Monday, August 15, 2005

Putin allied with Yanukovich?

If this is right, it just goes to show how idiotic the Kremlin's foreign policy toward Ukraine still remains--The Jamestown Foundation.

Russian President Vladimir's Putin's Unified Russia party has already signed a cooperation agreement with defeated presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych's Regions of Ukraine party. Russia's Rodina party has agreed to cooperate with the Socialist Party of Ukraine, while Russia's and Ukraine's Communists are eternal allies.

But from a Ukrainian perspective, good. All the polls I have seen have shown that if an election were held today, Yanukovych's party would be lucky to poll half of what they did in the (final) election. (About 14% is the figure.) Maybe Putin can hit up the oligarchs again for $300 million to line the pockets of the Mercedes and BMW drivers here once more. Some of it is bound to trickle down to the people on foot, the vast majority, and that's got to improve the economy here. In one stroke, Putin can pull the chain of the oligarchs reminding them once again who is boss and improve economic conditions in Ukraine at least a little. And he can cement a reputation for having an abysmal understanding of what is happening in Ukraine.

The fact is that Yanukovych is non-existent. He is nowhere to be found these days. An opposition should be opposing and there is none of that. You hear at times Yanukovych's campaign manager, his last, come out and say things, Taras Chornovil, but that is just nuisance sniping from the trees not the frontal assault an opposition ought to be engaged in. It doesn't sound like he speaks for any organzied opposition.

And the administration has been vulnerable the past few months, very vulnerable. The only opposition that has been detectable (and interesting) has been from the administration itself. Nothing from Yanukovych.

I did make a prediction that the Kremlin would cut ties with Yanukovych and that appears to be wrong but I assumed a reasonable amount of reason was available. Bad assumption.


Hello said...

Yanu is Moscow's man plus he is a proven brand with fantastic name recognition. They are just lying low, waiting for an opportunity to trot him out as the - if only you had picked this guy! things would be different candidate. Wait until things heat up for the March elections. The foundation has already been poured via foreign and local media touting how awful things are, what confusion in the cabinet, how the OR was deceived, etc. But at the same time, Russian investors are still heavily interested in Ukraine. Hmmm? Why? Would they not shy away? Heck if even China is supporting UA entrance into WTO, you know they are schemes and strategems afoot.

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