Somehow I missed this when it ran in the WaPo. I'll blame that on Wongdoer. Anne Applebaum's column on the false inevitability of Russian national pride forcing a crisis in Ukraine. Here's the nut:
there is nothing inevitable about the current wave of Russian imperial nostalgia, no reason why it has to be this way. National symbols can and do change over time. German national identity nowadays has far more to do with economic achievement than with Prussian military virtues; British identity, whatever it is, has little to do with empire.
In addition, be sure to catch Michael McFaul's column in today's WaPo on how democracy for the Ukraine is not some nefarious US plot.