Editorial: Russia and the West at odds over Ukraine

Last updated 11:32 25/02/2014

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The crisis in Ukraine is far from over, despite President Viktor Yanukovich fleeing the country.

There is now a power vacuum with the West warning Russia not to invade the country. The West is fearful that Russia might send in the tanks to protect its interests among ethnic Russians in the east and on the Crimea peninsula. For its part, Russia stated overnight that it would not deal with "armed mutineers".

There are also fears that pro-West demonstrators who caused the overthrow of Yanukovich's government and those who are pro-Russia will split the country. There have already been reports of scuffles between both groups of supporters in Crimea.

The regime of president Yanukovich collapsed with such speed after three months of anti-government protests erupted into violence, leaving more than 80 dead in a week.

The situation in Ukraine is more than just a tug of war between the West and Russia. It is also about the disgust of many over the corruption of a president whose excesses were revealed after he fled. He had a 160-acre estate with several huge properties and even had a personal zoo.

What is needed now are calm heads. Easier said than done while rhetoric from Russia and the West swirls around. Some say it's been fortunate the Winter Olympics were on during the crisis as Russian President Vladimir Putin would not risk making a move. Now they're over, it will be telling as to what happens next.

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- Nelson


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