russian_troops_ukraine copyNow that the predominantly ethnic-Russian residents of the Crimean Peninsula have voted to be annexed to Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who pushed the effort after the overthrow of the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, may be looking to take the rest of Ukraine because of its geo-strategic importance, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.  According to the official count, 95 percent of those who voted in the referendum on the Crimean Peninsula chose to rejoin Russia. Washington regards the referendum as illegal. Europeans are torn, especially those in the southeast who rely on natural gas that flows from Russia through Ukraine. There are concerns that Ukraine’s troubles are similar to the violent breakup of Yugoslavia. As a justification for a takeover of all Ukraine, Putin may cite the close ties between the ultra-nationalist Chechens and the Muslim Tatar minority in the Crimean Peninsula. Regional specialists, however, believe that while this strategy may work in the short term for Putin, using the Chechen card could create greater problems in the long run for the Russian leader. MORE