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The Russians: Backing the Wrong Horse (Again)

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First Syria and now Ukraine. First "Gasman" Bashar and now "Kleptoman" Yanukovych, twice a former jailbird. Though the U.S. does not have a very good record in supporting Third World potentates, its hypocrisy pales before Russian ruthlessness.

That the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, could, along with John Kerry, help sponsor the Geneva II Conference, which was held on the basis of a transition to regime change, and then refuse at the conference itself to even nudge the Syrian government delegates along this line, proves once again that Russia is less of a partner than an adversary. With the blood of thousands of his fellow citizens on his hands, Bashar al-Assad is not a credible future leader of the Syrian state.

In his Nicolae Ceaucescu-like departure, Viktor Yanukovych has revealed not only his weakness but his excessive greed, viz. the zoo discovered on the grounds of his residence in Kiev, his unfinished villa overlooking the Black Sea, and his yacht "Bandido". He is on the run from the agents of he new government, which has charged him with mass murder.

Even the Russians are aghast at the recent behavior of their Ukrainian protégé. Last week Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev publicly urged Yanukovych to stop acting like a "doormat others wipe their feet on." (Wall Street Journal, 25 February 2014, p. A6).