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What kind of future does Ukraine have with Putin's interference?

September 3, 2014

If You Give a Russian a Cookie

The UN Refugee Agency reported on February 6th, 2015 that 978,321 [79%] refugees from Donbass had chosen to take refuge in other parts of Ukraine, while only 264,777 [21%] refugees had moved to Russia. During a recent humanitarian evacuation of the latest center of fighting, Debaltseve, 600 [95%] people reportedly took refuge in other parts of Ukraine, while 30 [5%] chose to take refuge in Russia.

Putin’s original stated justification for going into Crimea, and for supporting the separatists in Eastern Ukraine, was to "prevent the mistreatment of Russian nationals in Ukraine." But we’ve seen in recent months and weeks just who is mistreating who, and just who needs protection from who, in this conflict.

I’ve seldom seen a Russian that needed protection from anyone (other than from its own government). As much as I hate to generalize, you just don’t say no to a Russian. When a Russian wants something, you say yes, or you will lose a friend at best, or gain an enemy at worst. My wife and I have experienced this on numerous occasions.

With this kind of ideological divide in Eastern Ukraine, it is doubtful that Ukraine has a meaningful future in this area of Ukraine. And though the loss of jobs and property by Ukrainians in this area is sad, what kind of future would they have with most of the population there being antagonistic toward them? And in the same line of reasoning, what kind of future will Ukraine have with a negotiated settlement for an autonomous Donbass? It will simply allow Putin a means to continue to control and interfere with Ukraine’s future.

Separatist thugs continue to abuse their own people in Donbass. These thugs will no doubt become the future politicians of this area, and will remain connected to the old ways of corruption and the Russian government. So if this area remains part of Ukraine, it will no doubt be a millstone around Ukraine's neck.

In some ways it is difficult for Ukraine to look to the future, because they have so much of their shared past with Russia. But if Ukrainians really want to control their own future, then perhaps the only way is to jettison the problems of its eastern region, join NATO, build up its military, secure its borders, and prepare for the continuing onslaught of Putin and his pirates. Because unless the Russian people do something to get rid of Putin and his ilk, the onslaught is coming. And all of Europe and the world better be ready for it.


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