Image courtesy Wikipedia (Russian t90 Tank) modifications by Curiousmatic
The Russian troop mobilization in Ukraine may seem confounding to Westerners, but apparently it makes perfect sense to Russians.
As the Russian Parliament voted to authorize military force in the Ukraine, Russia’s state-sponsored TV network at RT.com (Russia Today) broadcasted a steady, rather unscripted stream of commentary that provides valuable insight into their Russian motivations and viewpoints.
These motivations and claims from a Russian perspective include:
- The self-imposed government in Ukraine’s capital Kiev is illegitimate, and the overthrow of the deposed president Viktor Yanukovych was against the agreement signed by both parties. Words like “pogroms” and “putsch” were used by excited commentators, evocative of Russian revolution jargon.
- Russian military action is only in response to requests for help from Crimean authorities, who desperately need help to protect their 90%+ Russian-speaking population from imminent extremist threats.
- Neo-nazis and radical Russo-phobics were responsible for the protests in Kiev that toppled Yanukovych.
- The unrest and instability in Ukraine is a directly attributable to Western action (the US and the EU), what some are calling a Western-backed coup supported by US-NATO.
The RT.com news reporting and commentary that occurred just after the Parliament vote had an electric, unscripted feel that laid raw the emotions surrounding the event.
(According to Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s military movement is acting within existing agreements with the Ukraine in the interest of their stability.)