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View Diary: Ukraine: The Elephant (or Should We Say Bear?) in The Room (232 comments)

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  •  Skepticism about Western involvement is healthy (2+ / 0-)
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    Onomastic, Lawrence

    ... but it's not really applicable in this case.  The pro-Western, erstwhile "Orange" forces have been around since the last revolution ten years ago.  They've been compromised by the Yuschenko/Tymoshenko spectacle of in-fighting in the interim, and were quashed into submission by the Yanukovych government for the past four years, but they are not new.  They have wanted to see Ukraine untangle itself from Russian dependency and orient itself into the West for some time.

    Now, is this "transitional" government too one-sided a pendulum swing in the other direction?  Yeah, and hopefully that can still be fixed, either by negotiating a unity government or by refraining from drastic, provocative moves (like the thankfully vetoed Russian language primacy legislation) until elections can be held.  Are there worrisome far-right elements who have surfaced in the protestors' victory lap and who now hold official posts?  Indeed, unfortunately, although one would hope that early elections would help ensure that they recede into the background once more once their parties fail to clear parliamentary thresholds.  But I think it does a disservice to the protesters who have pounded the pavement and camped in freezing winter temperatures for months to assume it was all a puppet show orchestrated by a West that has been pretty feckless everywhere else.

    I'm not sure which leaders you haven't seen.  Tymoshenko, who is no angel herself, has put herself back into the spotlight, for better or worse, and remains very popular (and founded the party now running the transitional government)  The new prime minister, Yatsunyak, is youthful and personable, and has been asserting himself for some time.  Klitschko, a well-known boxer, marketing himself as a political newcomer in contrast to the compromised old guard, has already been campaigning pretty aggressively as a presidential candidate.

    •  Yatseniuk (4+ / 0-)

      has run 4 times for the top slot, and lost 4 times.  He was impeached as speaker once.

      He supports cutting pensions and heating fuel subsidies to the Ukranian poor.

      I would say he is ideal to rally the support of the Ukranian people to a bright and secure future.

      heckuva job, Victoria.

      •  I didn't give an endorsement. (0+ / 0-)

        Just providing some names.

        What's your preferred outcome in Ukraine, by the way?

        •  Preferred outcome in Ukraine? (2+ / 0-)
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          SeltzerDuke, Ray Pensador

          It really is broader than that.  This has global consequences.

          My perspective is one of an American Citizen, with American interests at issue, principally.  

          What I prefer, what would be satisfactory, and what I think is achievable, do differ.  

          A non kinetic resolution, primarily.  When elephants dance, the mice get crushed.  

           And some sort of resolution  that isn't so fragile, that it threatens to implode into something nasty and kinetic later.

          I think maintaining territorial integrity in Ukraine is important.  Changes in borders driven by military actions are a real bad precedent.

          I think a sort of status quo ante would work, with Ukraine, by mutual agreement between Russia and the EU/US, is acknowledged as a "non-bloc" or non aligned nation, with Ukraine committing to not joining NATO/EU or Russias Eurasia Bloc for some period, or allowing foreign basing of troops, and Russia agreeing to limit its military presence in the Crimea Naval base to the current agreement, extended for same period as the non alignment provisions.  Russia is building an alternative black sea port, but it wont be ready for another 10 years.

          Ukraine obviously has deep economic and structural, and  political challenges, and wherever possible, we should aid their efforts to improve the civil society, shortcomings and conditions for all Ukranians.  But our aid should be decidedly apolitical.  

          eventually, I think Ukraine will join in economic union with the rest of Europe.   But forcing it now, I think is ill advised.    

        •  I know you didn't endorse (3+ / 0-)

          But our Asst Secy of State for Eurasia did, who acts in our name, so sort of, yes, we all endorsed him.  And we will bear the consequences of that endorsement, good or bad.

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