Ukraine shows that, when pressure is applied, Potemkin institutions reveal themselves for what they really are. The lessons for countries in the neighborhood, most of all Russia, should be apparent, as, although there are major differences between Ukraine and its anxious neighbor, at the most fundamental levels, the institutional stagnation is the same.
In March, Russia annexed Crimea, a peninsula with population of 2.4 m in the south of Ukraine, after it failed to divert Ukraine from the course for European integration. The escalation in Donbas could have been a first step of a large scale Russian intervention into the mainland Ukraine.
To realize where it is better – in Russian or European Union – easiest is to visit any “brotherly nation” like Kyrgyzstan, where you can still see Lenin’s big statue and hear to the Stalin’s mythology that Lenin had an important role in creating of their national identity.
By demonstrating a willingness to use force to intimidate and invade its neighbours, and by declaring a doctrine of protecting Russian speakers everywhere, Russia has created uncertainty, instability and insecurity across our continent. And across the whole Euro-Atlantic area.
From the security standpoint, there are three important areas where disconnection from Russia and connection with Europe are of utmost importance.
From among the EU member-states, the Hungarian government used the most lenient approach to the Russian operations in Ukraine. The opposition parties’ immediate reactions to these events made the government party express its opinion too.
First of all, they should just stop using the word “democracy” together with the word “Russia” (if anyone has done it since Khodorkovsky’s trial).
The world has been slipping further into economic illiteracy over the past five years, with seemingly no country immune.