A couple of months ago my friend returned from Ukraine. When I asked what is wrong in Ukraine? He replied that the main problem is that they do not have any worhty candidates in their elections, who were not corrupt.

The legally and democratically elected president of Ukraine was deposed by demonstrations in a  relatively non-violent revolution. We have since read about his private zoo and other ridiculous elements of his life, that give testimony to him and his government being propably thoroughly corrupt. Good riddens, but what now? The majority of Ukranians had chosen him in a democratic election? If democratically chosen presidents are deposed not in elections, but in revolutions, who is it, that gets to have the power?

Russia acted whithout hesitation and annexed Crimean peninsula as if they had planned this all along. Russia has naval bases on Crimea and it is of strategic importance to their Black Sea fleet. No doubt about that. In acting this way Russia reminded all of us, about the fact that it is an active military might run by a government not affraid to use power. This is serious business to us Finns. We live right next to the second biggest city in Russia. Our indipendence has been threatened before by Russian need to annex land of strategic importance to their naval might. On the other hand Crimea surrendered to the Russians and Russian symphatizers of Crimea whithout a shot. I can assure, this would not be possible in Finland. In any case we would put up a fight – hard enough for the Russians to remember for generations.

Now, NATO has revealed material about Russian troops nearby Ukranian border and both US and EU have sanctioned formal embargoes on Russians for not respecting the sovreignty of Ukraine. This all seems rather hypocritical. As if there suddenly was equally large civil unrest in Austria, would Germany not deploy troops on the Austrian border just in case, or if there was such civil unrest and deposition of a president in Mexico, would the US not deploy troops on the Mexican border? Are there no British troops deployed in North Ireland? Who would even try to condemn them for doing so, exept perhaps Russia? Are the individual embargoes set on the Russian leadership actually achieving anything? Other, than raising their popularity among a large part of ordinary Russians? It is a political campaign to win over any patriotic Russians they could not have dreamt of being able to buy.

To us from the smaller nations, this is a nasty reminder of how the integrity of an indipendend nation is not about international treaties, but about our concrete ability to defend our land, or at very least to make any invasion too costly for the powerhungry empire to even try it out. The western governments have rushed to interfere in the internal strifes of other small countries so often to defend this, or that more, or less democratically chosen but since deposed government, that they really have no moral grounds to claim that Russia has no similar right to enforce “democracy” on a nation that did not ask for outside interference. Certainly none of the western countries has the military strength, or even willingness to try to stop Russia in Ukraine. Ukraine stands alone. The coming weeks will show us, if it actually is a nation onto itself.

The horrible truth is, that if the Ukranian government decides to use power against the Russian symphatizers in Eastern Ukraine, then Russia has the perfect casus belli. In fact, Mr. Putin does not even have much of a choise in the matter. He has risen to power by this strong man image, that seems to appeal to Russians regardless of political systems since the times of Ivan Groznyi, and is dependant on people relying him to protect them. If it  ever appears that he is unable to protect Russians in Ukraine, then the story is over for Putin. This is the road populism takes. If Putin was a responsible leader, he would not interfere in the Ukranian crisis even at the cost of his own political career, but looking at the events at Crimea this does not look like the case.

I can only hope that the Ukrainian temporary government decides not to use power unless Russian troops cross the border in force and therefore give no excuses for the Russians to enter Ukranian soil. A new election needs to be arranged as soon as possible and the candidates for the new elections should agree to arrange a popular vote for Ukraine to be arranged into a federation as demanded by the Russian symphatizers who are now demonstrating in eastern parts of Ukraine. If demonstrations are a method legal enough to demand a president to resign, then they are legal enough to cause a popular vote.