Friday, February 19, 2010

Ukraine results not so bad

There's been a certain amount of handwringing over the fact that Viktor Yanukovych, generally considered the most pro-Russian of the candidates, won election as president Of Ukraine. It's hard for me to get worked up. There was certainly excitement surrounding the 2004 Orange Revolution when Yanukovych was prevented from stealing the election. But Viktor Yuschenko, who was elected then, proved to be something of a dud, and the Ukrainians dismissed him in the first round of voting.

It is also the case that Russia has traditionally been concerned with what it calls its "near abroad," whether it has sought to incorporate neighboring states into the empire (as the Soviets and to some extent the czars did), and it's not hard to understand. As this Register editorial explains, Napoleon and Hitler both invaded Russia through the flat plains of Poland and the Baltic countries, which offer no geographical barriers to invasion. Extending NATO after the Soviet Union collapsed was a huge mistake in that it made the Russians more paranoid than usual without accomplishing anything useful. NATO should have been disassembled instead. With Ukraine apparentoy in the Russian camp now -- or at least unlikely to cause Russia grief -- Russia might even be a bit less bellicose.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agreed. NATO is the zombie that will not die. Just think of all the jobs that would be lost!