Friday, March 04, 2005

Ukrainian implications

Berlin Sprouts has a nice overview of some potential post-Orange Revolution developments on Europe's easternmost fringe, three and a bit months after it all kicked off in Kiev, which nicely complements this Washington Times piece.

Ultima Thule, meanwhile, has some worrying rumours about possible Russian reactions to the apparent push for greater democracy in these former Soviet states, including a translation of a Russian article about the threat posed to Putin by the GUUAM states (Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan). Transitions Online, meanwhile, suggests that Putin must now look to Kazakhstan to maintain the Russian dream of an ex-Soviet economic alliance.

Others are also suggesting that Yushchenko's victory is having ramifications even further afield, and that Lebanon is consciously modelling its current attempts to shake off foreign dominance on Ukraine's peaceful revolution. Others are asking questions about the possible outcomes in Lebanon which sound eerily familiar to those of us who were following Ukrainian events back in November.

Orange Ukraine, meanwhile, provides a comparison between events in Ukraine in February 2005 with those of February 2004, which shows that although some things have improved, the mere installation of Victor Yushchenko as president has not been enough to sort out the country's problems.

Dan at Orange Ukraine also mentions - and dismisses - those allegations of Yushchenko having fascist connections. Suggestions he was anti-Semitic cropped up back in November - but it wasn't clear to what extent these were merely propaganda. It also wasn't clear whether the propaganda was put out by his enemies or his friends, as by all accounts in some parts of Ukraine being hostile to Jews could well be a vote winner...

Over at Neeka's Backlog, Veronica Khokhlova also mentions this worrying neofascist undercurrent in Ukraine - notably the news of the beating of an African-American diplomat in an apparently racist attack in Kiev.

In Ukraine - as in other parts of the world which have recently seen a more democratic system of government introduced, there are some improvements, but still a lot of work to be done. It's all very well getting rid of the "wrong" government, but a lot of hard graft is required to make lasting changes. The glamour of the revolutionary period may now be a fading memory, but the EU should keep an eye on events in the GUUAM states - this could be the start of something big, or it could be the herald of yet more chaos. Either way, it will have important implications for the EU's relations with Russia and its other neighbours to the east.

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