This ethnic and linguistic divide between Ukrainian speakers in the West and Russian speakers in the East and South continues to serve as a major political issue in the week following the overthrow of Yanukovich's regime.
Let's put aside the question of whether Putin's interpretation is accurate. That's now irrelevant. What matters is that this is how he sees the drama in Ukraine and that this outlook will shape his actions -- now and in the weeks ahead.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is escalating the stakes by intervening in the Ukraine, and effectively taking control of the Crimean peninsula.
Guiding Ukraine's nationalists to adopt the path of Metropolitan Sheptytsky will be a major test of Ukraine's democratic development and an important step forward for the country. If achieved, the future of Ukraine's Jewish community may be bright, not bleak.
The Olympics are over and maybe those of us who deplore the situation of the LGBT community in Russia can again all sound like we are on the same side.
The last thing Ukraine needs now is a paternalism. They need an understanding and helpful West. One that sees the big strategic picture, its own interests and the interest of the Ukrainians in cohesion.
Though the U.S. does not have a very good record in supporting Third World potentates, its hypocrisy pales before Russian ruthlessness.
Global brands better get used to finding themselves in the cross hairs, because human rights and LGBT rights campaigns and campaigners are increasingly as international as they are. And we're not going away anytime soon.
Allowing these war crimes allegations to go unaddressed would undermine important international legal norms while rendering true reconciliation in the country an even more remote prospect.
In the end, the street triumphed over the elite. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych tried to hang on to power, and failed. Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to maintain Russian influence, and failed. The EU tried to mediate, and failed. And the United States tried to... well, I'll get to that in a moment.
Americans may be getting less violent, but we should absolutely not be getting more apathetic and isolationist. The world is a dangerous place with some very violent people in it, as well as some very unfortunate wars between groups that have been set against each other by proxies.
We're not supposed to be angry; we're supposed to be encouraged. We're not supposed to be vehemently upset; we're supposed to be motivated. We're not supposed to be condemning; we're supposed to be encouraging. Well, say it with me: Poppycock!
While it is wonderful to see the U.S. appear rhetorically unified behind gay marriage, convergence theory posits that this will last only insofar as supporting gay rights is at the expense of Russia's public image.
They say if you manage to stick around through the most critical period -- initial two years -- as a foreigner in New York, there's no going back.
It goes without saying that Jewish institutions are bolstering security and it has been reported that some public events have been canceled. One can only wonder what kind of Purim and Passover await our Jewish brothers and sisters in the Ukraine.
Although hate crime provisions weren't applied in this case -- and, truth be told, won't be applied in any case tried in Russia any time soon -- the punishment for the gang is severe. The murder charges do carry aggravating circumstances and were appropriately applied in this case.