Geopolitical Case of Crimea: The Southern Watchtower

  • Michal M. Ceterski Masters Student, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, People's Republic of China
Keywords: neorealism, structural realism, geopolitics, geostrategy, Crimea, Crimean Peninsula, Russia, Russian Federation.


This article aims to present the issue of “Annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation in 2014” to the wider audience in a descriptive manner, providing recent historical background of the issue, selected international responses towards the developments of this crisis and to explain it using the theory of structural realism, with its close counterparts of geopolitics and geostrategy. To deepen the understanding of Russian foreign policy in this matter, a theory of “Landbridge & Watchtowers” have been coined and explained by the author as an attempt at analyzing Russian motivations for the annexation. Also, the author would like to argue that Russian Federation used political liberalism, another well-established theory in International Relations field, to further it's realpolitik agenda.


[1] R. Sakwa. Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands. London, UK: I.B. Tauris, 2015.
[2] A. Wilson. Ukraine Crisis: What It Means for the West. New Haven, CT and London, UK: Yale University Press, 2014.
[3] A. Sergunin. “Explaining Russian Foreign Policy Behavior”. Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, vol 147, 2016.
[4] A. Dugin, “Osnovy geopolitiki: Geopoliticheskoe budushchee Rossii” Internet: , 2000 [Dec. 27, 2016].
[5] H. Gardner, Crimea, Global Rivalry and the Vengeance of History, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
[6] K. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (re-issue), Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2010.
[7] “Crimea”, Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Internet: , Dec. 25, 2016 [Dec. 27, 2016].
[8] K. Calamur, “Crimea: A Gift To Ukraine Becomes A Political Flash Point, National Public Radio”, Internet , Feb. 27, 2014.
[9] A. de Nesnera, “Khrushchev's Son: Giving Back Crimea to Russia Not an Option, Voice of America”, Internet: .
[10] (2014). Fact Sheet – EU-Ukraine Relations, EU External Action Service. Available: .
[11] L. Peter. “Guide to the EU deals with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine”. Internet: , Jun. 27, 2014.
[12] EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, European Commission. Available: .
[13] “Ukraine drops EU plans and looks to Russia”. Internet: , Nov. 23, 2013.
[14] “Putin describes secret operation to seize Crimea”. Internet: , Mar. 9, 2015.
[15] “Stones, bottles thrown as pro-, anti-Russian protesters clash in Crimea”. Internet: , Feb. 27, 2014.
[16] “Crimea, Sevastopol officially joins Russia as Putin signs final decree”. Internet: , Mar. 22, 2014.
[17] (2014, March 01). Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the developments in Ukraine's Crimea. Available: .
[18] “PACE strongly supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and national sovereignty, Parliamentary Assembly – Council of Europe”. Internet: , Mar. 07, 2014.
[19] “Congress of the Council of Europe condemns the Russian annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine”. Internet: , Mar. 25, 2014.
[20] “North Atlantic Council statement on the situation in Ukraine”. Internet: , Mar. 02, 2014.
[21] “UN Security Council fails to adopt Ukraine resolution”. < , Mar. 16, 2014.
[22] “UN General Assembly adopts resolution affirming Ukraine's territorial integrity”. Internet: , Mar. 28, 2014.
[23] V. Feklyunina. “Soft power and identity: Russia, Ukraine and the 'Russian world(s)'”. European Journal of International Relations, vol. 22(4), pp. 773–796, 2016.
[24] M. Leichtova. Misunderstanding Russia: Russian Foreign Policy and the West. Farnham, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2014.
[25] V. A. Pacer. Russian Foreign Policy under Dmitry Medvedev, 2008-2012. London, UK and New York: Routledge, 2016.
[26] “News-gathering and policy perceptions in Ukraine”. Internet: .
[27] (2014, May 8). Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want to Remain One Country. Available: .