The shadow of a much-dreaded civil war is progressing slowly but surely in Ukraine. Putin's gamble to organize a so-called "armed civilians uprising" in the major cities of eastern Ukraine, mostly inhabited by Russians or Russian-speaking Ukrainians (how to discern them from pure Russians is altogether another story), has created a major large-scale crisis. Armed volunteers have forcibly taken control of an important number of administrative buildings and police stations. Their "spontaneous" operations remind us of the Islamic students who stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran back in 1979. Their demands are almost as acceptable: nothing less than the adoption of Russian as the "other" official language of Ukraine and their acknowledgement as a full-fledged territorial legal armed force.
Ukrainian authorities have shown a modicum of patience at the beginning.
No doubt that an immense army of about 40,000 Red Army soldiers at their frontier waiting to intervene in Ukraine has also helped them to show restraint. However, this looks to be over, Ukrainian authorities have asked their armed forces to move on the occupying militia. Already there have been casualties. It goes without saying that the volunteers storming the public buildings have already asked for help from their comrades in Russia.
Russia is not the Soviet Union anymore, which does not mean that it propagates a harmless ideology, on the contrary, its system is based on an absence of mutual trust between the citizen and the state apparatus.
Based on the management and commercialization of different ways of corruption and influence trafficking, Russian society has turned into an oligarchy mainly dependent on the exportation of natural gas and oil.
Therein lies the problem. The EU, as usual, will continue to be affected by Russian energy resources. Already extremely reluctant (fortunately) to contemplate any military reaction against a possible Russian attack on Ukraine, main EU countries, starting with Germany, are largely dependent on the gas pipelines from Russia.
Ukraine cannot and will not be supported through ephemeral financial packages.
It needs a staunch and systematic support on the part of the EU countries, based not on conjectural necessities but on principles and integrative perspectives. The struggle to wage and to be won against Russia and the society "project" it represents will certainly not be military, but ideological.
In that sense, a parallel evolution should also take place regarding the EU-Turkey relations. Two very important reports have gone public last week, both concerning our relations with the EU and the functioning of the customs union (CU). It is very obvious that Turkey and the EU should really start to see each other as partners for a long time to come, rather than distant parents whose visits are at most politely welcomed.
The EU should immediately start to find ways to improve the CU, starting with transportation problems and visa issues. Nobody, in the present state of regional turmoil, has the luxury to wait at least three more years to see the visa problem solved. On the other hand, Turkey, despite the very tense situation of a deep going struggle between the government and an obscure organization, should not postpone the harmonization reforms, more exactly, should not try to circumvent some public liberties in order to contain an extremely harsh propaganda waged against the premier and his close circle of colleagues and family. Such restrictions never help any democratically elected government, whose electoral basis remains very strong and resistive despite all the rumors that have been leaked on the social media.