Se rapprocher et s’effondrer

STANFORD – Des millions de personnes partout dans le monde ont assisté aux performances athlétiques aux jeux olympiques de Sotchi et aux cérémonies d’ouverture et de clôture et à leurs majestueuses représentations de l’histoire et de la culture russes. Mais leur coût est exorbitant, la corruption présumée décourageante, et le contraste avec la situation politique en Ukraine voisine, alarmante.

Après avoir envisagé un Accord d’association avec l’Union Européenne, l’ancien président Viktor Ianoukovitch a préféré l’option d’un rapprochement avec la Russie, suite à des pressions majeures du Kremlin, ainsi que la promesse d’un financement de 15 millions de dollars. S’en suivirent trois mois de manifestations et d’émeutes. Un vote parlementaire a retiré tout pouvoir à Ianoukovitch qui s’est enfui en Russie. La situation reste tendue et fluide. Les troupes russes occupent maintenant la Crimée et les dirigeants européens et américains menacent d’imposer de sévères sanctions à la Russie si elle ne respecte pas la souveraineté de l’Ukraine.

Mais la désunion de l’Ukraine est évidente. L’Ukraine orientale entretient des liens linguistiques, culturels et économiques étroits avec la Russie, tandis que la partie occidentale penche vers le continent européen. Certaines régions ukrainiennes ont historiquement appartenu à la Russie, à la Pologne ou à l’empire Ottoman. Pierre le Grand, dont l’occidentalisation de la Russie au dix-huitième siècle a été représentée à Sotchi, a combattu les Tatars de Crimée, dont de nombreux descendants ont été dispersés par Staline dans différentes régions de l’ancienne Union soviétique. Certains craignent que l’Ukraine ne s’effondre.

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