Thursday, March 06, 2014

Worth a look: a couple of smart takes on Russia and Ukraine

Obama’s Confrontation over Ukraine Has Increased Putin’s Support at Home

I will be commenting in greater detail on some of these points, but for now will simply say that though I have been a strong admirer and supporter of President Obama, I cannot understand how he could fail to recognize that confronting President Putin publicly on an issue that is so central to Russian national pride and honor, not only tends to have the opposite effect on the issue at hand, but actually strengthens tendencies in Russia that we should wish to discourage. It is as if he, along with his advisers, is living in some alternate ideological and psychological universe.

Ukrainian Chess

Ukraine’s established politicians have spent the last two decades playing off the US and Russia, and extracting resources from both sides. Corruption among this group is pervasive; in no sense have they managed Ukraine for its people.

The genuine Ukrainian street revolution is against the political elite most closely aligned with Yanukovych. But do not get too starry eyed about new democrats already taking over the people now holding the reins of power have been prominent before.

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