Wednesday, March 5, 2014

'Russia is sick of being humiliated and pushed around by ignorant outsiders':

MoS columnist PETER HITCHENS says Putin DOES have a right to intervene 

We have been rubbing Russia up the wrong way for nearly 25 years. 

It is hard to see why. 

Moscow could have been our friend if we had wanted that. 

We rightly viewed the old Soviet Union as a global menace to freedom.
But Russia is no such thing, just a major regional power sick of being humiliated and pushed around by ignorant outsiders.

I watched the old Soviet menace vanish on the streets of Moscow in August 1991 when a KGB putsch failed, the Communist Party was shattered in pieces, and the USSR collapsed in a cloud of rust. 

Russians always believed there was an unspoken agreement that, in return for this, they would be allowed their dignity. They now believe that agreement has been broken.

What was left after 1991 was Russia, a proud and courageous people living amid the wreckage left by 74 years of Marxism and hoping to revive their ravaged country. We could have helped them.

By indulging Boris Yeltsin’s debauched reign (during which he shelled his own parliament while the West looked on complacently), we made Russian voters see Vladimir Putin as an attractive alternative. 

The Putin government is squalid, but nothing like as bad as that of China, with whom we are on good terms.

For the rest of the story:

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