|Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych|
Ukraine's embattled President Viktor Yanukovych today told Western powers who have been backing anti-rovernment demonstrators to stop intervening in his country's internal affairs. The protesters and their foreign supporters--namely, the United States and the EU--are furious over the government's at least temporary rejection of a European Union trade deal and headline-making acceptance of a whopping $15 billion loan and deeply discounted natural gas aid agreement with Russia.
Ukraine's agricultural West seems anti-government and pro-EU; the industrialized East, either tacitly or overtly in favor of staying close to Russia, without which, Ukraine would be facing a financial disaster and, at best, an EU bailout along Greek lines--which is to say, savage spending cuts in reform's name resulting in massive unemployment in painful pursuit of a promised eventual prosperity.
Washington and Brussels--Berlin, actually--accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of stopping Ukraine's western tilt.
Putin's response: "We just want to defend our gates."