DAAD Associate Professor of German and European Studies, Department of Political Science, National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy," Ukraine; Member, Eichstaett Institute for Central and East European Studies ZIMOS, Bavaria.
Largely unnoticed in Western mass media, there is currently a major economic and political confrontation growing in Eastern Europe that could shatter the post-Cold War European security architecture. The Kremlin has taken a surprisingly adversarial view of Ukraine’s intention to sign a far-reaching Association Agreement with the European Union.
Russians now regard certain parts of Russia in the Northern Caucasus as not really belonging to Russia, while parts of certain foreign countries, such as Ukraine, are seen as belonging to Russia. This is a dangerous phenomenon for everybody involved.
Economic potential of Russia with the commercial interests of certain German politicians and entrepreneurs has led to an unhealthy situation, in which German companies appear to assist Moscow in its re-shaping of the east European geo-economic landscape.
Russian language is present in Ukraine in everyday life. Kiev remains a largely Russian-speaking city, and of course the south and east of Ukraine will probably remain Russian-speaking. But the Ukrainian language will become more and more relevant throughout the country, and eventually Ukraine will probably end up being a properly bilingual and partly trilingual country
Russia’s democratic movement is not too small, but too multifarious. It has too many rather than too few parties, leaders and factions. Its activists are too proud, too full of themselves and too intellectual to unite with each other across the democratic spectrum for a real fight for political power.
Putin is seen by some of the ultranationalists as such an inadequate part of the Russian national organism. He thus has to be replaced by a “healthy” and “worthy” representative of the Russian nation.