Sunday, May 21, 2017

Will Ukraine Change?

President Petro Poroshenko with soldiers in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, April 2017. Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters

Tim Judah, New York Review Of Books: Will Ukraine Ever Change?

Denis Voronenkov, a former member of the Russian parliament, was walking out of the Premier Palace Hotel in Kiev on March 23 when he was killed in a hail of bullets. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko immediately blamed the Russian state for his murder. Voronenkov, a former supporter of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine who was accused of corruption in Russia and then fled to Kiev last year, had been a controversial figure. After his defection, he was given Ukrainian citizenship, denounced Putin and his policies, and, perhaps crucially, testified against Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s former president, who had fled to Russia when he was driven from power during the Maidan revolution of 2014.

Russian officials denied involvement in Voronenkov’s death, but made clear they had little sympathy for a man they regarded as a traitor. He was just one more casualty of Ukraine’s revolution and its continuing war with Russia.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have not posted anything on Ukraine for the past few weeks .... which is strange because I am almost always talking/Skyping with someone I know in that country almost every day. It is also true that nothing has changed. The corruption has actually gotten worse (unlike what the author of the above post is saying), the economy has stabilized (it cannot get any worse), the Army is becoming modernized (but most of these forces are not based on the front lines .... they are stationed  in the regions where  the Russian-Ukrainian population is the majority and separatist feelings are high), the war continues, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's poll numbers are in the low teens (if he was to run today, he will be wiped-out by anyone who goes against him), and while the EU has made it now possible for Ukrainians to travel to the EU visa free .... the end result of this will be millions of Ukrainians immigrating to the West as soon as they can scrap some money together to make their move. The above author mentions Crimea and that support for being now part of Russia is in decline. I do not see that .... many Crimeans blame Ukraine for the shutdown of electricity supplies .... and then there are the many anti-Russian language laws that Kiev has passed which for the Russian majority in Crimea is unacceptable. As to what is my prediction (and hope) for the future .... for Ukraine to progress forward there has to be an agreement that will give the separatist regions a great deal of authority to handle their affairs .... starting with language and culture. These same language rights must also be given to the other regions of Ukraine where Russian-Ukrainians are the majority. There also has to be a recognition that these regions are not comfortable with Kiev having all the power when it comes to money .... the regions must be given some financial say on what happens within their boundaries. Then there is Russia. Many Ukrainians may want to block any accommodation with Russia .... but many do not .... and among the Russian-Ukrainian community support for an open border with Russia is a must. Will this happen .... not with President Poroshenko in power. But Ukrainian voters are going to go back to the polls in 2019 .... and I know that there will be candidates who are willing to look at federalist solutions to solve the impasse in Ukraine .... as well as making the case for it. Otherwise .... Ukraine will not change .... and the status quo will just continue.


Stephen Davenport said...

Blah, blah, blah, again with the Ukraine bad and Russia is good bullshit. You are like a broken record, you have NO problems pointing out the Ukraine's problems and yet strangely muted when it comes to your boy Putin who started all this. You are not as smart as you think you are.

Stephen Davenport said...

Also a footnote, basically what you are typing is the Ukraine has to adjust not the Russians. The Ukraine has to do this and the Ukraine has to do that, not Russia. The Ukraine was violated by the Russians not the other way around, the Russians are on Ukraine's territory not vice versa and until you understand this, nothing will change.

ejmohr said...

My travels in Eastern Europe have always filled me with sadness over the great people who live in a land that time forgot. So many educated talented people who have no real opportunity. If Ukrainians actually will be able to migrate to Europe that would actually be a bonus for Europe and Ukraine if Europe can provide jobs for these talented people. I was quite surprised to meet Matrushka sellers in Russia who had degrees that could not be utilized. Anyway, I have always thought detente and help for these people would be a win win.

Jay Farquharson said...

WNU Editor,

The Ukraine's done. Too much time and blood wasted for peaceful reunification, and non-peaceful reunification won't happen.

War News Updates Editor said...

I am still hopeful Jay. It all comes down to who runs and gets elected in 2019. But I agree that non-peaceful reunification cannot happen. It will be like Northern Ireland 40+ years ago .... but the troubles will be far more intense and bloody.