Russia's upper house of parliament approved Saturday President Vladimir Putin's request for Russian forces to be deployed in Ukraine
. US President Barack Obama spoke with Putin for 90 minutes, demanding that Russia cease its military intervention in Ukraine, while Putin seemed impervious. Yesterday, it was reported that the interim government had mobilized the entire country. However, Ukraine does not have the capability to prevent the Russian army from entering.
The leadership from NATO and the West has been negotiating on how to deal with the largest crisis in Europe since the crisis in Czechoslovakia. The New York Times believes the US' pressure on Putin will not work.
How should we evaluate the current situation in Ukraine? Is it an invasion by Russia or is it exercising its legitimate right to protect its interests and Russians there? Viktor Yanukovych was elected. The opposition that toppled him also claims they did so in the name of the people. The independence and protection of Russia that Crimea has sought is also from the will of the people. Those two things seem contradictory. What is real democracy? Each has its own reasoning, while the one who dominates is determined by power.
In the early days after the fall of the Soviet Union, Moscow's policies were ignored by the international community and Chechnya and Georgia revolted against it. Later, Putin brought back the past glory of Russia, and the West gradually stopped its denouncements.
A few days ago, with the support of the West, Ukrainians ousted the elected president Yanukovych. The police who had served Yanukovych even kneeled down before the opposition to beg forgiveness. When the power of the opposition increases, their actions are justified.
As soon as Putin decided to resort to force, the situation tilted again. Yanukovych announced that he was still the president, and the Ukraine navy's flagship took Russia's side.
The evolution of the Ukrainian situation shows us clearly that in the international political arena, principles are decided by power. Without its support and blessing, no principle can prevail.
The White House has seemed like a doormat over the issue of Ukraine in recent days without its usual awe-inspiring stance. This is because Obama does not dare take real actions and can only provide lip service. Washington has stated that Obama will not attend the G8 summit scheduled to be held in Russia in June, a move the US sees as a "sanction" against Russia. But even many Americans believe this means nothing to Moscow.
In the Sino-US conflict, Washington often contradicts itself with double standards. Many Chinese intellectuals are awed by it. There is no logic, only that the US is still the more powerful player. Military power is one of the most vital sources of strength for any country, though nations also need other powers. What is happening between Moscow and Kiev repeats that lesson.