Lots of talk about how Russia needs to protect the ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Question is, from what?
The original referendum in 1991, voting for independence from Russia could not have been so successful without support across all of Ukraine
The barricades in Kiev were manned by a majority of Russian speaking people. All you had to do was attend the demonstration outside the Russian Consulate in Toronto (Canada) to see and hear proof of that. Russians, Poles, Georgians, Tartars as well as Ukrainians were there. All speaking out against Putin sending in the troops. Many of the speakers had been on the barricades in Kiev. All had friends and family in Ukraine.
And my favourite. Yanukovych was based in the so-called Russian East of Ukraine. When he fled Kiev, he arrived in Kharkiv. Should have been “safe”. Instead he fled to Russia.
So the argument was with Yanukovych and his corrupt practices, not between any ethnic groups.
But as in any country, you will always find people ready to take any view-point. Right. Left. Central. Wierd. We see them all, in every democracy.
The trick is to remember that for 23 years, Ukraiina has struggled to get from a communist state, to a fully functional democracy. The most violence in those 23 years was when the Berkut fired on the Maidan demonstrators in Kiev, just a week ago.
The elected officials reacted to that and set up a new government within days. Life was continuing. Not many countries could do that.
So what is Putin doing? Using Hitler’s play-book from 75 years ago.