Did Russia engineer the 2014 Maidan protests to secure her gas exports?
Something I mooted at the time...
Were the protests really started by democrats fed up of a corrupt government? We don't seem to manage that here, so why there? These things need organising, so who organised it? Any involvement from the West?
Even if this did begin as a people's movement, France24 suggests that it may have been infiltrated by Russian agents.
Or was the whole thing set up by Russia in the first place, to provoke a crisis aimed at the annexation of Crimea, near which will run the South Stream gas pipeline?
- and possibly, in due course, eastern Ukraine, which is also predominantly Russian-speaking and across which runs Blue Stream?
At present, according to the map below, there are two key points (one in central Ukraine, the other in western Belarus) that between them control Russia's gas exports to Europe.
Quite apart from empire-building and the desire for a year-round seaport, is all this fuss really about securing energy supply routes? Putin the businessman, prudently working out a plan for economic resilience? If so, Europe wants the same - all those houses to heat, gas-powered electricity generating plants to fuel.
In which case, the hooha is strictly for the punters and the fix is in already. Maybe that's why some of the South Stream construction contracts were signed last Friday.
And when Nord Stream is completed (see map), the capacity of Ukraine and Belarus to hold Russia to ransom will be very considerably reduced.