I have nothing constructive to say on Ukraine. You may imagine, given my years living in Moscow where this blog began, and given the news from former colleagues in my old firm's Kiev office, that I am pretty depressed by the news.
I have spent my years since I left Russia telling people to forget what they thought they knew and believe in the future of a cultured, civilised and friendly people. I still believe that's what they are, but their system for choosing leaders - and restraining them once they are chosen - seems to be as catastrophic as ever it was.
Whatever else Vladimir Putin thinks he is up to, he has restored every thuggish stereotype of Russia in an instant. Time will tell if the Cold War is back, but there's no doubt now that Francis Fukuyama made a major fool of himself when he published this book.
The BBC is reporting that Putin has said there is no need to send in troops yet. They are of course already there, but Russia and the West are pretending they are not; each for its own reasons. My favourite miliblogger, Sean Linnane, clarifies that for us, commenting;
Always some guy in the unit who can't figure out what "sterile" fatigues means
Before Russia I lived in Poland for eleven years and you can imagine how many "I told you so's" I am hearing from my friends there. I apologise publicly to those I called paranoid about Russia. Przepraszam.
Amid those communications however came one Polish joke about what's going on. Enjoy! (click to enlarge)