The years of 2003, 2004, and 2005 brought a number of so-called Color Revolutions to the Former Soviet Union states. Russia looked wrong-footed. American NGOs, supporting these Color Revolutions, seemed to be turning the Russian sphere of influence into a pro-Western block. One by one, the countries of Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan were becoming increasingly defiant of Moscow, irritating the big bear who was waiting for opportunities to come back.
Opportunities presented themselves soon thereafter. All three leaders of the Color Revolutions turned out to be every bit as incompetent, greedy, and undemocratic as their predecessors. Plus, they worked hard to antagonize Russia, which made their people feel more physically and economically insecure. Our revolutionaries seemed to forget that, whether they like it or not, just through sheer power of geography if nothing else, most of the countries in the FSU are helpless against Russia’s military and dependent on Russia’s energy and Russia’s trade.
So here we are, seven years after the rainbow wave of revolutions began its triumphant flow. The Kyrgyz leader got ousted through violence, the Ukrainian leader got voted out through peaceful means, and the Georgian leader, well, he is still standing, although his breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are no longer standing with him.
And there appears to be very little the Western countries can do about all these developments. At least not right away. To misquote one of the most interventionist American presidents, “it’s the geography, stupid.”