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'Ukraine has no future without Europe..' - 'The End of Russia..'

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<blockquote>'Just as soon as these vaulting ambitions were formulated, the proud Eurasian posture crashed upon the reality of Ukrainian society. In late 2013 and early 2014, the attempt to bring Ukraine within the Eurasian orbit produced exactly the opposite result. First, Russia publically dissuaded Yanukovych from signing a trade agreement with the EU. This brought protests in Ukraine. Then Russia offered a large loan and favorable gas prices in exchange for crushing the protests. Russian-style laws introduced in January transformed the protests into a mass movement. Millions of people who had joined in peaceful protests were suddenly transformed into criminals, and some of them began to defend themselves against the police. Finally, Russia made clear, both privately and publically, that Yanukovych had to clear Kiev of protestors in order to receive the money. Then followed the sniper massacre of February, which gave the revolutionaries a clear moral and political victory, and forced Yanukovych to flee to Russia. The Eurasian Union could only be a club of dictatorships, but the attempt to create dictatorship in Ukraine led to an outcome exactly the opposite of what was desired: the return of parliamentary rule, the announcement of presidential elections, and a foreign policy oriented to Europe. None of this would have happened without the spontaneous self-organization of millions of Ukrainians on the Maidan in Kiev and throughout the country.

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The Russian invasion and occupation of the Ukrainian province of Crimea was a frontal challenge to the European security order as well as to the Ukrainian state. It created the temptation for Germans and others to return to the traditional world of colonial thinking, ignoring decades of law and regarding the Ukrainians as unworthy of statehood. The Russian annexation was carried out, tellingly, with the help of Putin's extremist allies throughout Europe. No reputable organization would observe the electoral farce by which 97 percent of Crimeans supposedly voted to be annexed. But a ragtag delegation of right-wing populists, neo-Nazis, and members of the German party Die Linke were happy to come and endorse the results. The German delegation to Crimea was composed of four members of Die Linke and one member of Neue Rechte. This is a telling combination.

Die Linke operates within a certain virtual reality created by Russian propaganda, in which the task of the European Left is now, from Moscow's perspective, to criticize the Ukrainian right—but not the European right, and certainly not the Russian right. Now, there is some basis for such criticism. Ukraine does have a far right, and its members do have some influence. Svoboda, which was Yanukovych's house opposition, liberated itself from this role during the revolution. In the current Ukrainian government it holds four of 20 portfolios. This overstates both its electoral support, which is about 3 percent, and its representation in parliament. Some of the people who fought the police during the revolution, although by no means a majority were from a new group called Right Sector, some of whose members are radical nationalists. Its presidential candidate is polling at under 2 percent, and the group itself has something like 300 members. There is support for the far right in Ukraine, although less than in most members of the European Union.

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Ukraine has no future without Europe, but Europe also has no future without Ukraine. Throughout the centuries, the history of Ukraine has revealed the turning points in the history of Europe. This seems still to be true today. Of course, which way things will turn still depends, at least for the next six weeks, on the Europeans.'

- Timothy Snyder (Source, April 17, 2014)</blockquote>


Context

<blockquote>Implosion: The End of Russia and What It Means for America, 2013

'..Russia .. Here, to lie is to protect the social order, to speak the truth is to destroy the State.’ - Astolphe marquis de Custine