I really liked this op-ed piece by Vitaliy Portnikov in 'Liga.net, entitled "Civilization of the calculator. The process of association with the EU looks pathetic"
Here's a loose translation:
Right from the start there have never been any aspirations in Ukraine to achieve EU values. This is why Ukraine has become a laughing stock, rather than any reluctance by Yanukovych to release Tymoshenko,
The sorry tale of the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, from being an evolving political process has today become pure guesswork. To sign - not to sign, release - not to release, to vote - not to vote, to fly to Moscow - not to fly ... It looks pretty pathetic because it demonstrates to our European partners that there was no political process associated with the desire in Ukraine to aspire to the values a united Europe right from the very beginning.
And that is why Ukraine has been exposed to ridicule in front of the entire civilized world - not just because of the reluctance of Viktor Yanukovych to release Tymoshenko.
Actually, if Ukraine had really been interested in European values, the problem around the Tymoshenko case would not have arisen at all, because there would never have been a criminal case activated and co-ordinated by presidential administration in the first place. The crimes for which she was tried and sentenced simply do not exist in the European model of law.
But in Ukraine all issues are resolved with the help of a calculator, which amongst the political pseudo-elites in our society has successfully replaced the Bible, the Constitution.. and European values.
For nearly a year the government has been calculating, where is more profitable - in Europe or Eurasia. More precisely, who will it be easier to fool - the Europeans or the Russians. There in no understanding that value systems cannot be compared with the aid of a calculator. Even any decision on Tymoshenko will eventually be made on a pure calculation..how many votes will be gained or lost by this in the 2015 presidential elections.
Because the average Ukrainian also merely weighs up the gains [or losses] of a possible association agreement with the EU using a calculator, there has been no mass demonstrations in support of it. Even in the event of the failure to sign the agreement supporters may gather at mass meetings and revitalise the political situation in the country, but it still will not be in support of a European vector, but rather a protest against Yanukovych.
If Europeans lived in our country rallies in support of the AA would be taking place right now, irrespective of any opposition party.
Ukraine is separated today from the European Union by only the narrow strip of a state border. In fact it is separated from civilization by a ditch whose depth Ukraine's residents and politicians, armed with calculators, cannot even comprehend.
And to the East there are lots of boundary markers - but no ditch. Everything is the same as in Ukraine, just with more oil and gas.
This is the tragedy of Ukrainian independence: to proclaim statehood was much easier than to fill it with a sense of civilisational choice. All attempts to do this continue to revolve around political rants, lies, mayhem... and a calculator.