Chordless in Kiev
Disharmony is the name of the game, unfortunately. The Russian transformation, from the joviality of Sochi winter Olympics to the chaos over Ukraine’s uncertain regime, has been at lightning speed. But the price of this tug of war is being borne by the people of Kiev, who are facing the military and might soon be faced full on with Russian army, if Vladimir Putin has his way. A decade after the Orange Revolution of 2004, Ukraine is once again at crossroads, as it is confronted between the devil and deep sea. While Moscow is guarding its energy interests in the country, given that it is almost $20 billion less to run a gas pipeline from Russia through Crimea than completely under the Black Sea seabed, Kiev is unable to completely break free from Russian influence. Putin is still insisting on Viktor Yanukovych to head the government in Ukraine, despite his popularity hitting an all-time low and despite the ouster that the Russian president refuses to acknowledge. The gas subtext notwithstanding, no external power has the moral right to go against the will of the people of Ukraine, who are fed up of Yanukovych’s role as Putin’s Man Friday in Kiev, risking political unrest at the expense of dodgy energy security. However, Washington and other western powers are waiting for the Russian influence to wane in Kiev, albeit only for their narrow interests. Clearly, there is no easy solution and now with military escalation, the instability is bound to deepen over the next couple of days, pushing it beyond the point of no return. It is extremely disheartening to witness Ukriane turning into the Egypt of Eastern Europe.