If Russia can reduce reliance on its aging Soviet-era nuclear missile deterrent, analysts say it could create a 'whole new ball game.'
Moscow's upgrade to its Black Sea Fleet – headquartered with Ukraine's blessing at Sevastopol – could make waves around the Black Sea, where NATO has a strong presence.
Ukraine recently agreed to extend Russia's naval base lease for its Black Sea Fleet until 2042. One visit to Sevastopol, the port in Ukraine where the fleet is based, and it's immediately clear why Russia would be loathe to ever give up the base.
President Viktor Yanukovich was elected in February on pledges to restore Ukraine-Russia relations. But he has acted more swiftly than anyone imagined, reversing the pro-West moves of the Orange Revolution.