Sunday, March 02, 2014

The Ukraine

Less than a week ago the protests in the Ukraine were a mild background story. Now the Russians, with their occupation of the Crimea, have catapulted the story onto the front pages.

Let's understand a couple of things. First the country is divided in its loyalties. The Western part would like closer ties to the European Union and perhaps even membership in NATO. The Eastern part is pro-Russian and sounds like it yearns for the good old days of the Soviet Union.

Second, the nation, bordering Russia, is clearly within the Russian sphere of influence and with Poland, a member of NATO, both Georgia and Belarus joining the NATO "partnership for peace" and the Ukraine also making nice with the western alliance, the Russians must be feeling awfully left out and more than a little nervous.

This is probably a gamble that Putin felt he needed to take in the hopes that the Sochi Olympics built up, if not good will, than at least tolerance.

I think he expected crying, moaning and complaints but not much more than that.

The question becomes is there anything, other than yell, jump up and down and wring hands, that anyone is willing to do about this.

I suppose we shall see. Personally I'm not willing to do a whole hell of a lot other than yell, jump up and down and wring hands. It didn't inconvenience me when the Ukraine was a part of the USSR, so who really cares?

I could be wrong but I don't think the Russians want the Ukraine. They want a Russian friendly government and some peace and quiet in the country, something there hasn't been much of lately.

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