Sunday, March 02, 2014

Ukraine Initiating Mapmaker Angst?

In early 2014 the world’s greatest geopolitical crisis since the Arab Spring is unfolding along the political fault line between Russia and the West. Echoes of the Cold War currently resound throughout Ukraine where the crisis of government and society pits interests such as NATO and the European Union against Putin’s Russia. Ukraine apparently is backing away from an ideology of old soviet values. It is opting for a freer democratic society, but not across the board. The threat of civil war is on the horizon and Russian troops are already within its borders. Mapmakers must be seeing some work in their future, more than since the break up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Will Crimea and eastern Ukraine be hived off as part of a revived Russian Empire? Will a new country emerge or will Ukraine remain sovereign and intact? Historians must be intrigued to see historic locations such as Balaclava and Sevastopol become household words again more than 160 years after the Crimean War. Charge of the Light Brigade anyone? And boy oh boy, mapmakers to the ready.