The loss of Ukraine to the EU and NATO would mean the loss of Russia's naval base on the Black Sea and the loss of many military industries. If Russia were to accept such strategic defeat, it would mean that Russia had submitted to Washington's hegemony.
Whatever course the Russian government takes, the Russian population of eastern and southern Ukraine will not accept oppression by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and neo-nazis.
The hostility already shown toward the Russian population can be seen in the destruction by Ukrainians of the monument to the Russian troops that drove Hitler's divisions out of Ukraine during World War 2 and the destruction of the monument to Russian General Kutuzov, whose tactics destroyed Napoleon's Grand Army and resulted in the fall of Napoleon.
The question at the moment is whether Washington miscalculated and lost control of the coup to the neo-nazi elements who seem to have taken control from the Washington-paid moderates in Kiev, or whether the Washington neocons have been working with the neo-nazis for years. Max Blumenthal says the latter...
The moderates have certainly lost control. They cannot protect public monuments, and they are forced to try to pre-empt the neo-nazis by legislating the neo-nazi program. The captive Ukrainian parliament has introduced measures to ban any official use of the Russian language. This, of course, is unacceptable to the Russian provinces.
As I noted in a previous column, the Ukrainian parliament itself is responsible for the destruction of democracy in Ukraine. Its unconstitutional and undemocratic actions have paved the way for the neo-nazis who now have the precedent to treat the moderates the same way that the moderates treated the elected government and to cover up their illegality with accusations of crimes and arrest warrants. Today the illegally deposed President Yanukovych is on the run. Tomorrow will the current president, Oleksander Turchinov, put in office by the moderates, not by the people, be on the run? If a democratic election did not convey legitimacy to President Yanukovych, how does selection by a rump parliament convey legitimacy to Turchinov? What can Turchinov answer if the neo-nazis put to him Lenin's question to Kerensky: "Who chose you?"
If Washington has lost control of the coup and is unable to restore control to the moderates whom it has aligned with the EU and NATO, war would seem to be unavoidable. There is no doubt that the Russian provinces would seek and be granted Russia's protection. Whether Russia would go further and overthrow the neo-nazis in western Ukraine is unknown. Whether Washington, which seems to have positioned military forces in the region, would provide the military might for the moderates to defeat the neo-nazis is also an open question, as is Russia's response.
In a previous column I described the situation as "Sleepwalking Again," an analogy to how miscalculations resulted in World War 1.
The entire world should be alarmed at the reckless and irresponsible interference by Washington in Ukraine. By bringing a direct strategic threat to Russia, the crazed Washington hegemon has engineered a Great Power confrontation and created the risk of world destruction.