Special Extra — EDITORIAL: A Fateful Choice in Ukraine

EDITORIAL

A Fateful Choice in Ukraine

On August 13th, Ukrainian Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko (pictured) declared in response to the Russian invasion of Georgia: “We stand in solidarity with the democratically-elected leadership of Georgia. Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected.”

The day before, she had announced that her personal envoy would visit the Georgian capitol in a physical expression of solidarity. Two weeks later she repeated her call for solidarity, stating: “Georgia’s territorial integrity is a solemn matter both for Georgia and Ukraine.”

Yet, yesterday the Telegraph reported:

Tymoshenko has revealed that she has been summoned by prosecutors to answer [President Viktor Yushchenko’s] charge of treason as Ukraine’s two rulers battle it out for power ahead of a 2010 presidential vote over their country’s future direction. President Yushchenko has accused the prime minister of failing to condemn Russia’s actions in Georgia, and the presence of the Russian naval fleet in Ukraine, in exchange for political support from the Kremlin. Tymoshenko hotly denies the allegations. The Ukraine’s prosecutor has declined to comment.

Tymoshenko’s party, as trumpeted by Kremlin-controlled wire service RIA Novosti, has declined to vote in support of Yushchenko’s resolution condemning the use of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, based in Ukraine, against Georgia during the invasion. The Jamestown Foundation reports that according to Yushchenko’s “aide Andry Kyslynsky, Moscow reportedly has earmarked $1 billion to back Tymoshenko’s presidential bid.”

In short, Russia’s action in Georgia has accelerated the fateful choice Ukrainians must make, whether they will return to subjugation by the malignant empire of Russia, or set their own course towards a European future. Two-third of Ukrainians have expressed a clear preference to join the EU, but they are less sure of themselves on NATO membership and one-third of the country prefers enslavement.

Stratfor says that “Tymoshenko has recognized the reality of a resurgent Russia and is hedging her bets with Moscow. She has refused to allow Ukraine’s parliament to adopt an anti-Russian stance, and has declared that she will not allow Ukrainian authorities to evict the Russian fleet or ban it from moving in Ukrainian waters. Timoshenko also refused to be part of the official delegation that went to Tbilisi on Aug. 9.” Stratfor, too, says it is hearing from anonymous sources that Moscow has promised Tymoshenko to fund her bid for the presidency in 2010 if she supported Moscow on Georgia.

According to Stratfor, Tymoshenko believes that Ukraine cannot be brought fully into the Western fold. She believes that when NATO membership is finally offered, Russia will make a grandstand play similar to the one it just made in Ossetia, by which it will call upon the pro-Russian sections of Ukraine to defect, and support them militarily if they seek to do so. Stratfor concludes: “For Russia, it does not matter who is the personality running Ukraine as long as that person is listening for Moscow’s orders. Russia is willing to back Timoshenko as long as she proves useful in Moscow’s move to pull Ukraine back into its former master’s orbit.”

So it appears Tymoshenko and the Kremlin could be playing a double game. Tymoshenko may hope to keep the country united and as far outside Russia’s grasp as possible, while the Kremlin hopes to insidiously undermine the pro-West component of her support and, ultimately, bring her down and a capture a collapsing Ukraine when this occurs.

President Yushchenko, on the other hand, may believe it preferable to escape a neo-Soviet Russian empire with at least a portion of Ukraine, as West Germany escaped the USSR, and to seek reunification when the neo-Soviet empire inevitably crumbles. He may even hope the West will do the right thing and immediately bring Ukraine within the protective embrace of NATO, thus denying Russia the ability to invade and sever a section of the country, starting of course with the Crimean penninsula. The Jamestown Foundation is worried: “Yushchenko has painted himself into a corner. If [his party] does not change its mind, there will be either a Tymoshenko-Yanukovich coalition, or an early election. Neither outcome is good for Yushchenko.”

It would be hard to blame Tymoshenko for seeing that idea as a fairytale, given the limp-wristed response Europe has made to the Georgian invasion, and it is harder still to blame her for wanting to keep her country together. If she is indeed proved after trial to have made a secret deal to accept financial support from Moscow, she is a traitor who deserves hanging. But if that is a blustery attack being made by Yushchenko in lieu of an honest national debate on Ukraine’s future, then it is he who will deserve harsh retribution. Both leaders need to set aside their personal interests and realize that, quite literally, they are writing their country’s future for decades to come.

14 responses to “Special Extra — EDITORIAL: A Fateful Choice in Ukraine

  1. “Democratic” Ukraine (label given by USA) failed to prove its status. Ukraine has nationalistic regime, but not democracy, plus citizens of Ukraine are 2.5 times poorer than Russians. At the same time Ukraine has 3 times bigger inflation. For example, bread in Ukraine is more expensive, than in Russia, oil is more expensive, etc… Even salo in Ukraine is more expensive, than in Russia.

    Many Ukrainians want to join Russia.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Many do. Most don’t. Democracy means majority rule. And Ukraine is a democratic paradise compared to Russia, which has held three presidential elections with no serious rival to the party of power and currently has ZERO opposition deputies in its Duma.

    In short, you lie like a neo-Soviet rug.

  2. LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: We couldn’t care less if you comment on our blog or not (the ego-mania necessary for you to suggest otherwise is truly mind-boggling), but before you do please read our comment guidelines. You are not permitted to make specific factual claims without including links to source material for substantiation. Hence, your comment has been deleted. Moreover, you will not be permitted to advertise your blog here, and should cease the attempt.

  3. La Russophobe, you are inconsistent: the first comment made specific factual claims(e.g. “citizens of Ukraine are 2.5 times poorer than Russians”, the “3 times bigger inflation” claim being simply ridiculous) without providing any links, yet you did not react the same way you did at the second comment.

    In the meantime,

    Ukraine:
    GDP – per capita (PPP): $6,900 (2007 est.)

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/up.html

    Russia:

    GDP – per capita (PPP): $14,700 (2007 est.)

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rs.html

    My calculator gives me 2.13, not 2.5 . Given that distribution of wealth in Ukraine is not as ridiculously unfair as it is in Russia (just look at Forbes’ lists), the actual picture is even less impressive for an average citizen of a certain third-world “superpower”.

    This temporary and less than impressive material wealth is certainly not worth being ruled and murdered at will by an authoritarian KGB regime. Probably that is why Ukrainian men prefer to actually make it and see their retirement, unlike their Russian counterparts.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Not inconsistent, simply imperfect. If you complain you may help us increase our accuracy. Monitoring comments is very far from being our first priority. Having said that, if we know a fact is true, we may decide to allow it. It’s facts we don’t know are true we are concerned about. Meanwhile, you’ve solved this particular problem like a good egg. Molodets! (Not that we are confirming your allegations by any means).

  4. “По росту цен Украина обогнала Россию в два раза.”

    http://www.lenta.ru/news/2008/05/06/inflation/

  5. Pingback: A Second Hand Conjecture » Buying Tymoshenko

  6. Maybe Ukrainians remember how little regard the Russians hold them in. And there’s that little starving them to death in the 1920’s and how they were treated before and after WWII.

  7. I fear Ukraine will be the victim of realpolitik and that visits on behalf of Mr. Cheney will have little effect.

  8. The Prosecutor General’s office of Ukraine has declined to prosecute Tymoshenko.

    http://unian.net/eng/news/news-272051.html

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Thanks Elmer, that’s good news!

  9. The problem is that nearly quarter of Ukrainian population is ethnically Russian. Add to that another 20% of Ukrainians who sympathize with Russians, since they are essentially one people, no other nation besides Belarusians is closer to them. Add to that about 10-15% of Ukrainian nationalists who do not want either Russian or NATO bases on their soil. Some of these are assumtions, but no such hard statistics exist, so I base them on my experience on the ground. In my opinion about 60% of Ukrainians do not want to join NATO to some sort of degree. In case of joining the EU, I suspect that probably 60% of Ukrainians would agree to join, simply expecting to vast economic improvements. This by itself is questionable, as the effects of Ukraine joining EU could be negative for Europe and disastrous for Ukraine (just like the Poles Ukrainians will be second-rate UE citizens and the country will collapse after all of its young professionals flee to Europe). The only thing US is going to accomplish by pushing EU/NATO into accepting Ukraine is a bloody civil war between brotherly Orthodox nations that have lived together for centuries.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    How odd that you would wish to spend so much time writing comments on a blog nobody reads . . .

    “Some of these”? You haven’t provided one single link to any source material to support a single one of your claims, which therefore will be taken with the grain of salt to which they are entitled.

  10. jason, you have no idea what you are talking about. In fact, you sound like the rooskies who throw rooskie b.s. around Ukrainian blogs and forums.

    Ukrainians and rooshans the same people? Horse hockey, dummy.

    First of all, rooshans view themselves as superior to Ukrainians, as well as to other nationalities, and they themselves don’t view themselves as “the same.”

    Which, considering what roosha has done with its government, and the way Putin/Medvedev screwed the pooch in Georgia, is quite ironic. rooshan “superiority” – what a hoot.

    Second, during Ukrainian elections, rooshans screamed like stuck pigs because the ballots were in Ukrainian, and they claimed that the ethnically rooshan voters would vote for the “wrong” candidates, because the rooshan names are not the same in Ukrainian.

    Third, “brotherly orthodox nations” is your hallucination. There is nothing “brotherly” or “orthodox” about roosha and all the other nations that it subjugated, whether during the tsarist era, or the sovok era. roosha has no “friends” – it seeks to dominate every other country, which in the code words of roosha, even today, is “friendly relations.” That means that roosha is stepping on your throat, and you are supposed to like it.

    rooshans are “orthodox” in name only, with only about 10% of rooshans actually going to church and doing what they are supposed to do. By the way, did you ask yourself why oily “orthodox” roosha invaded orthodox Georgia? Is that an “orthodox” “brotherly” thing to do?

    In fact, Ukraine’s vote for independence from the sovok union – and roosha – was overwhelmingly more than 90% in 1991.

    As far as NATO is concerned, years and years of sovok propaganda, and sovok/rooshan xenophobia have still not been shaken off. The people in Ukraine who nominally are “against NATO” don’t even know what it is.

    But that’s typical for rooshans – “whatever it is, I’m against it.”

    Recent polls in Ukraine indicate increasing acceptance of NATO, and Ukraine has conducted joint exercises with NATO for years, even during the Kuchma era, when Ukraine declared its intention to join NATO.

    Here are some statistics for you to ponder, to help you stop hallucinating:

    http://jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2373355

  11. jason, this one’s for you, since you are obviously a kremlinite masquerading as something else.

    One of the signs of Ukraine’s “tolerance” policy in Ukrainian schools – the teacher says to the students:

    “Children, remember, you should treat muscovites as if they were normal people.”

    http://moskaliv.net/urok-tolerantnosti-v-ukra%d1%97nskij-shkoli/

  12. Hell it was a big mistake Georgia and Ukraine SHOULD have gotten NATO MAP in April… but the damn nihilism of some STUPID politicians…

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