Feb 26, 2014

The president is gone, but Ukraine’s democracy hopes in tatters

Don't think that Ukraine's social unrest will usher in a golden era of social democracy. Unfortunately for the former Eastern bloc state, its future is likely to be more of the same.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

The ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych has ended an era of heavy-handed political rule in Ukraine, but it has ushered in a period of considerable instability. It would be distinctly optimistic to believe that the ending of Yanukovych’s rule will lead to a Ukrainian liberal democracy.

Among the mobs that occupied Independence Square (pictured) and eventually turned the political tide against Yanukovych were liberals, libertarians and those who were just dismayed with the poverty and inequalities that have characterised Ukraine since the dismantling of the USSR more than two decades ago. But that mob also included neo-Nazis, chauvinist nationalists and others whose political credo does not include pluralism or tolerance.

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4 thoughts on “The president is gone, but Ukraine’s democracy hopes in tatters

  1. j.oneill

    It is surprising to read an article on the unrest in the Ukraine and for it not to mention the role of the US in fomenting that unrest. State Department functionary Victoria Nuland was memorably caught on tape decrying the lack of assistance from the EU, but thinking that the $5billion the US had spent was loose change if it enabled NATO to be able to extend their missile bases closer to the Russian border.

    This is a US/NATO destabilisation exercise par excellence as a number of commentators in the foreign media have pointed out.

    The always excellent Pepe Escobar put it this way:

    “Here’s a very possible scenario. Eastern and southern Ukraine become part of Russia again; Moscow would arguably accept it. Western Ukraine is plundered, disaster capitalism style, by the Western corporate-financial mafia-while nobody gets s single EU passport. As for NATO, they get their bases, “annexing” Ukraine, but also get myriads of hyper-accurate Russian Iskander missiles locked on their new abode. So much for Washington’s ‘strategic advance’.”

    Escobar may well be right. It is certainly a more realistic and frank discussion of what is really going on.

  2. j.oneill

    By way of follow-up. William Engdahl is interviewed on The Corbett Report on the developments in the Ukraine. He exposes the details of the Nuland telephone call that I referred to yesterday. He also puts the coup in its proper geopolitical context. Far more instructive really than Professor Kingsbury’s skirting around the real issues.

  3. Liamj

    If i lived in W.Europe i’d be going long on longjohns. A quarter of the gas burnt there comes from Russia via Ukraine, and as 2009 showed, Russia is quite willing to turn the tap off when displeased. Now theres a country that knows how to use its energy resources, they must laugh at Australia’s trivial royalties and geostrategic cowardice.

    @ j.oneill – Pr Kingsbury never mentions US meddling in other nations affairs, maybe he takes it as a given and presumes we do too.

  4. AR

    I’ve always assumed that the author has a direct fax to Langley – his verbiage is indistinguishable from that of the alphabet soup agency.
    Wot the Hegemon wants, helots grovel to deliver.

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