The last few days have been interesting with regards to Russia, Ukraine and the West, mostly because Russia is considered to be the bad guy who should have sanctions against it and be ostracised from everything from the G8 to the Olympics committee, but nobody is sure exactly why.
With some gentle probing the case against Russia quickly falls away and it is the West and the EU who end up looking like the bad guys so might be better to not look too hard if we can help it.
It does all very much remind me of the late 80s when the Cold War was in full swing when Russia was the enemy and we were expected to hate everything it said and did and accept unquestioningly that everything we did was great.
Seems that view is still being upheld today and it boo at Moscow, cheers for Brussels, Washington and London and let's hide behind the curtain the Wests role in the Ukraine's breakup, this is little Ukraine being bullied by the big bad Russia who has all but declared war on Ukraine.
The West say that Viktor Yanukovich who is the man deposed by crowds of protesters in Ukraine was a dictator imposed on Ukraine by Moscow. Rather, he was elected in 2010 by 49% of the electorate which is more than David Cameron (36%), Angela Merkel (33%) and only slightly less than Obama (53%). What we have in the Ukraine is a situation where the West is cheering the ousting of a democratically elected leader.
As we found out in Kosovo, Egypt, Syria and Libya, the protesters we are backing to become the next Government are not all nice, democratic, Western-leaning individuals. Among the new Government wannabe's in Kiev are more than a few far-right parties such as Svoboda, who controls three ministries in the new interim government a little more than a year after the European Parliament expressed concern regarding Svoboda's growing support, warning that: 'the racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles' and appealed to 'pro-democratic parties not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with Svobod'. A year later we are endorsing the same party as democratic.
Far from storming into Ukraine to prop up Yanukovich, Moscow kept away while conflict brewed there over the past three months. It was Western politicians who were stirring up the tensions in Ukraine, Senator John McCain, EU Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Catherine Ashton and US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria 'Fuck the EU' Nuland and John Kerry all pitched up in Kiev to support the protest camps and telling their inhabitants that theirs was a ‘just cause’ and meet with opposition leaders like Vitali Klitschko and advising them on how and when to form a new interim government to replace Yanukovich’s. It wasn't Russia meddling but the West.
Russia has sent 30,000 troops to the Crimea but apart from a few shots in the air on the 4th March, not a shot has been fired so while Russia should be rightly condemned for marching into another country, it is not only them being the bad guy here and the West has some rather awkward questions about its role in all this and it is doing its best to avoid them by upping the rhetoric against Russia.