Vlad's View

Seems all Ukrainians got what they wanted, in the last ten days.

In the North and West they wanted the tyrant Yanukovich to quit, and sure enough he quat. In the South East, where everyone has been Russian since the days of Noah (or at any rate, 1774) they wanted to restore the good old blue, white and red and thanks to the tanks of Mr Putin, they too have got their wish. So what could possibly go wrong?

Just a couple of things. The Westerners asked for too little, and the South Easterners asked for too much. In Kiev, the heroes of Maidan were treated to an extra bonus: a whole, glorious weekend with no sign of government at all - a sip of freedom I hope they will remember and thirst for in the years to come; but they didn't ask for it to continue, not having had an in-depth re-education in liberty. Result: a government, which, as soon as it had chosen an interim president, demanded the return of Yanukovich for trial as a traitor. In that single move these idiots proved that they have no more idea of justice than Hang-em High Holder, nor any more of diplomacy than Loose-Cannon Kerry.

Meanwhile their compatriots in Crimea have let in the Russians, but have set no limit on how much of Ukraine they are to take. So long as they stay local to their Navy base, all may yet be well; but there's the rub.

See the world from Putin's perspective. A few hundred miles to his South there is a State so Russophobic as to destroy a statue of an authentic Russian hero, General Kutuzov. That's as if someone pulled down Nelson from his perch above Trafalgar Square, or dynamited Lincoln from his chair overlooking the Mall. Suppose it rents out land (being strapped for cash) for half a dozen US air bases. Suppose it invites the US Navy to set up a base at Odessa. Suppose it recommissions a missile silo or two, with American help, and points them North. One can readily understand that he views such possibilities like Kennedy viewed the ill-fated foray of Kruschev to Cuba.

So, sometime around the Ides of March, he might just march in to the whole of Ukraine and remove those risks. And if that happens, even yr hmbl srvnt might temper his optimism.