With Ukraine teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, the country's deposed ex-president, Victor Yanukovych is finished. The fugitive former prez is being charged with the murders of protestors as he sought to quell the uprising that led to his ouster.
To seal his fate, ordinary Ukrainians were allowed in to Yanukovych's opulent country estate. Let's put it this way. It's not what somebody like Yanukovych would want hungry people to see. Follow the link to view the photos.
Jimmy Carter's secretary of state, Zbigniew Brezinski claims that a peaceful resolution of the struggle between Moscow and the west over Ukraine lies in a "Finland Option."
Viktor Yanukovich has shown himself to be a mendacious schemer, a coward and a thief. His palatial personal residence in an impoverished country speaks for itself. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin would be making a fatal mistake by backing him.
But Russia can still plunge Ukraine into a destructive and internationally dangerous civil war. It can prompt and then support the secession of Crimea and some of the industrial eastern portions of the country.
Brezinski contends Washington needs to approach Moscow with a 'carrot and stick' proposition.
The US could and should convey clearly to Mr Putin that it is prepared to use its influence to make certain a truly independent and territorially undivided Ukraine will pursue policies towards Russia similar to those so effectively practised by Finland: mutually respectful neighbours with wide-ranging economic relations with Russia and the EU; no participation in any military alliance viewed by Moscow as directed at itself but expanding its European connectivity.
In brief, the Finnish model is ideal for Ukraine, the EU and Russia in any larger east-west strategic accommodation.
But to be credible to the Kremlin, the US needs also to spell out privately that attempts to destabilise the emerging democracy in Kiev or detach parts of Ukraine – not to mention even overt or covert Russian participation in its neighbour’s domestic conflicts – would compel Washington to use its influence internationally to prompt steps that would be economically costly to Moscow.
Clearly, for Russia, Ukraine is not another Finland but, instead, part of the Slavic world. Putin might also have other reasons for testing America's resolve.