I hope the Ukrainians do come up with a workable balance between the EU and Russia, even if they have to Finlandize themselves in the process. I’d hate for them to have gained real independence for the first time in centuries (Hordes, Khanates, and a very brief republic notwithstanding), only to wind up immediately being re-vassalized by Moscow at Putin’s insistence.
Oh, the tanks would roll if they tried that. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is becoming more and more like the Tsar of All Russias than like his idol, Iosef Stalin. Stalin would make his enemies quietly disappear. Putin, like the Tsars, is very public in his detention or dismissal of any critics or rivals. He wants to show people what could happen should they have the audacity to disagree with him or his policies.
Case in point – his treating the President of the Ukraine as if HE were the Lord Paramount over the Ukraine, and not just President of the Russian Federation (or whatever he calls it these days).