If you prod a bear enough, it bites back
As Peter Hitchens details – the Russian invasion of Crimea is not the beginning, but the end of a period of bullying by the West.
As I sometimes point out, Russia has good reason to be nervous. It has many possible threats to face… might understand why Russians are ‘paranoid’. The country has no natural defensible borders… From every direction, the heart of Russia lies open to invaders. Moscow has been invaded or occupied by Swedes, Poles, Lithuanians, The Golden Horde, Crimean Tatars, French, Germans
… Khrushchev’s transfer of the area to Ukraine in 1954 was a gesture, utterly unimportant in the days of the USSR. It made no real difference. But actual Ukrainian independence meant that it was always bound to lead to trouble…
What continues to strike me about this whole row is the inability of most people to view Russia as a country, or Russians as people. Russia is portrayed as a bogeyman, and its people as either oppressed or as tools of a new Hitler…
Russia still contains a large, educated, cultured middle class, who of necessity care more about history, literature and patriotism than their complacent, spoiled, semi-conscious western equivalents. They, their parents and their grandparents have seen with their own eyes what can go wrong with a happy life, how suddenly it can happen, how little you can do about it, if invaders come, or if fools are in charge of your country, or both.
For years now, trivial-minded, historically ignorant, efficient, glinting people have tried to turn Ukrainian independence into an attack on Russia. They did it in the ‘Orange Revolution’ and failed because the victors turned out to be as corrupt and divided as those they replaced. And now they have done it again…And they feign surprise, and outrage, when Russia eventually takes the opportunity to stand up for its interest, certainly no more aggressively than the pious ‘West’ has acted in Kosovo, Iraq and Libya
I ask again, what Washington would do if, in a moment of national weakness, the lands the USA seized from Mexico by force in 1848 seceded, and Russian politicians came to Albuquerque to give their open support for rallies supporting an alliance between the new state and Moscow?…
Or what we would think and do, if Russian politicians turned up in Belfast, Cardiff or Edinburgh, openly supporting those who wanted those parts of the country to break away from London’s control?…
What exactly do these people see as the concrete reason for their hostility to Russia? What is it actually about? …
Or does it flow from the USA’s new role (often conducted against that country’s own best interest) as the pioneer of the new global border-free world?… This is about globalism versus national sovereignty, and the curious anomaly of Russia, an old-fashioned European country that is too big to be sucked into the EU,… too patriotic to be persuaded to dissolve itself.
The articles below provide useful background and differing opinions to mainstream media characterisation of the dispute
When is the mob overthrow of an elected President supported by the West? When the President does deals with Russia
Ukraine was close to signing a trade agreement with the European Union in November 2013, but President Yanukovich backed out at the last minute…. Tens of thousands of people who favour integrating with Europe… took to the streets of Kiev….Yanukovich said he would consider re-opening talks with the EU.
Instead of re-engaging with the EU, Yanukovich reached a deal with Putin in which Russia loaned Ukraine $15 billion and sharply cut oil prices. The Ukrainian government said the aid prevented the country from falling into bankruptcy and will provide economic stability.
Paul Craig Roberts writes on Washington’s Arrogance, Hubris, and Evil Have Set the Stage for War
In some quarters public awareness is catching up with Stephen Lendman, Michel Chossudovsky, Rick Rozoff, myself and a few others in realizing the grave danger in the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine.
The puppet politicians who Washington intended to put in charge of Ukraine have lost control to organized and armed neo-nazis, who are attacking Jews, Russians, and intimidating Ukrainian politicians. The government of Crimea, a Russian province that Khrushchev transferred to the Ukraine Soviet Republic in the 1950s, has disavowed the illegitimate government that illegally seized power in Kiev and requested Russian protection. The Ukrainian military forces in Crimea have gone over to Russia. The Russian government has announced that it will also protect the former Russian provinces in eastern Ukraine as well.
How will the Crimea vote on the secession question? A good article and graphic helps explain Ukrainian voting patterns
This map drives two things home: First is that the protests are practically endemic in the half of the country that voted against Yanukovych, which includes Kiev. Second, the protests are not really a factor in the half who voted for Yanukovych. That doesn’t mean that people in the blue areas adore Yanukovych, but they’re certainly not pouring out into the streets to oppose him. It also doesn’t mean that the protesters lack legitimate gripes or that it’s just about their candidate losing. The economy is in terrible shape, and the government recently imposed severe restrictions against free speech, media and assembly rights, which is part of why the protests kicked back up again.