Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yanukovych's problem...and a solution

I have just read, and can recommend, Masha Gessen's chillingly brilliant account  describing Vladimir Putin's unlikely rise to power in Russia and how quickly he dismantled democracy in that country.

Since becoming president two and a half years ago president Yanukovych has ploughed a similar furrow in Ukraine. There is already much to suggest October's Parliamentary elections will not be deemed fair by Western governments. One informed Polish journalist suggests: ".. [Ukraine] has been transformed into a country where elections are a playing field for manipulation, fraud, and total war.."

However, Presidential elections in March 2015 will be more difficult to steal, and if current trends continue the likelihood of Yanukovych being re-elected for a second term is not great. But any yielding of power to an opposition candidate is unthinkable - too many red lines have been crossed, the empire his family have built up recently would be smashed and, at best, they would  be forced to flee.

Vitaliy Portnikov, in an interesting article, suggests Yanukovych could be considering a solution to his dilemma - the creation of a new state, a kind of Ukrainian Transdnistria, with its capital in Donetsk, from where he could continue to rule. The recent upgrade in status of the Russian language [and the inevitable de-Ukrainianisation in this part of the country] could be a first step in this process.

The consequences for any such a split would be monumental...

p.s. Health and Safety note for Femen:

When operating hand-held power tools appropriate clothing should always be worn as loose-fitting clothing can be caught by moving parts. Safety glasses must be worn to protect eyes from flying, or splintering debris.

But....Long hair should always be held back with a band or neatly tucked away under a hair net or cap...so....silly girl. [Brightly coloured balaclava helmet to match shorts may have been appropriate]

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