Despite the use of incredible information technology, oppressive regimes around the world are finding it difficult to tame public opinion
The situation in Ukraine is turning into a bloody quagmire. Nobody thinks that acceptable and democratic elections can be held in such a situation, but for the time being, the diplomatic wrestling between Russia on the one hand and the EU together with the U.S. on the other does not give any probing result as to how to defuse existing tensions.
The situation in Ukraine is the logical continuation of a much longer process, very cleverly described by Bertrand Badie in his last book "Le temps de humiliés," where he diligently shows that the existing pathologic situation in international relations stems from the "humiliation" of some old powers, mainly Russia in the aftermath of the defunct Soviet regime. Being downgraded from "world superpower" to "regional nuclear power" at best has created a deep trauma in a country where self-confidence was traditionally high, especially after World War II and the competition on spatial technology.
Yuri Gagarin was the first man to be sent into space in 1961, less than 30 years later the Soviet Union was unable to import enough cereals to supply the market for basic commodities and had to wait at the door of Western developed countries to beg for immediate financing. This financing was not really made available to Gorbachev, who desperately wanted to reform and continue the Soviet system, but to Yeltsin who replaced him and who was not convinced at all that the USSR could be reformed. He took the Russian Federation away from the Soviet Union and that is how the world socialist system collapsed. He has been awarded direct participation in the G7 + 1 summit only in 1998 in Birmingham, where Russia still was seen as the poor parent whose visit is not welcome but must be tolerated.
The Russian economy had been in shambles for almost a decade before Putin took the power. Russia was being relegated to the role of a second zone regional power, the only "superpower instrument" he held in hand was the veto right at the Security Council of the United Nations: Russians started to make a cautious use of this veto power, especially during the Yugoslavian tragedy and the Iraq war. There were times when Russian authorities tried to play down their right to block decisions at the Security Council, but each time a deep sentiment of being swindled prevailed.
During the last military operation in Libya, which ended with the demise and assassination of Gadhafi, Putin and the Russian public had the impression that they'd been trampled on. The revenge was the Russian stance in Syria, where a totally corrupt regime has been kept alive thanks to staunch military and diplomatic support by the Russians. The coup staged in Egypt has totally divided the armed opposition and made out of Syria a bloody quagmire, where no peaceful solution is in sight. The new "resistance" of the Russian regime against the liberal world has resulted in a very dangerous orientation of the country toward the East and the Shanghai Cooperation Association, which is nothing more than a de facto association of non-democratic regimes accepting not to destabilize each other.
Ukraine and Syria are the very visible examples of this orientation, however they are likely not to remain exceptions. Through globalization and incredible information technologies, oppressive regimes all around the world are having very difficult times taming public opinion. Russia and its allies are taking all necessary steps to prevent democratic alternations. This will be a dark era ahead, and Turkey's position and policies will have to be managed more carefully than ever.