The current crisis in the Ukraine is basically caused by the fact that two different peoples/cultures exist in that country. Similar to Ireland, Cyprus and Palestine/Israel.
To avoid civil war there should be an immediate peace conference to sort out a solution. The Russian-speakers in the East of the country want closer links with the Russian Federation, while the Ukrainian speakers in the West of the country want closer links with the European Union. The only logical solution would seem to be to split the country, with Kiev as the capital of Western Ukraine, and Kharkov as capital of Eastern Ukraine. Western Ukraine would apply to join the EU, while Eastern Ukraine would join the Russian Federation.
Feelings are so strong that while protestors in the Western half of the country ousted the previous President who wanted closer links with Russia, those in the East went so far as to wave Russian flags and protect a statue of Lenin.
One cannot help thinking there was none of this trouble when the USSR existed. Fifteen Soviet Socialist republics lived together peacefully in friendship under Socialism with a common goal of one day achieving Communism. It may well have developed from the legacy of the Tsarist Empire, and the Baltic states were forced to join after the Second World War when the Red Army liberated them from Fascism, but, as in former Yugoslavia, the various republics lived together in friendship and peace.
Some would say the price of democracy and freedom to demonstrate is this sort of uprising, though by all accounts there was little democracy in the Ukraine.
On a broader scale, while all countries have the right to independence, and this includes parts of countries which consider themselves separate, all countries need to come together in larger federations and ultimately there needs to be a global confederation under the auspices of the UN, with a permanent UN international security force replacing national military forces.
Take, for example, the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence. I am all for it for two main reasons: I oppose the replacement of the obscene and illegal Trident nuclear-armed submarine system which is currently based in Faslane near Glasgow. I hope Scottish independence would mean the Trident base is kicked out of Scotland, which would effectively kill off Britain’s so-called independent nuclear deterrent, which is neither independent nor a deterrent. Secondly, as a republican, I am against the Monarchy and therefore any United Kingdom. I would be for a proper federation with state legislatures in each member country, not the mess we have at the moment.
I would therefore be in favor of England, Scotland, Wales and a united Ireland becoming members of a federal European Union, rather like the United States of America.
Federations only work if the individual member states reflect the local culture and have equal devolved state legislatures, whatever their size. This means places like Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, the Basque Country, Catalonia, etc. must, if they opt for independence and then apply to join an EU federation, be given equal status to countries like England, Spain or Germany within the United States of Europe.
As to the Ukraine, a split of the country into two separate states seems inevitable as a long-term solution, probably as member states of the Russian Federation and the EU respectively.