With the now defunct Ukrainian President on the run and an interim government forming, the Ukrainian People have an opportunity to refocus their attention on the issues that originally inspired their protests instead of the months old crackdown by police. As President Victor Yanukovych had become the focus of protester outrage, it is within the interests of all Ukrainians that he is gone while it would best if Mr. Yanukovych were found and removed from his home country before any harm might befall him, which could incite renewed conflict between pro-Western and pro-Russian factions.
That said, the removal of the President, who is viewed by many as a perpetrator of murder and should be brought to Justice, does not necessarily guarantee the situation in the former soviet state will be resolved. Although efforts by the US and EU member states to provide the Ukrainian People the $35 billion dollars they will need to prevent an economic catastrophe is necessary to help prevent Ukraine from destabilizing, the West risks inflaming tensions between pro-Western and pro-Russian factions, i.e. provoke a civil war, if Russia is not part of the foreign intervention.
Given Russia’s abrupt withdrawal of financial aid in the wake of Mr. Yanukovych departure, it is fairly self-evident that Russian President Vladimir Putin was interfering with the internal affairs of Ukraine, which will give the US leverage over Russia on the international stage, while this evidence will certainly validate the views of pro-Western factions. On the other hand, pro-Russian factions will not be so easily swayed. After all, they view the real economic and other consequences of scorning Russia to be far more pressing than the unrealized benefits of partnering with the West while they do not want to be ruled by the West.
Consequently, the US and the rest of the West must carefully approach how they plan to keep Ukraine stable, which must be the sole and perceived mission of the International Community. Clearly, Russia will ultimately choose whether it wants to part of an international intervention, thus the West can only offer Russia opportunities to voice their concerns and do their part to stabilize Ukraine, until the arduous task of democratic reforms can be completed.
Furthermore, Russia has clear interests in preventing Ukraine from destabilizing, which any effort on behalf of Putin to influence the outcome of reforms will obviously result in further unrest. At the same time, the West must tread softly as well. The last thing the International Community need is Ukraine turning into a reenactment of post-World War II Germany. There is no reason to divide Ukraine into an Eastern Germany and a Western Germany while regressing to a Cold War-era proxy war out of habit would only hurt Russian, Western, Ukrainian, and overall International interests.
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