The big issue in the Ukraine recently has been whether to align more closely with the European Union or with mother Russia. Vladimir Putin just extended a 15 billion dollar loan to the Ukraine and offered cheaper natural gas in return for closer ties, so Yanukovych wants closer ties to Mother Russia. But the Ukrainian people seem to want closer ties with the EU.
Russia has complained recently that the US is "crudely interfering" in the internal affairs of the Ukraine.
They have a point.
Recently Secretary of State John Kerry recently announced that the United States stands with the people of the Ukraine, i.e., against democratically elected current President Viktor Yanukovych. The Obama administration wants the Ukraine to turn West, and get out from Russia's sphere of influence.
Why is this any of our business?
The Ukraine is a former Soviet Republic. For us to be over there as the self-appointed referee in this dispute is akin to Russia deciding that it should exert its will in the internal affairs of Mexico or Canada.
What would our reaction be if Vladimir Putin suddenly announced that Russia supported the Quebecois separatists? Most Americans would probably think, stay in your own neighborhood.
It is our unfortunate tendency to stick our nose everywhere and see ourselves as the world's umpire, or worse, world's police force, that makes much of the world hate us.
It's true that we get more censure than we deserve, especially given how much aid we hand out. And it's true that Putin himself regularly meddles outside his neighborhood, most recently in Syria. But he is a mere dilettante compared to us; we're everywhere.
We're almost like the belligerent drunk who wanders into a bar looking for a fight with whoever happens to be there.
We'd be better off letting everyone else resolve their own fights.
The sad thing is, this is how most Americans feel. It's just our imperial government which wants to get involved everywhere.