My Spy in Ukraine

I don't actually have a spy in Ukraine, but I do have a Ukrainian friend, and told her I'd love to know her take on events in the Crimea.

As "her take" and that of her contacts in Ukraine, she sent me these two links. This, written by a family friend: The Ukrainian Struggle: Freedom with Dignity Over Corruption & Power.
In perhaps what may turn out to be one of those epic twists of historical irony, Western talking heads will be shocked when Ukraine emerges unified with no real ethnic divisions between Russians and Ukrainians: they will have missed the boat in the same way Western analysts missed the collapse of the USSR. George Bush the elder perhaps best exemplified this myopia in his infamous Chicken Kiev speech before the Ukrainian SSR Parliament in 1991 when he labeled the aspirations of Ukrainians—themselves long-term victims of Russian nationalism—“blood-thirsty nationalism.”
Dignity is not something political scientists can easily quantify or characterize, so in most cases they are blind to the deeper sentiments driving events in Ukraine. Stephen Cohen displays his ignorance of local realities when he misrepresents Ukraine as “two countries”—playing into Putin’s aspiration to grab parts of it if cajoling Ukraine into the Eurasian Economic Union fails.

And this: A Divided Ukraine? from a Russian-speaking Ukrainian.
Many people in Crimea and eastern Ukraine don't want the protection of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But there are some who are afraid of forced Ukraineization because they have been fed propaganda by Russian TV channels for years. The purpose is to convince Ukrainians that we are divided, not one country, and that the safest course of action for Russian-speaking areas is to break away and join Russia.
These ideas have been cultivated since I was a child. I remember when I lived in Donetsk in the '90s, how scared we were that a candidate from western Ukraine would win an election and force us to speak Ukrainian. But when I moved out of the area of aggressive Russian information, I quickly realized I can speak Russian in Kiev or Lviv and no one will ever be upset with me!

Over our 22 years of Ukrainian independence, fears of language or ethnic persecution have never come true. But they were kept alive by Russian propaganda. We understand that Putin is trying to escalate tension and provoke civil war in Ukraine right now. He can't afford for a free Ukraine to succeed: His own people might get an idea that it's possible to overthrow a tyrant and build a prosperous country.
My friend tells me she burns every time she hears someone in the West say Crimea used to be part of Russia so it's no big deal. She wonders how many Westerners recall that Alaska was once part of Russia and are aware that Russian children are taught that America acquired Alaska illegally?

Make of it what you will. Meanwhile, WaPo reports that Crimea has set a referendum on joining Russia, a move President Obama has said would be "unconstitutional."

Ah, so he does know the Constitution!