Thursday, 20 February 2014

Putin has turned the Ukraine into hell

While European diplomacy wonders what should the "dire consequences" — sanctions? which ones? on whom? — for the ferocious repression of the opposition's revolt by the Ukrainian government, The Economist names and shames the culprit.

The British magazine has no doubt: the Russian president is responsible for the "inferno" he contributed to unleash in the Ukraine. "The horror could yet get much worse", writes The Economist,
the bloodshed will deepen the rifts in what has always been a fragile, complex country. Outright civil war remains a realistic prospect. Immediate responsibility for this mayhem lies with Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s thuggish president. But its ultimate architect sits in the Kremlin: Vladimir Putin.
Many Ukrainians feel their state has been captured by a corrupt elite, which cannot be dislodged by the usual democratic means. Kiev is one of the few European cities where the European Union is synonymous with good government and the rule of law.
If Mr Yanukovych clings on, weakened at home and ostracised abroad, Mr Putin will be content, for he will have another dependent leader to add to his collection of pliable clients. But he might not stop there. Russian hawks have long wanted to annex Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula that Nikita Khrushchev transferred to Ukraine (reputedly while drunk). This upheaval could provide a pretext for Mr Putin to grab it. Either way, a wretched Ukraine will help convince his people that street protests, and political competition, are the road to ruin.
It is past time for the West to stand up to this gangsterism. Confronting a country that has the spoiling power of a seat on the UN Security Council, huge hydrocarbon reserves and lots of nuclear weapons, is difficult, but it has to be done.

1 comment:

  1. TThis is The Economist, the conservative newspaper. And, as typical of conservatives, he is in the quest of some external enemy in order to easily manipulate his own public opinion.. Putin is a bad guy, but this is not a reason to be a even worse guy.
    The culprit of what is happening in Ukraine is mainly EU with its silly expansionism, deceiving Ukrainian people in promising things that it can't do, and adopting a aggressive and counterproductive policy against Russia, manifestly having as its main goal to expose some Kiev hero dead for the Europe glory in the imminence of next EU elections.
    This cynical policy has encouraged Svoboda ( a neonazi anti-Semite party in pushing half of the country into destruction and violence.
    There is an actual risk of explosion of the whole country, which is not the in interest of both European countries and Ukrainians.
    Now let me show what writes our former Premier and European Commissioner Mr. Prodi in his yesterday editorial on the New York Times. Prodi is a men that can't be suspected to be overcritical on EU. It is for sure under-critical - as ever - on EU, as in this editorial, in which as usual he diplomatically softened his criticism against EU.
    "But the West must make clear to Moscow that Ukraine — a bridge between East and West —should not be the object of geopolitical games. European leaders should back down from their threats of sanctions against Ukraine and its embattled president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, which would only prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people. But Russian interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs must not be tolerated. Only a few weeks ago, there were signs of progress in Ukraine, with the government offering concessions to the protesters while working to restore order. Mr. Yanukovych’s government passed an amnesty law, released detained protesters and introduced legislation to amend the Constitution to place greater power with the Parliament. Protesters began to vacate government buildings, and the country seemed to be stepping back from the brink.But now the demonstrations have taken a new, dangerous turn. Reversing the previous progress, radical agents began to attack police, start fires, seize buildings and create an environment of destruction. There can be no forgiveness or leniency for those who provoke violence and the loss of human life, whether they are street thugs or misguided nationalists.Many or even most of the protesters are sincere and want a peaceful Ukraine that is stable and democratic. But there is also a violent faction, which is occupying government buildings and attacking police officers with guns and explosives. It includes far-right nationalist groups like Right Sector, a new extremist movement, and Svoboda, an openly anti-Semitic group that is now the country's third-largest opposition party. (The party, which first won seats in Parliament in 2012, had a paramilitary wing until it was disbanded in 2004.)"
    "The leaders of Ukraine’s opposition movement and the peaceful protesters in Independence Square should forcefully and unequivocally repudiate these violent extremists and their tactics. The radicals should be brought to justice."

    Puting is playing a geopolitical game about Ukraine, but EU is doing the same.