Well, it looks like – whatever the reason – that this session is not happening at this time.
I had a lengthy conversation with a friend whose analysis is worth reading, but since I still do not understand the background well enough, I have decided to keep it anonymous
This is my personal opinion, based on what I have seen, read and went through:
First of all, I think that Putin is the kind of president that won’t play according to the rules of international politics. As you may know, Russia always had “issues” with Ukraine. The last few years we had a very pro-Russian President, so Putin hoped to get total control over Ukraine, because it is a strategic country for them (some kind of buffer between EU and Russia, NATO and Russia). But a big revolution happened.
I think nobody expected such a big protest and that kind of revolution. Unfortunately for Putin, Russia had the Olympic Games in Sochi, so he couldn’t pay attention to what is happening in Ukraine. When Olympic Games were almost over, the worst happened in Ukraine – unknown snipers shot over 70 people, both from the side of police and protestors at the same time. Still, we don’t know who did that.
One of the versions was that snipers were Russian and they started shooting for provocation. Revolution won before Olympic Games were over. Power shifted to parliament, where a new coalition of opposers and dissenters from Yanukovych’s party formed a majority. Reforms began, beginning with the constitution. Presidential elections were called for May.
But obviously Putin did not expect to give up so easily. Yanukovych ran away from Ukraine. Nobody knows where he was for a few days. He stopped somewhere to record a video message, in Russian, claiming that he was the victim of a Nazi coup. Russian leaders maintained that extremists had come to power, and that Russians in Ukraine were under threat. Although the constitutional transition is indeed debatable in the details, these charges of a right-wing coup are nonsense.
So Putin decided to find the place where a lot of Russian people live and “defend” them, even if there was no need for this. 99% of Russian media is propaganda about how neo-nazi and far right occupied new government and that all people here hate Russians and other things that are not even close to the truth. And most people in the East part of Ukraine and in Crimea are watching Russian TV.
Don’t even ask me why they don’t read news and watch live translations in the Internet. I think because they don’t want to know the truth, they are ready to consume what someone already prepared for them. It is already a fact that Russian soldiers are located in Crimea. The Black Sea Fleet has a right to locate 25 thousands of Russian soldiers within an agreement between Russia and Ukraine but they have no rights to shift forces from military bases without permission.
Moreover, Russian soldiers from other military bases out of Crimea are observed there. Thus, Kremlin is breaking international laws and agreements. Putin tactic is hard to understand after most of members of UN Security Council have condemned Russian actions and Russian stock market and ruble collapsed in one day.
Some experts believe that there more than one game are being played by Kremlin. Firstly, Russia tends to have dictatorships in all bordering countries as it’s much easier to maintain diplomatic relations with these countries in order to reach national Russian needs and goals (in instance, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Syria, Iran…) The second possible reason of Russian actions is to prevent Ukraine joining NATO as this organization has no right to accept countries in war.
While Ukraine is in state of war Russia has some time to develop new relationships with oligarchs and establish new ways to control Ukrainian government. The third reason is, probably, world oil prices. War in Ukraine shifts attention of the USA and EU from Iran which has already refused from nuclear weapon. If Iranian oil embargo is canceled oil prices should rapidly go down and Russian economy, which is based on oil export, is in danger. Other reason of Russian intervention is imperialistic geopolitical position which begins from Soviet Union times.
Ukraine is a huge country with high demand (especially in oil and gas) and the trade turnover between Ukraine and Russian is more than 40 bln USD. Having Ukraine as a partner in trade union together with Belarus, Kazakhstan and good relations with Asia would help Russia to be a world leader and to be ahead of the USA and EU. It seems that Putin is losing all games and now is trying to gain at least something. All tragic actions in Ukraine were held during Olympics and Putting couldn’t interfere and embitter situation.
Without Olympics Putin would react earlier and look like a conciliator. Ukrainian revolution succeeded and now Putin looks like a loser. Hopefully, there is no other plan…
Concerning referendum. Russian propaganda works perfectly. Most of Ukrainians in eastern and southern parts are used to watch Russian TV. People are sure that there are horrible things happening in Kyiv and western parts. They are ready to fight with Nazis.
People there are uninformed and deceived, thus, most of people would choose Russia by referendum and there would be a strong battle and misunderstanding. New government is ready to give more power to municipalities which should solve all problems and reassure people.
P. S. exceprts in orange from this source