A new Cold War?

Print edition : May 02, 2014

Russian soldiers load military equipment to be shipped to Ukraine onto a train near Simferopol, Crimea, on April 8, following Moscow's annexation of Crimea. Photo: Alexander Polegenko/AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 9, about to attend a meeting with presidential envoys in Federal Districts in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow. He threatened to start charging Ukraine in advance for vital gas supplies, a move that could sharply hurt Ukraine, which is already on the verge of bankruptcy. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/AP

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (second from left) with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka after reviewing a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony on April 10 in Prague. Rasmussen met with the Czech Republic leader to discuss the Ukraine crisis. Photo: MICHAL CIZEK/AFP

Communist lawmakers scuffle with right-wing Svoboda ( Freedom) Party lawmakers during a session of Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, in Kiev on April 8. Photo: Vladimir Strumkovsky/AP

Masked pro-Russian activists guard barricades at the regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, on April 9. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the stand-off in Donetsk and the two neighbouring pro-Russian regions of Lugansk and Kharkiv must be resolved within two days either through negotiations or through the use of force. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Local citizens carry food for pro-Russian activists at the Ukrainian regional office of the Security Service in Lugansk, 30 km west of the Russian border, on April 9. Photo: Igor Golovniov/AP

What is at stake is not a competition between irreconcilable social systems, as in the Cold War of yesteryear, but a reconfiguration of capitalist power on a global scale. This historical phase must be understood on its own terms, not through a weak analogy with the Cold War.
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