@truthtellah: If anyone is dismissing anything here, it's CNN. Sure, "forced Ukrainization" might not be happening now, but just because someone says they weren't affected by it and writes a nice little sentimental article for a biased news site complete with some pretty pictures thrown in doesn't mean it isn't an issue. That way of thinking is comparable to "I've never seen gays/blacks/Jews/insertminorityofchoicehere being persecuted, I can't see a problem, therefore there isn't one."
But credit where credit's due: if the average idiot manages to read past that line, you get to the meat of the issue:
Yuri in Simferopol told me that it's a handful of pro-Russian extremists in the streets trying to make a scene for Russian video cameras -- they are showing that these are the Russians who request protection!
I got a similar report from Luda in Kharkov. She said that a large group of Russians were brought across the border by buses, and they were the ones inspiring and instigating unrest that resulted in putting a Russian flag on a municipal building.
This is the sort of shit you should be concerned about. These are the same tactics pulled by the Americans in Kiev, they're the same tactics Northern Irish "Unionists" pulled in Belfast during last year's "flag protests" (literally busing in people from other towns and cities) and voila, a lightbulb suddenly goes off in the Kremlin's head and someone there realizes they can do the exact same thing. It's easy peasy: all you do is find unemployed people with a grudge and nothing better to do, wave some money in their face and stick them on the bus.
I'm pretty sure she wasn't dismissing that there are problems. You're acting like unless someone says the sky is falling they aren't taking things seriously enough. She acknowledges that there are divisions but that they aren't as big as Russian propaganda would like people to believe. Do you think that's not possible? That the Kremlin hasn't been trying to feed those problems and push people apart to further their ends?
No one is saying there aren't serious problems or enduring divisions. Some are simply saying that a lot of those problems are being made to seem far worse than they are to cause unrest in the country. Some people seem intent to divide and conquer Ukraine through any means necessary. You mention manipulative tactics quite a bit, and I think that certainly is a likely thing opponents of Ukrainian unity would want to see. To poke at wounds and feed festering strife. To discourage hope and any chance at resolving conflicts.
And yeah, it's unfortunate how easily media can be manipulated, even in a time of mass media. Ukrainians showed a tense video today of Russian troops shooting to keep Crimean soldiers out of a post, but the Internet also latches onto a bunch of selfies local Crimeans took with Russian soldiers hanging out around town. And only those protests that are pro-Russian seem to get out, whether in Crimea or Russia. A lot of this is absolutely a war of media narratives.