Lucien Kim writes in Slate:
Crimea’s actual conflict isn’t ethnic; it’s the split between the suspicious, fearful sovok, or Soviet, mentality and a new generation of free minds. It’s little surprise that tearing down statues of Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union, has become so controversial.
The same applies to all of Ukraine: we are witnessing an anti-Soviet revolution. It is not anti-Russian although some ethnic tension is to be expected. Interestingly, the idea of the ongoing changes in Ukraine as a belated liberation from Sovietism is shared by two Russian historians who can be described as anti-Soviet conservatives, Andrei Zubov (in this Ekho Moskvy interview) and Sergei Volkov (on his blog).