The Ukrainian protests are a sign of national pride and a rejection of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s efforts to expand his influence over the region, as George Will sees it. Ukraine’s steadfastness to its distinct nationality and culture are ultimately proving resilient as evidenced by pushing back against Putin’s attempts to neutralize those sentiments, as the Soviet Union did during the mid-20th century.
“Today what you’re seeing is nationality asserting itself against the former KGB operative,” Will said on Tuesday’s Special Report. “There’s no question that Putin, who is seen by the world — certainly by those closest to him in Ukraine — as a thug and killer, is being repudiated.”
With the European continent as a whole largely subdued as a result of economic turmoil, Ukraine’s opposition to Putin offers a different story. “Europe has lost of its energy, but it’s not lost its ability of European culture to pull in a decent direction, and that’s what’s going on here,” Will said.