Vladimir Putin is –or shall we say, was– a great hero to those in eastern areas of Ukraine who did not wish to become part of the new nation if it was to be led by those seeking closer ties with the west. A separatist groups emerged in eastern Ukraine which proclaimed its independence, welcomed members of the Russian military–dressed in civilian clothes, that is, and warned the Ukraine government not to step foot in their beloved land. During the past few months, there have been numerous clashes, many won by rebels who were armed by the Russian government, but despite the rhetoric of independence, it is now clear that most eastern Ukrainians prefer taking their destiny with the west rather than the east. Ukraine troops finally battered their way into rebel strongholds and have now gained control of Slaviansk and Kramaforisk. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko announced: “The state flag of Ukraine is proudly waving over the city which militants thought was their impregnable fortress.”
A rebel leader, Denis Pushlin, expressed the feelings of many eastern militants. “What to say, nice words of Putin, about protecting Russians.” Rebels never understood that for Putin, the interests of his wealthy allies in Russia who were businessmen was always tops on his agenda. Sanctions hurt the wealthy, and when money is the subject, the hell with militants!!In the coming months separatists will soon learn that Putin wants to separate himself from them because to do so, hurts pocket books of wealthy Russians!