Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Ukraine Mess

If you want informed opinion and up-to-date information of what is currently going in Ukraine, I suggest that you read some other blogs. All I can offer on the subject are couple of observations.

Ukraine, as it is pronounced in Croatian, sounds very much like "Krajina", which is the word for "Frontier". Whatever happens with this elections, this is the fate that awaits that country – Ukrainians are either be Russian buffer zone towards NATO and West or NATO/EU buffer zone against Russia. It is understandable why so many in EU want Yuschenko to win this contest – idealists want new, big and nuclear-armed addition to future European superpower, while realists see Ukraine as some kind of European Mexico – source of cheap labour and cannon fodder which happens not to be tainted with Islamic fundamentalism. US administration, on the other hand, tries to use Ukraine in order to improve its standing with Europeans and world leftists by standing on the side of liberal democracy. Both USA and EU also want to re-establish some its great power prestige at the expense of weakened Russia.

Another thing seems very likely. Whoever won this elections had rather slim margin and whoever wins post-election stand-off would have to deal with the country bitterly divided on sectarian and ethnic lines. Unlike Serbia, Georgia and East European countries in 1989, there won't be any magical "velvet" or "rose" revolution to instantly transform authoritarian regime into liberal democracy. If some kind of meaningful compromise isn't reached very soon, all kinds of unpleasant scenarios, ranging from military dictatorship, civil war and Yugoslavia-style break-up, are likely.


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