Russia’s actions of the last week have reminded the region once again that although the giant slumbers often, when it wakes, bad things happen to the good and the bad alike.
While all eyes are on Ukraine as we write this, there are other glimmers of hope in the former Soviet Union: Azerbaijan, Moldova, even Georgia, all have a chance to break loose to the West. (Ukraine’s fate is uncertain for now.)
Ukraine today is in chaos because the West is clumsily trying out inept Realpolitik against Russia.
There is a disturbing tendency to treat the legacy of the Soviet Union as the sort of unfortunate thing that happens in “one of modern history’s pivotal experiments.” It is not. It is a legacy that endures to this day.
The combination of growing Georgian cynicism, Russian and Russian-derived money, growing Russian assertiveness, and European incompetence is undoing the nascent Eastern Partnership faster than European leaders realize.
In fairness, nothing the West has done since the Bush Administration will have given Warsaw much confidence.
Expect Gagauzia to increasingly agitate for independence, and expect Moscow to back that play as it backs Transnistria now.
The impetus on Brussels now is to avoid another blunder. Ukraine is not lost to the European Union, but Armenia to all practical purposes is, a victim of Russian bullying and its own sins come home to roost.
A recent Armenian offensive along the border — after a steady uptick in violence over the last few years — is a sign that peace is no longer in danger of breaking out.
This is not to say that anti-Semitism is uniquely confined to these states; rather, in the absence of a healthy polity, anti-Semitism takes root, sickening civil society and government, which in turn breeds more anti-Semitism.