Monday, March 17, 2014

Ukraine's revolution about corruption, not nationalism or language

This is an excellent, excellent essay about what's been happening in Ukraine, mainly in Kyiv.  (HT: PR).  

Everybody, including Russian speakers, should read it!

I enjoyed this paragraph about Crimea the most:

Instead, Putin decided to help himself to Crimea. It is true that many Crimeans – a majority, I suspect – would like a very close relationship with Russia, perhaps reunification, but it would be hard to think of a better way of encouraging the most chauvinistic aspect of Ukrainian nationalism than invading Ukraine.

BTW, my own view is that Putin's invasion and occupation of Crimea makes little rational sense -- Russia has so much to lose and so little to gain by holding Crimea.  The only way it makes sense is if it is a first step toward an attempted annexation of other parts of Ukraine. Such an attempted annexation would also make little sense, since it would be so risky, but Putin "in the warm September of his years" seems to feel untouchable, and there is hardly a man in his inner circle of fellow KGB siloviki to tell him he is overreaching. 

By James Meek
March 20, 2014 | London Review of Books

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