The dangerous difficulties now affecting the Ukraine and Russia coincidentally come at the same time as the broadcasts over 3 days of BBC2's historical drama '37 Days', depicting the events which led to the outbreak of WWI. Copied and pasted below are my comments on the '37 Days' director's blog:
The BBC 2 broadcasts of 37 days coincide with the sad but real events now happening in the Crimea. 37 days has yet to conclude but so far at least for me, a key question raised by the programme, is why the UK decided to become involved and I suppose really why we had to join in with the hideous battles of WWI. Today's tensions over Crimea, the Ukraine and Russia are really not those of the UK. The ousted president of the Ukraine appears to be a selfish man whose peoples did not from what I can gather, see how much his own pocket was being lined presumably at their expense. The Russian supported proposed president of break away Crimea may or may not be hardly any better. The point is that the arguments and any fights are for them and not the UK.
Frankly the EU threatening collectively this that or the other sanction against Russia, seems absurd and adds weight to those in the UK who wish to leave the EU.
Reverting to the broadcast of '37' itself: As one who has very little education in history I find it riveting as well as educational - many thanks.
The UK was left by Russia and others to deal with its own problems - Northern Ireland for example where the only third party involvement was Libya which supplied arms to the IRA - and in the Falklands war.
Hindsight tends to show that our involvement by fighting in far off lands attempting to deal with what we perceive to be huge unfairnesses there is often far from beneficial and always involves many being injured and dying quite apart from the costs. Iraq is an obvious recent example though I still feel that the apparent subjugation of the female half of the population in Afghanistan did warrant the UK other countries becoming involved there. Perhaps we are pulling out too soon?
Reverting to Russia and the Ukraine. The late Russian President Nikita Khrushchev 'gave' the Crimea to the Ukraine in 1954 when the latter was in any event like Russia part of the USSR. That does not make any attempt to take it back now fair or legal but the arguments about that should not IMHO involve the UK in taking any action other than diplomatic.