Some portions from an article in the latest 'Kommentarii' weekly, giving reasons why any 'third force' is unlikely to emerge in Ukrainian politics any time soon, even though the current polarized 'orange'-'white and blue' political set-up that sprung forth after the Orange Revolution has not produced much benefit to the country:
"One of the central problems for the forces who have pretentions to be a 'third alternative' is the absence in their structures of charismatic leaders. No matter how interesting their party program is, Ukrainian voters invariably make their choice according to personalities. Competent election campaigns with promotion of party leaders have proven to be decisive. Because Ukraine has been living in what can be described as a permanent election campaign race in recent times, new forces never have the opportunity to shine, and if they do, the main political heavyweights 'buy them up', and the existing organizational structures of any third force are merged or absorbed by the major players.
The second problem for 'third forces' is even more difficult — they do not propose practically any alternative ideological messages. At best they manage to develop creative ideas already instigated by the leading political players, and at worst they merely plagiarize them. The thesis, 'they are all bad, and only we care about the interests of the people', seldom finds an adequate response in the hearts of electorate, more likely, it creates even more scepticism. And Ukrainian votes tend to vote only for parties that have solid prospects for entering parliament.
Finally, the the third problem for 'third forces' is the bi-polarity of the Ukrainian politicum, looking either towards the West, or to Moscow, where there is simply no place for any alternative third view. The maximum that can be be hoped for by those entering the big game and who want to 'graze' on either Pro-Russian, or westernized electoral fields, is to steal votes from the true keepers of these two vectors. Moreover, while the definitive geopolitical choice for Ukraine is undecided, political struggles cannot turn to everyday matters, and the creation of an effective project geared to the needs of a certain social group, is simply unreal.
There are many examples in the country's contemporary history where movements based on agricultural workers, youth, feminists, and even ecological movements were only ever marginal. Besides, there have been separate sections for quite a while already for all these target audiences in the programs of the 'first' and 'second forces."
Also from 'Kommentarii', this:
Economic problems of Russia's Fifth column' in Ukraine.
In the light of a new wave of political, economic and informational pressure from Russia on Ukraine it is becoming clear that the Kremlin has no-one in Ukraine to promote its anti-Ukrainian messages. In earlier times Party of Regions would loyally repeat them, but now support for the Russian initiatives in the 'blue and white' camp can be heard only from isolated, withered voices.
Recent statements from Moscow have put 'Regionaly' in a rather uncomfortable position. This is revealed by the opinions of PoR leader Viktor Yanukovych who stated that the Russian State Duma statement on the possibility of revision of wide-ranging Russian-Ukrainian agreements were an unpleasant surprise. The declaration of the vice-premier of the Russian Federation Sergey Ivanov, that Russia will be compelled to respond to Ukraine's entry into NATO with the introduction of a visa regime for Ukrainians, was self-consciously called by Viktor Fedorovych, as "just a proposal".
It is clear that PoR has declined to make any firm statements, indicating an unstable internal situation exists inside 'Reginaly'. It's no secret that PoR's Ahmetov-Kolesnikov wing co-ordinates its activities in many matters with the Presidential Secretariat, which has its own views on the 'Russian vector'. Therefore it is not convenient for Regionaly right now to echo Moscow's opinions and enter into conflict with Viktor Yushchenko. In this context it is necessary to note that this conditionally"pro-presidential" wing of PoR controls a number of radically Pro-Russian organisations in Donbas, e.g the recently forbidden civic organisation 'Donetskaya Respublika', 'Svyatogora', and 'Union born by Revolution'. The Donetsk City Council Secretary Nikolai Levchenko who carefully cultivates an image of an ardent fighter with Ukrainian nationalism, is considered a protege of Boris Kolesnikov.
In Crimea there is a similar situation; 'Regionaly', having secured themselves at local authority level, do not see any economic reason for close co-operation with the Kremlin. If in earlier times financial assistance from Moscow was an attractive bonus for maintaining 'correct ideology', now there is less economic sense for the leaders of the Autonomous Republic to go into conflict with Kyiv. In order for the Kremlin to advance its policies in Ukraine it is compelled to work with political outcasts - The Progressive Socialists of Natalia Vitrenko, the Party Russian-Ukrainian Union, the Crimean Communist Leonid Grach and others. However these forces are only capable of making a lot of noise and creating an informational background, but cannot really help Russia in any way to lobby its interests in Ukraine.