The last few weeks have left me aghast with the hypocrisy of the west over Russia and the Ukraine. At times I've been angry at some absolutely fuming. If I was Putin I'd be sticking a middle finger up at the west and telling us to keep out and shut up.
Strange but when the USSR fell the Russian Federation, the heir to the USSR, got on with life while numerous former USSR states became independent, including the Ukraine. That's it put simply and yes there are countless arguments to be had about oligarchs, corruption and so on. But the fact remains that countries such as Ukraine became sovereign independent states. Former serf states of the USSR, such as Romania, Poland and so on were also freed and became truly independent sovereign states again, free of the shackles of soviet socialist domination.
What happened next was that the European Union, as it does, went on an orgy of expansionism. After expanding north, west and south it went towards the East, a process known in pre-WWII Germany as the 'drang nach osten' or 'push to the east'. The EU empire gobbled up the Baltic states, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the other former USSR satellite states. Then it turned its power grab to the Ukraine. Understandably this made Russia twitchy. Of course the EU doesn't expand its empire in the traditional way, with armies or votes, it buys off governments with our tax money.
As EU cash was thrown at the Ukraine, and the promise of ever more dangled in temptation the Ukrainian government decided to look to Russia as an ally rather than being gobbled up, or bought by the EU empire. Cue western backed riots that led to a coup that overthrew the democratically elected government. How would we feel if a few thousand people rioted in London and it brought down the government? Again the Ukrainian government wasn't whiter than white, but at least it was elected and could have been voted out, the current government has no mandate from the people whatsoever.
Understandably the autonomous region of the Crimea, with an overwhelming ethnic Russian population, held a referendum and the overwhelming majority voted for the Crimea to become part of the Russian Federation. Of course the European Union went into a rage, when the EU has a referendum and the people don't vote the way it wants it just re-runs the referendum until it gets the result it wants, that's the EU's idea of democracy. So the EU doesn't recognise the result of the referendum and the west accuses Russia of expansionism.
It seems to me that Russia has been very patient as the EU has expanded eastwards, with the support of the USA, and it has every right to protect its interests against this western imperialism. My only worry, if I were a Russian citizen, would be what the west may do when you look at its recent record of bombing the crap out of states it decides it's no longer too keen on.