Diane Francis has reiterated that daft claim, first made by US warmonger-at-large Senator John McCain a year and a half ago, in a story at Huffington Post.
In what is essentially a thinly-veiled anti-Putin propaganda piece, Francis nevertheless is forced to admit that it was Ukrainian oligarchs, and not Putin, who destroyed the Ukraine's economy post 1991. She may not have noticed, but the oligarch who sits in the big chair today is and always has been part of that club.
So why blame Putin?
Because gratuitous Putin-bashing gets an automatic free pass from lazy editors (or what is more likely, non-existent editors, as media owners fatten the bottom line by thinning out the payroll...) across Western media, and therefore serves, in the case of this article, as cover for some even more odious propagandizing; the presentation of ultra-nationalist far-right ideologues as homespun activists fighting Putin's aggression.
Dmytro Yarosh, leader of Right Sector, is passed off as a sincere patriot, which he well may be, but "ultra-nationalist" tends to be a code word for something darker, something synonymous with "fascist." His star has certainly been rising in post-coup politics, to the point where in April he was made an official adviser to the Defense Minister. In the event that the West decides to arm Ukraine, he could well decide how those weapons will be deployed.
In a news event virtually invisible in the West, Yarosh's armed Right Sector militia was involved in a shoot-out with Ukrainian police last week. There is a power struggle underway now between Poroshenko and Yarosh, and if Yarosh triumphs, Poroshenko's days are numbered.
Extremist forms of nationalism find fertile ground in difficult times, as has been repeatedly proven in the past 100 years of European history.
Anyway, we're not Ukrainians and we don't aspire to be, Big Steve's relentless toadying to the Ukraine-Canadian voter population notwithstanding. In fact, maybe Ukrainians should aspire to be a little more like Canadians. We too have a substantial minority in the east who prefer a different language and value different cultural traditions. Are we appealing for international support so we can "defend" ourselves by bombing them into oblivion?
No. Instead, we work hard to make a strength of our diversity.
That's not ever going to be on the agenda of rabid racists like Yarosh.