of New Zealand is just mindlessly following the track laid down through almost two centuries of British colonial rule. It’s policy has nothing to do with an imagined “rules based system”, nothing to do with international law or the rights of peoples, and nothing to do with the conflict between autocracy and democracy. After all, the New Zealand Prime Minister worked as a policy analyst for Mr Tony Blair, he who launched the invasion of Iraq under the pretext of mythical “weapons of mass destruction”. She who is now winging across the Pacific to bring the Realm of New Zealand into a new military alliance directed against the PRC while glibly telling her people she is merely on a “trade mission”.
        To those who administer the Realm of New Zealand the people of Ukraine are just cannon fodder. In that respect the RNZ is no better than the Russian Federation or the NATO states.
        The only ground we have for comfort in this situation is that Jacinda Ardern has to proceed “incrementally” and with duplicity, which she always does very well. If she was open about her intentions the resulting public outcry would make the Parliament lawn protests seem like the Embroidery Club’s annual picnic.

  2. If anyone has read the Art of War, you know by who.

    Anyway. This proxy war has almost brought the EU to its knees with food shortages, energy shortages and everything else is in short supply because of the global supply network.

    The US’s proxy war on Ukraine soil using the people of the Ukraine as cannon-fodder to re-start the Cold War with Russia and eventually China too is so obvious, but when you read the bs on MSM you’d think otherwise.

    Kyiv was a ‘feint’. 40,000 troops distracted their National guard while in Odesa same thing …. all holding the larger Ukrainian force(s) in those positions and other places too. Meanwhile, they smash the Azov nazis in Mariupol.

    That fulla Sun Tzu has a lot to answer for. I suppose he will be cancelled soon too.

  3. Pat, why the concern with Russian imperialism? Seems highly selective in a war where empires are using Ukraine as a proxy.

    As a human rights activist what have you to say about the right of the locals to self determination? Or their right to be safe from any aggressors?

    I have stated from day one that Ukrainian killing of their own people had to stop. The Russians demanded this, it didn’t, rightly or wrongly they acted. Now we have a double standard playing out where everyone is calling Russia to withdraw, yet nobody is calling out the Ukrainians for human rights abuses. Will you?

    • Nick J you clearly know a lot about this topic but why if Russia was ‘demanding’ the Ukrainians to “stop killing their own people” is the Russian answer to now kill Ukrainians? That makes no sense.

      • Wheel, makes no sense to we Westerners, but I’d posit that Russians dont think exactly like us. They saw Russians being killed. Worse they were aware that Ukraines military was poised to strike the Donbass, you could say it was a preemptive strike. There are no innocent parties here, no angels except for everyday civilians.

  4. “Russia’s invasion has nothing to do with denazifying Ukraine, or any other lame excuse. ”

    Well sort of, it’s more complicated that that, the Crimea and Black Sea access has always been high priority but the invasion is also integrally linked to the issue of encroachment of NATO and the imperative of not having a nation which is part of a hostile alliance placed between Russia and its southern maritime access.
    If Ukraine had remained (or pledged to remain) non aligned or even sympathetic to Russia this situation would not have escalated in the manner it has.

  5. What the heck were “France. the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom and Piedmont-Sardinia” doing in Crimea in a first place? Last I looked Crimea was very close to/a part of Russia. It seems pretty obvious that it was Britain, France, the Ottomans and Piedmont-Sardinia who were involved in an imperialist adventure.


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