Ukraine today is Russia yesterday, i.e., Russia under Mr. Yeltsin. It has the same enthusiasm of a beginner, the same revolutionary black-and-white judgments, the same romanticism at the expense of balanced pragmatism, the same unrealistic promises to the population, and, regrettably the same, inevitable rush to appoint inappropriate people at the top. And, at last, it has the same blind belief that "the West will help us."
These symptoms can only pass with time and with the help of Russia, which emerged from the same troubles quite recently.
As an experienced patient, Russia can provide Ukraine with numerous tips on how to avoid some of the mistakes committed by Russia's young reformers, if the Ukrainians choose to listen. It can happen at any moment, sooner or later. Mr. Putin's task is to seize the moment tactfully.
There is no doubt that the crucial moment will come. Market and geopolitical laws cannot be ignored, and Russia-Ukraine relations are no exception.
The main thing that has to be understood, though, is that Russia may have lost out in the short-term, but it will still win in a long term. With this in mind, the president's visit to Kiev can be seen with more optimism.
There is no reason to panic whatsoever. Johnson's Russia List
9092, #32RIA NovostiMarch 16, 2005, UKRAINE TODAY IS RUSSIA YESTERDAY MOSCOW, (RIA Novosti political commentator Pyotr Romanov)
Of course the panic caution is not for Ukrainians but for Russians which is more of the same. There are differences though that make the outcome not as certain as is thought here. One of these is that democracy has not been impeached by economic disaster as it was in Russia. They would say that it hasn't yet, but just wait. (Disaster would be a good thing?) But this remains to be seen; the economic signs look good though.
This is I guess there to stop all the handwringing about Ukraine being lost. Don't worry, it says, they are just like us except much more naive and immature. When they wake up they will find that they have ended up where we are.
A lot should be said about this but I will leave it up to Ukrainians to say it.