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The Ukrainian crisis and its mistakes

Marcelo Rech

About one year ago, the president of the Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, fell after intense manifestations in Kiev. Considered an ally of Russia, he would have been a victim of a coup, according to the nearly 35 thousand people who occupied the streets of Moscow this Saturday, 21, blaming the United States and Europe for planning up the fall of the Ukrainian leader.

The crisis with which the main global powers are not being able to deal has its beginnings in 2010, when Yanukovych was elected president in a process considered transparent and fair by international observers.

In 2013, he decided to leave the negotiations about an agreement with the European Union and to strengthen the relations with Russia. In this moment, the protests appeared in the streets of the country, with a clear external interference.

In December of that year, the Russian president Vladimir Putin decided to offer a program of financial support to the Ukraine, accepted to take care of the debt of the country and to reduce the price of the Russian exported gas by one third.

On February 22 of 2014, the president of the Ukraine disappeared. The day before, he had secured an agreement with the opposition to put an end to the economic and political crisis in the country.

Still in February the Parliament approved the banishment of the Russian language from the Ukraine and the pro-Russia protests grew. On March 16, the annexation of Crimea by Russia was approved with 97% of the votes in a referendum that is questioned in the West.

Since then, the crisis has been oscillating, but it seems distant of an end.

The case of Crimea is emblematic in all of that, since the West that recognized the right of the Kosovo of becoming independent is now criticizing the decision of those who do not recognize themselves as Ukrainians and who live in a region where the language and the culture are Russian.

Europe makes a mistake by wanting to impose a map that does not match the reality, such as what is done, mutatis mutandis, in Africa, which is cut up and divided without considering the characteristics of each people, village and town. The present civil wars and slaughters do not contradict this statement.

The West misses also while feeding the conflict with lethal weaponry. In this case, a great example is in Libya, where even Al Qaeda terrorists received weapons and money to take down Muammar Kaddafi. It is the hypocrisy of the convenience in action.

While supplying the conflict with weapons, the great powers oblige Russia to participate directly in an armed confrontation in the southeast of the Ukraine. And, let’s be honest, the participation of Russia, a nuclear power, in the conflict does not seem to be something rational. The European and the world security are at stake.

And this criticism finds echo in the same stunned Europe. Countries like Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Italy and France – this last one with permanent seat in UN Security Council – object to the delivery of lethal arms to Kiev, what confirms the existence of acute contradictions in countries of the EU and of the NATO.

And the Western media is the major critic of the actions of its leaders, considered weak and hesitant. Likewise, the European media already questions itself about the role of the Ukrainian media, which, under strong censorship, put in doubt the credibility of the information sent abroad about the reality of facts.

This set of factors strengthens the Russian president Vladimir Putin. The evaluation mistakes both in Europe and in the United States are putting the Russian leader in a position increasingly more necessary for the resolution of the conflict.

And what does Brazil have with that? Nothing.

In spite of counting on a population of five hundred thousand Ukrainian descendants, Brazil has been completely in the margin of the conflict. The priority has been business, since the country is broken and, in this case, Russia answers for the purchase of an increasingly bigger quantity of meat and enters once and for all in the Defense sector as an important supplier to the Brazilian Army. Simple like that.

Marcelo Rech is a journalist, specialist in International Relations; Strategies and Policies of Defense; Terrorism and Counterinsurgency; Human Rights in the Armed Conflicts; and director of the Instituto InfoRel de Relações Internacionais e Defesa. E-mail:

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