"The losers will be those simpletons of international politics — including the United States — who mistook the clashes of some Ukrainian neo-Nazis with Mr. Yanukovych’s police force for the dawning of democracy and the beginning of a Ukrainian Spring."
This is non-sense. Mr. Pukhov argues that essentially West should have given up on all those demonstrators in Kiev. His advice is same as those who criticize USA (guess who - Saudi Arabia) for backing protesters who threw Mubarak in Egypt. If Mr. Pukhov wants to join Saudi Arabia and rabid Israeli Lobby which loves dictators in Egypt; then I guess one does not have to tax oneself enough to argue with Mr. Pukhov. Mr. Pukhov does not see anything wrong with Ukrainian President Yunokovich who murdered protesters in Maidan. He does not see ample opportunities which Yunokovich had to work with protesters early on to address their grievances and stop the 'looting' of already impoverished Ukraine. Well, if America is going to be called 'guiliable / sucker of freedom talk'; I suppose any American Leader and in the end American Public can live with those epithets. That is because History has shown time and again that countries who are on the side of 'freedom of an individual' are in the end with keys of living in harmony. Putin's path is no way of reaching harmony.
"Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them...For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one....Ukraine should not join NATO, a position I [Kissinger] took seven years ago, when it last came up....Internationally, they [Ukraine] should pursue a posture comparable to that of Finland. That nation leaves no doubt about its fierce independence and cooperates with the West in most fields but carefully avoids institutional hostility toward Russia."
I think Henry Kissinger has got it right more or less in this case. The only reason I would support Ukraine joining NATO is when Putin's Russia would invade Ukraine to gobble the Eastern Russian speaking part. At that point benality of Putin's aggression would be so obivious that for the remaining Ukrainian states to survive (and for Poland to survive as well); Western Ukraine will have no option other than join NATO. If at all, that is the criticism with Kissinger's analysis - he did not indicate military ways for West and NATO to be on defense so that the dire situation of rump Ukraine knocking on NATO doors is avoided in the first place. In other words, there is a language of 'force' which Putin understands very well and what specific things West can do so as Putin knows that West as well can talk the language of testosterone; all that needs to be articulated.
"Meanwhile, NATO forces, consistent with the organization’s contingency planning, should be put on alert. High readiness for some immediate airlift to Europe of U.S. airborne units would be politically and militarily meaningful. If the West wants to avoid a conflict, there should be no ambiguity in the Kremlin as to what might be precipitated by further adventurist use of force in the middle of Europe."
That is where I think Brezinski answered my criticism of Kissinger. For Obama Administration, the real workable path lies in combination of what Kissinger advised and what Brezinski laid down.