The trend in Ukraine has recently been to fault the Russian leader for all the bad things happening in the country.
“However, he is not the cause of the dysfunction,” John Hulsman wrote for City A.M.
According to the author, in Ukraine Putin made “a wise political risk wager” that the corrupt and incompetent Ukrainian elite will never get their act together and he can simply freeze the conflict as is, with Ukraine serving as a warning as to what happens should other countries in his perceived sphere of influence wish to join the West.
With the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych, Putin lost a supine satellite in Ukraine.
It wasn’t too long, however, before he realized that that the new rulers in Kiev were as corrupt and gormless as those that came before and that the prospect of a prosperous and democratic Ukraine was nowhere in sight.
“Ukraine’s economy remains a basket case with its corrupt, oligarchic elite unwilling or unable to implement serious structural reforms without which Putin can live with Ukraine as a failure, as there is no effective demonstration of an alternative way of life threatening his own rule,” City A.M. wrote.
“Analysts have failed to look at why [countries like Ukraine] were so ripe to be taken advantage of in the first place, and that these endemic, intractable problems, and not the presence of aggressive forces in the world, is what will doom them to weakness at best.”
“We must be careful not to support countries that have no desire to help themselves,” the newspaper wrote in conclusion.