Not Killing Enough Russians? Orange Revolution in Ukraine Dead from Start…

 

Not Killing Enough Russians Orange Revolution in Ukraine Dead from Start.

The orange revolution in Ukraine was dead from the start. Why Ukraine had no money to finance its own budgets and also it never had enough guns to kill the Russians. For the past couple of months, protesters have filled the streets of Kiev, Ukraine, and many other major cities throughout the country. They object to a decision by President Viktor Yanukovych not to sign a deal that would increase ties to the European Union and opt, instead, for closer ties with Russia. The protesters have won a pair of major victories in forcing the prime minister and his cabinet to resign and in forcing the parliament to repeal an anti-protesting law passed less than two weeks before. But Ukraine’s political situation remains the opposite of settled.

As I have noted earlier, Ukraine has an ethnic problem that is crippling its political system. In broad terms, the 75% of the population that is ethnically Ukrainian prefers closer relations with the West and especially with the European Union. The 25% or so who are ethnically Russian would rather follow the Yanukovych plan and team up more with Russia. This division is also geographical as the Russian speaking minority is concentrated in the south and east of the country.

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The Yanukovych crowd has tried to shut the protests down, and when that didn’t work, concessions magically appeared. In the last two weeks, the government has passed a law restricting the right to protest, put special riot police on the streets, killed a few protesters, repealed the anti-protesting law, offered top government posts to the opposition leadership, and now the PM and cabinet have quit.

Leonid Kravchuk, president of Ukraine from 1991 to 1994, said in parliament, “All the world acknowledges and Ukraine acknowledges that the state is on the brink of civil war. It is a revolution. It is a dramatic situation in which we must act with the greatest responsibility. We need to ease the confrontation between the sides and agree on a plan to solve the conflict. We need to work on this plan step by step to ease the confrontation.”

Unfortunately, the opposition now smells blood in the water, and the rank and file are maintaining a hardline on things. Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov wrote, “Ukraine has shifted into a different category of country — from that of the peaceful and half-asleep to the category characterized by a highly radicalized population.” That isn’t the kind of population that finds the middle ground.

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When Arseniy Yatsenyuk, an opposition leader, said over the weekend that negotiations with the government would continue, a great many in the audience tried shouting him down with cries of “Shame!” The BBC quoted an old man who was demonstrating as saying, “This is what we’ve frozen for, the last two months on the Maidan [the main square in Kiev]? They should say to Yanukovych, ‘You have four hours to get on a plane and leave.'”

The government has deployed the local equivalent of SWAT teams, but so far, the army is still in barracks. The government of President Yanukovych is hesitant to call the soldiers out to deal with the unrest, and it is trying to avoid calling a state of emergency. The fear is that the soldiers, many of whom are ethnic Ukrainians, might not obey orders to fire on civilians.

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When the government doesn’t trust the army, nothing good can come of it. And Putin’s Russia will only be occupied with the Olympics for a couple of weeks.

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