When we talk the hot topic of Russia invasion to Ukraine's Crimea, not always all aspects of the conflict are considered. History (who and when made Crimea part of Ukraine), power-balance (soft vs strong tactics and actions by all sides), economical interdependence (gas supplies to EU, funds for Ukraine), defence affairs (NATO closing on Russia..) etc. And then too frequently lives of people are only seen via prism of old testament: "eye for an eye, tooth for tooth". Calling for war, more death, just to defend that what we believe is right or good.
Here below is excerpt from views of one american on the conflict in Crimea. I thought it is pragmatic, and worth sharing. I am not defending actions of Russia in the region, but want to provide more colors to the picture, so that we are not pushing ourselves into "extremes".
"Vladimir Putin is a KGB thug, and what he's doing is not nice. But many government people and TV news people show gross ignorance. Crimea is not really part of Ukraine. It held out in the revolution, and the USSR didn't get it under control until 1921.
"Not every USSR thug-in-chief was a Russian. Stalin was a Georgian. Khrushchev was a Ukrainian who transferred administrative control of Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954. Nobody thought of Crimea as Ukrainian in the 1,000 years before that. The Crimean population is mostly Russians and Mongols.
"Ukraine (oo-krah-EEN-yeh) is Russian for 'beside the border.' Ukrainians live on the edge, and always have. For centuries, their vast steppe was a no man's land between Europe and Asia.
"That's where the Slavs originated. Some of them went west and became Poles, Slovaks and Czechs. Others went southwest and became Slovenes, Serbs and Croats. The eastern Slavs who stayed in the no man's land were converted to Christianity by missionaries from Constantinople in 989.
"About 200 years later, the Mongols came out of Asia and made life miserable for the eastern Slavs. Some of them took refuge in the north woods. They split into Belarusians in the northwest and Russians in the northeast.
"Mongol cavalry was formidable on the open flatland, but they couldn't beat the Slavs in the woods. The Russians built up strength and then came out of the woods and began pushing the Mongols back into Asia. Winning the East was like our winning of the West. It took them several hundred years to get control of Mongol territory all the way to the Pacific.
"'Putin has the same paranoia all Russians have after 1,000 years of invasions by everybody from Mongols to Germans. Russians want control over the former peripheral SSRs as buffer territory between Mother Russia and invaders. Putin is not nice, but in dealing with him, we should have a better understanding of why Russians think the way they do."