By John Cottrell

Total occupation of a territory, an act some would say belongs to the past, took place on the 2nd of March. Within 48 hours, Russian troops poured through Ukrainian borders and took over the Crimean peninsula. As international diplomacy rages on, the media struggle to get a hold on this crisis and make efforts to assess the reasons Vladimir Putin decided to launch a large scale invasion. Is the media coverage, however, efficient? Are international media actually considering all factors that drive the Russian President?

The most overused reason the media communicate are the pro-Russian demonstrations in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Following the riots in Kiev and the establishment of a new government which is said to follow the path of the EU, the people of Crimea began their own 'Maidan Revolt'. Why is that?

The Crimean Peninsula has been Russian territory since the 18th century, but in 1954 Soviet Union leader, Nikita Khrushchev transferred jurisdiction to Ukraine. The people however did not stop feeling Russian and as long as Ukraine would politically stay close to Russia they would avoid causing problems.

Crimean and Eastern Ukrainian votes had brought pro-Russian Victor Yanukovych to power but with him ousted, these communities feel insecure. They demand independence from Kiev and support from Russia. Thus, the mainstream reason Putin seeks to hold Crimea is to protect its Russian population from Kiev and the "nationalists" that, as he says, hold Ukraine.

Surely the Russian President wants to protect his people from harm but there is more behind the assault that must be noted. Large scale invasions always come hand-in-hand with economic, political and military goals but in our case, they receive the least amount of coverage.

The 'Russian Bear' seeks to defend its economic interests at all costs. Ukraine is an important hub for Russian oil and natural gas. Russia supplies a quarter of natural gas and 40% of oil consumed in Europe while 80% of these supplies run through Ukraine. These pipelines reach Germany, Italy, Austria and Greece. Ukraine is also the 'bread basket of Europe'. It is the 9th producer of wheat globally and supplies 20% of its production to Russia. For these reasons, Russia would like to re-establish its influence over Ukraine and maintain its economic privileges.

Furthermore, Crimea is home to the Kremlin’s Black Sea Fleet. In April 2010, Yanukovych had signed an agreement with the Russian leaders under which Sevastopol’s Naval Base would be rented to Russia for 25 years, in return for 30% discount on natural gas for the Ukrainian people. The bases in the Crimean peninsula are vital for the Russian navy to have power over the Black Sea and a direct route into the Mediterranean.

While China is supporting Russia, the G7 have issued their condemnation of Russia’s military act and the EU and U.S have labelled Russia an aggressor, threatening to impose economic sanctions.

However, given Russia’s contribution to global economy and the fact that within a day of the crisis gas and oil prices went up by 10%, many worry about a global financial impact Ukraine’s turn to EU might have. Are these threats going to take place if the aggressor does not withdraw?

The stakes are high for both Russia and western countries. Interests clash and the future is uncertain. Will the Crimean peninsula gain independence? Will it join Russia along with other eastern Ukrainian regions? Will the Russian President back down?

What we can say with certainty is that political statements coming from the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, such as: "You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests” do not help to defuse the situation. On the contrary, such statements might amuse President Putin.