Another funny observation is that UDAR is the party of the world famous former Ukrainian boxer Vitali Klitschko. Also, UDAR means "a punch".
The difficulties are not just technical but also financial. The Ukrainian military industrial complex used to be strong, but I highly doubt that Ukraine could afford to develop its own nukes or any other new complex military systems without heavy cooperation with Russia.
For example, the Ukrainian shipyards used to build some of the most amazing military ships in the entire world world, but they haven't built anything within the last 20 years. The Ukrainian Navy is now equipped with a collection of floating antiques inherited from USSR. After the USSR fell apart, Ukraine's fleet of TU-160 was bigger than Russia's. TU-160 are some of the most advanced heavy long range supersonic bomber jets. Where are they now? My understanding Ukraine simply cut them for scrap or let them rust away (Russia did received one or two Ukrainian TU-160s in exchange for forgiving some debts). Most of Ukraine's fighter jets are rusting away and the pilots don't get to clock enough training hours. Some of the old gear is simply sold to places like Azerbaijan and African countries, and nothing is going to replace it.
Ukraine will not afford to develop own nukes on its own, so it's all empty posturing IMO.
Strong military is important, but you can't have a strong military without a strong economy. The Ukrainian economy has been doing pretty badly, and Ukrainian military has been suffering from underfunding. They haven't received any new equipment for decades, so all they use now is Soviet built tanks, ships, aircraft (most of which don't fly by now), etc.
People who constantly draw the obvious analogies between Hitler's annexation of Sudetenland and all territorial conflicts that ever followed after WWII are so smart. Can we nominate you for Nobel Peace prize or at least offer you a lectureship in history and political science at some university?
As is, they will probably lose their independence.
There is no basis to say that. Russia does not claim the territory of the "mainland" Ukraine. Worst case scenario is if Russians instigate another revolt, this time in Ukraine's eastern province where pro-Russian forces are strong.
Ukraine can't afford to maintain even conventional military. Old soviet nukes in their hands would have been a scary thought. Who knows where those could have possibly ended up, considering the level of corruption and lack of oversight in Ukraine's government (and probably military)
I don't think Kiev is serious about developing nuke weapons again. Ukrainian government is broke and the military is in pretty sad shape. There were pretty much no new aircraft, tanks, or ships for the last 20 years. They just keep using the old rusting USSR equipment.
The nationalist Ukrainian forces are quite strong in Ukraine, so it's possible that Ukrainian politicians will probably continue defending Ukraine's sovereignty over Crimea. In reality, that probably won't amount to much and they're probably happy that they lost those million plus Russian voters who live in Crimea.
An all out military conflict between Russians and Ukrainians is unlikely. They're like Uruguay and Paraguay, culturally speaking. So it's almost pointless to discuss in an all out war. In my opinion Russia would win but would have to deal with counter-insurgency for years. Ukrainians have experience with guerrilla warfare going way back to WWII.
Russia's armed forces have improved a lot in the last 10 years or so. They're a lot more modern and better equipped now. Looking at the TV images of Russians and their equipment in Crimea right now and compared the badly trained, poorly dressed and trained Russian troops from TV images of the Chechen Wars, the difference is huge. Russians are getting modern communications equipment, better fighting vehicles, new tanks and aircraft. Ukraine hasn't upgraded almost anything since the fall of USSR. One funny (or sad?) story about Ukraine's military is how they were trying to fix their only submarine. At some point the submarine had to be welded to a bridge in the port, or it would sink. Eventually, they repaired the sub, but with the help of Russians because a pro-Russian president was in power back then.
This is a good observation. Note that before the current crisis, the pro-Russian forces in Ukraine were still able to influence the politics enough to elect a pro-Russian president in Ukraine. However, if Crimea with its 2million population is removed (and most of them are Russian), then the politics in Kiev will certainly tilt towards a more nationalist and pro-western orientation. In some sense it's a good thing for Ukraine's nationalists.
Personally though, I was always dismayed by the observation that Ukrainian politics have been recently built upon who gets to subjugate whom (east vs west Ukraine). If Ukraine was organized as a federation with strong local rule, I bet the ethnic politics would have been secondary to more important issues. Right now they have more centralized organization where Kiev appoints local governors.
Vladimir Putin has been trained as a KGB officer to serve the Russian people. He does that in an exemplar fashion, at least compared to the thug and alcoholic Jelzin, who sold out his country to Jewish-Anglosaxon interests, while his compatriots suffered from hunger.
Sadly, this is one of the best one-sentence summaries of the Russian history in the 90s. Yeltsin was a drunkard, bad and inept leader who was completely unprepared to deal with the extreme challenges of his time. He gave away the key state assets to a bunch of cronies, creating the now famous class of the Russian "Oligarchs". And yes many of them are Jewish. Reading the list of Russia's Oligarchs (specially the past ones, now banished by Putin) is like reading "who is who in the Russian Jewish Congress". Yeltsin was responsible for starting the bloody Chechen War at the time when peaceful negotiations were possible. Russian soldiers came in like a bunch of drunken sailors completely unexpecting the hard resistance that was awaiting them. The Maiko Motor Brigade brought its tanks into center of Grozny thinking this is how you subdue Chechens. (They were all mostly incinerated hours later). After conquering all of Chechnya, at the cost of tens of thousands of Russian and Chechen lives, Yeltsin reversed everything and signed a peace with separatists undoing everything the military accomplished, and setting up the state of the second Chechen War (now handled by Putin). Russian people were so mad at Yeltsin that Communists almost trumped him during his second term re-election. Communists needed just a few meager percent to beat him, which underscores how badly Russian people regarded him, they almost brought communists back to power.
At the same time, the west views 90s as the "golden time" of the new Russia. They loved the weak, inept, poor, and chaotic Russia of that time. They're still in denial about the fact that Putin's Russia back, big time.
As said, I don't care how noble their goals were. Siding with Nazis is an excuse to nothing.
I beg to differ. It's only ex post, with all of our current knowledge of the full extent of Holocaust and other Nazi "accomplishments" and future plans, we can say TODAY that siding with Nazis back then was bad. In reality, back in the 30s, the Soviet union was regarded as just as bad and just as evil as the Nazis. So a lot of smaller nations were effectively choosing between two evils. Finns for example saw no difference between Nazis and Soviets, but sided with Nazis at the beginning of war hoping to recover territory lost to Soviets in the Winter War. Poland was partitioned between Soviet Union and Germany, and then the Soviets round up every single Polish officer, tens of thousands, execute and bury in a mass grave in Katyn. Millions Ukrainians die from the policy of starvation before the WWII. The was plenty to hate the Soviet Union for.
There were also Russians fighting on the side of Nazis. Many of those collaborators did not view themselves as Hitler's subordinates. Their goal was to liberate their countries from Communists. Vlasov's Russian army wanted to create a free and independent Russia, while Ukraine's Stepan Bandera wanted to create a free and independent Ukrainian state. For this reason, Hitler had a quite uneasy relationship with them since he had other plans for conquered territories.
There was no need to bribe Ukraine. Ukraine was 100% under Soviet control. No one knows why exactly the transfer happened. I believe it was meant to represent a display of friendship between Ukraine and the Soviet leadership. Back then no one would have imagined that the republics could split some day. For example, Russian nationalists are crying crocodile tears because of some territories lost to Kazakhstan during the partition of USSR, though Crimea is the most hurtful thing for them.