This can’t be good

I’m home with a feverish kid, but I notice things are reaching kind of a fevered pitch in eastern Ukraine today:

The seizure of government buildings in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatists is being orchestrated by Moscow to create an excuse for a military invasion like in Crimea, Ukraine’s prime minister said Monday.

“Russia’s scenario is division and destruction of Ukraine,” said Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at a Cabinet meeting. “The plan for foreign troops to cross the border and attack the country. We won’t let it happen.”

Ukrainian authorities said armed gunmen took over the local headquarters of the security services in Luhansk, which is 15 miles from the border with Russia. Luhansk is one of several cities in east Ukraine where secessionists have held protests in recent weeks.

Groups of unidentified people erected barriers overnight on Luhansk’s thoroughfare and police have blocked all entrances to the city. Local media reported that the pro-Russian demonstrators stormed the building Sunday, pelting the building with eggs, stones, a smoke grenade and finally a firebomb.

In the eastern city of Donetsk, pro-Russian separatists who seized the main administration building on the weekend and raised a Russian flag over it proclaimed Monday the creation of a “people’s republic” independent of Ukrainian rule, according to Ukraine and Russian media.

People in Donetsk said the police are not doing enough to stop the pro-Russian violence.

The thing is, an appropriate response to Russia’s deliberate efforts to destabilize and annex eastern Ukraine these totally spontaneous, grassroots protests would require better governance out of Kyiv, and by “better governance” I don’t mean “better than they’ve had since in the chaos since the Euromaidan forced Yanukovych out of power,” I mean “better than Ukraine has had at any time since it became independent 23 years ago.” So I’m not optimistic.

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