“…the real message of Russia’s Day of National Unity is this: Russia remains a deeply divided country, and instead of trying to overcome those divides, the Kremlin and the Patriarchate are deepening these splits, a strategy that promises no good whether Russia and the former Soviet space disintegrate as seems likely or not.”

Even if there was no other reason to choose the EU Association Agreement over Russia’s pressure to join the Customs Union, one should consider Patriarch Kirill’s campaign to promote “the need to build a corporate Orthodox state on the basis of the concept of ‘Russian civilization,’” which has made clear the Moscow Patriarchate’s antipathy toward democracy and its choice of anti-democratic one-man rule. In effect, Vladimir Putin’s desire to return to something resembling the Soviet Union and Patriarch Kirill’s desire to return to an autocracy obedient to the Russian Orthodox Church are different sides of the same coin. Paul Goble’s commentary below provides other details.

Coming up with straight answers is never easy on the issue of Ukraine’s real interest in signing an EU Association Agreement and its willingness to pay the price of releasing former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko

 

Vladimir Putin’s point man in charge to reminding Ukrainians repeatedly of the horrors that would follow signing of the EU Association Agreement has done his job with resolve and gusto. However, evidence now suggests that Glazyev has overegged the custard and has become a factor driving Ukraine toward Europe. [Glazyev on left in this photo]

Referring to the Beilis blood libel case of 1913, Moscow commentator Anton Nosik points out that “unfortunately a century later, neither in the MVD, nor in the courts, nor in the Procuracy General, not in the Investigation Committee, not to speak about the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church are to be found people” who are willing to stand up to the Kremlin and object to whatever horrors it proposes.

 

“…any effort to ignore these differences and to force integration where national populations are opposed to it will be counterproductive, according to a Moscow analyst, who suggests that the Russian Federation is going to have to come to terms with the final disintegration of the former Soviet space.”

 

Dr. Ariel Cohen, a noted scholar and intellectual who specializes in Ukrainian politics and history, has authored a paper for the conservative U.S. think tank, The Heritage Foundation, in which he provides a well-reasoned and documented explanation of U.S. support for Ukraine’s EU agreement bid. He also explains the role of Viktor Medvedchuk, the Kremlin’s chosen gauleiter for Ukraine and Putin-backed candidate in the upcoming Ukrainian presidential election. UBO presents below an extract of the report provided by the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council with a link to the full report.

 

“First the Jews, then the Roma, then the gays, then the mentally ill – everything went in its turn,” Muzhdabayev says.  That is how Nazism began in Germany, “in simple conversations which did not appear to mean anything … Some spoke openly; others remained silent.” But such conversations made what happened later possible.

 

Some historians believe that immense, ill-advised projects that were designed more to impress the rest of the world and less to serving human needs played an important role in bringing down the Soviet Union. Now some regional officials are pushing for the resurrection of projects shelved since Stalin’s time.

 

The analyst says, “…those who think Russia might gain from the disintegration of Ukraine are dangerously misinformed and wrong-headed as any clear-eyed assessment of what the world would look like in Moscow if that happened.”

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