A recent correspondent in the Financial Times has not grasped the point about the Ukraine and Russia. The point is that the Russians do not consider the Ukraine a separate country. They consider, and have always considered, it a part of Russia. It is important to remember that the Ukrainians and the Russians come from the same race, which is called “Rus” (hence the name Russia). Their language was identical for hundreds of years, and, even today, it is very similar. Even more importantly, until the Soviet Union was dismembered twenty years ago, the Ukraine had not been independent since 1240, when the Mongols sacked Kiev. Finally, Russian blood has been spilled in defending the Ukraine and the Crimea. Has any American blood, or English or French blood been spilled in the Ukraine? As for the Germans, they fought to subdue the Ukraine, so they are now in a very poor position to criticise the Russians.
The Crimea, where more Russian blood was spilled, was never part of the Ukraine until Khrushchev, who was Ukrainian, arbitrarily gave it to the Ukraine in 1954. In those days, it did not matter, because it was all part of the Soviet Union. But today, it does matter. The Crimea has always been the base for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and is vital for Russia’s security.
The most important question is, what right does the West have to interfere in a country that is not attacking it in any way? The West, it seems wants to bring the Ukraine into the EU and NATO by force. And yet, it keeps talking about peace.