In order to put the current crisis in Crimea in perspective, I would refer people to a very interesting book that I am sure John Kerry, William Hague and, no doubt, President Putin have read. It is The Grand Chessboard,written in 1998 by one of President Obama’s favourite foreign affairs theorists and President Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski. In it he argued that the US had to take control of a number of strategic countries, including Ukraine, arguing that that country is “a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country (means) Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire”. He warns against allowing Russia to regain control over the country because, by doing so, “Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia”.
— Read on www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/20/significance-ukraine-geopolitical-chessboard