Another comment from a Russian friend.
"Regarding Ukraine, I do not want to argue with you, because I understand you trust your mass-media better than me. You think that we all are under pressure of Russian "Soviet Propaganda". ) ) I just want to tell you that you should not trust Uschenko at all. They certainly steal oil and try to show themselves to advantage. We know that USA support every country that is against Russia. If you are here now, I am sure you would agree with me, because you would know the situation from inside."
Actually, I do tend to agree. The media coverage, in the US, regarding Russia, generally seems to me to be biased and negative towards Russia. I believe the common attitude is to assume that the Ukrainians are right and the Russian government are being bullies. However, since I've been following events over the last couple of years, I would have to say that it seems to me that everybody is willing to piss on each other. Stop and think about this, and it isn't that surprising. It is only a little over 15 years since the Soviet collapsed, and not even 5 since Ukraine's Orange revolution. It is surprising to me that Russia has done as well as it has in the last decade. For a comparison, take a look at Poland. How many years has that been? Almost 20 since they installed a non-communist government. And how many times have they had a hard time keeping it going? Not so many years, and quite a few times. Solidarity, and Lech Walensa are no longer even on the political scene. Yet Poland has a much stronger history of being an independent country, unlike the Ukraine. And Poland has a stronger economic infrastructure than Ukraine. So, it is no surprise to me that there are difficulties and arguments.
At any rate, I hope they figure it all out, do so peacefully and to the satisfaction of their people.