Thursday, December 16, 2004

Something interesting

In December 20th's New Republic, Masha Gessen, a Moscow reporter says the following:

For a while, the big question debated in both Moscow and Kiev was whether Putin would take action--after the Ukrainian opposition refused to concede--that would lead to bloodshed. Warranted or not, the assumption among liberals and Putinites alike seemed to be that Ukrainian pro-government forces would never open fire on the Ukrainian opposition--but that Russian special forces, stationed in Kiev, could start the fighting. As the Kremlin ratcheted up cold war-style rhetoric, the fear deepened. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a fiery statement last week blaming the West for the tension in Ukraine and clearly implying that any bloodshed would be on the West's hands. Domestically, the Kremlin didn't mince words either: RBC, an influential pro-Putin news service, published a story calling Russian supporters of the Ukrainian protestors "a fifth column" and warning that a dangerous fate awaits them when they return home.

(I can't find a link to it at the New Republic website. I got it from Johnson's Russia list. Will update it if I do.)

Apparently there was talk about this in Russia both from liberals (that is democracy supporters not Kerry supporters) and Putin supporters. Both sides agreed on the premise.

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