Forthcoming: Europe's Ukraine?
In the meanwhile, though, I want to turn to Ukraine. As far as I can tell, the new media – including the blogosphere – has largely followed the lead of the old in depicting the current post-election crisis in starkly Manichean terms as essentially pitting corrupt authoritarian Russian toadies (Yanukovich and Kuchma) against freedom-loving democratic westernizers (Yushchenko and Co.): or, as the NYTimes, with its inimitable gift for simplification, has put it, of Vladimir Putin versus “the West”. Starting tomorrow, I will post material suggesting that matters are far more complicated and, more specifically, that the external supports for the respective Ukrainian parties to the conflict are not in fact Russia and “the West” as such, but rather Russia and the EU. Indeed, within the EU it has seemingly been one country or rather one national ruling party that has been particularly active in supporting Victor Yushchenko’s “Our Ukraine” opposition: namely, the Social Democrats of German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.
Until then, concerning the much publicized – but for the most part, conspicuously unspecific – charges of electoral fraud in the Ukrainian elections, I recommend having a look at this report filed by election observers from the British Helsinki Human Rights Group.