6 April 2014

I spoke too soon, as things heat up again in Ukraine.

Demonstrators in the Eastern Ukraine cities of Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkiv have stormed government buildings, waving Russian flags. The scenario has some resemblance to what happened in  Crimea. I have no idea what the people in these regions think, how many want to join Russia, how many support the government in Kiev, how many just want more autonomy within Ukraine. I guess time will tell.

The Kiev government is in a difficult position, probably afraid to put down the demonstrators too harshly for fear of giving Russia an excuse to intervene. Putin has created a popular mandate with his program of stirring up patriotic feeling on the one hand, and reducing independent media and freedom of expression on the other hand.  I am following these events daily, via the international, Russian and Ukrainian media, with all of the biases and inaccuracies we usually expect from the media. But at least there is some independence of views and some genuine attempt to find out what is happening. I avoid the government controlled Russian media which is nothing more than a propaganda machine, reading from a script.

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