Skip to main content

This post follows from President Obama suspends U.S. participation in G-8 preparation in 90 minute call to Validimir Putin which contains updates through midnight last night.

 photo ukraine-divisions-crimea-1393526983251-master495_zpsfca61dc9.png

Steven Erlanger, of the New York Times warns us that After Initial Triumph, Ukraine’s Leaders Face Battle for Credibility. Observers quoted in this article seem to agree that the new government of Ukraine is off to a rocky start and needs to reach out to Russian-speaking political leaders in the eastern regions and include them in the new government.  

The challenges for Ukraine’s new leaders are many and varied. With President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia now openly intent on a military showdown over control of Crimea, the government faces a powerful test of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Demonstrations are growing in the Russian-speaking east of the country, underscoring the tenuous nature of the government’s control there. Washington and Brussels, Kiev’s only hopes at this point for the aid necessary to avert economic collapse, are scrambling to deliver and have shown no desire for an armed confrontation with Russia.

As it met for the first time on Saturday in an air of crisis, the new government also faced questions of credibility, legitimacy and inclusiveness arising from the way in which it came to power. ... “You have a revolution, with unelected guys seizing power,” said Andrew Wilson, a Ukraine expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

“The people on the Maidan might be right, they might be martyrs, and they have good arguments, but no one elected them,” he said. “You need to get real politics and competition and more legitimacy. Of course, the counterargument is just concentrate on economy. But the credibility question is tearing the country apart, and the transfer of power cut a lot of corners constitutionally.”

The new government has few  representatives of the Russian-speaking industrial heartland in the east, and the area that includes what previously was the most popular political party, the Party of Regions. Instead, the new government is made up mostly of those associated with former prime minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko.

Also, the representatives of the new government erred strategically by overturning a law that allowed regions to make Russian an official second language, an action particularly offensive to the people of Crimea.

Ukraine is also dependent on Russia for financial aid,  favorable customs duties,  energy supplies - especially Russian Gas, and would be highly vulnerable to trade sanctions. Also, the eastern regions contain a majority of pro-Russian citizens.

Also, the new acting president, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, and interim prime minister, Arsenly P. Yatsenuk, were shocked on Sunday afer they got their first look at Ukraine's accounts. Apparently loans worth $37 billion are gone, and PM Yatsenyuk has alleged that as much as $70 billion was sent out of the country during former President Yanukovych's tenure.

“I want to report to you — the state treasury has been robbed and is empty,” Mr. Yatsenyuk told Parliament. Last year, according to the economist Anders Aslund of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Ukraine’s current-account deficit was an estimated 8.3 percent of gross domestic product. Its foreign-currency reserves cover just over two months of imports. The budget deficit is nearly 8 percent of G.D.P., he said, and the economy has been in recession since mid-2012.

If we in the West want to improve the prospects of Ukraine remaining independent we will need to move quickly to offer more support, and perhaps more pressures than threatening to skip the next G-8 meeting in Solchi. We, and our western allies should consider suspending Russia's membership in the G-8, and consider sanctions on specific Russian's including international travel bans, and freezing assets.

7:18 AM PT: On Fareed Zakaria's GPS, former Secretary of State Madelene Albright, and former National Security Advisor, Zbiginiew Brzezinski, both urge greater support for Ukraine's new government, including recognition for the new government and stronger sanctions, although Albreit seems urges greater caution. And, believes Putin may have made a tremendous miscalculation that will cost him greatly internally, and he must pay a tremendous cost externally, by isolation from the West.


Do you agree with Fareed Zakaria, Madeleine Albright, and Zbigniew Brzezinski that the west should respond with much stronger sanctions and other consequences such as expulsion from the G-8, sanctions, and other diplomatic consequences?

28%9 votes
9%3 votes
50%16 votes
9%3 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site