Sunday, November 30, 2008

Claims Of Secret Arms Sales Rattle Ukraine’s Leaders

President Viktor A. Yushchenko of Ukraine at a ceremony in Kiev this month remembering victims of famine in the 1930s. Sergey Dolzhenko/European Pressphoto Agency

From The New York Times:

KIEV, Ukraine — With the Ukrainian government reeling from a financial crisis and internal power struggles, the country’s pro-Russian opposition has been leveling potentially damaging accusations of improper arms sales to Georgia during that country’s brief war with Russia.

And Russia’s leaders, furious with Ukraine’s president over his pro-Western leanings and vocal support of Georgia, have personally weighed in, making accusations of their own.

It may not matter that the opposition has provided no conclusive evidence of the claims, despite weeks of pronouncements that the evidence — once released — will be explosive. The claims alone, which have made headlines, have nonetheless helped to further undermine the government’s authority at a time of heightened political instability, while also roiling Ukraine’s already tense relationship with neighboring Russia.

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My Comment: I talked with my Ukrainian cousin yesterday. She runs an investment bank in Kiev, and she summed up the present situation in the country as one big political mess.

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