"The feeling among the educated, pro-European protestors is that the West could have done more both politically and financially to draw in Ukraine. Economic sanctions against Yanukovich and his small circle of business associates would also be more help than sound bites from senior diplomats. In the absence of any concrete outside help, Ukrainians either have to go home and wait for the 2015 presidential election or choose a more resolute leader and resort to violence, something they have been reluctant to do so far. For a group of predominantly middle-class protesters, it's a tough choice," writes Leonid Bershidsky for Bloomberg.
"After two months of protests, many Ukrainians are tired of the public demonstrations and would like to see a return to normalcy – something that also happened in Egypt after the first few months of protests wore out their welcome. Putin is not exactly beloved in Ukraine, but lots of Ukrainians speak Russian and a smaller portion are themselves ethnic Russian, so the country is not exactly the mass of Westward-facing Russophobes that it is sometimes portrayed to be," writes Max Fisher in the Washington Post.
"Putin's extensive financial support has brought the country under Moscow's thumb. Now it is also following Russian guidelines on domestic policy. Ukraine is allowing itself to be 'putinized.' Kiev clearly didn't just get money from Putin, it was also given the task of undermining any form of opposition and any activity for the good of civil society that is connected to Europe," writes Bernd Johann for Deutsche Welle.
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Thailand Imposes State of Emergency After Violent Protests
Thailand's state of emergency in Bangkok went into effect yesterday to calm tensions before elections scheduled next month. Nine people have been killed since antigovernment protests began at the end of October, including a leader of a pro-government movement who was shot at his home on Thursday (Bloomberg).
CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick explains in this blog post how Thailand's royalty is becoming more openly involved in politics.