More revolution or evolution

It was too tempting to stay away from and nobody has been able to. An election where the liberal pro-Europe candidate was predicted the winner by the exit poll, but the incumbent is declared the winner in a process where the election itself got the most of the attention, leaving the country split by geography. On deeper inspection the candidates aren’t as different as presented by their propagandists, but the differences that remain are still real.

Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe by area (if you disqualify Russia as Eurasian) and among the largest by population. Even though it has been peripheral in the grand power schemes of the continent (as its name indicates), it is simply too large to ignore.

The fall of the Soviet Union did not mean a fall in corruption. Ukraine has been more thoroughly pillaged than Russia, and is now seen as the 19th most corrupt country in the world according to one index. Elections are never completely fair anywhere, among other things they usually favour the incumbent, and if they can be manipulated they will. But in this case the system isn’t just bent, it is crooked, and the Ukrainians deserve better.

I think these last months have been good for Ukraine, on the principle of “one more push”. Ukraine and even Russia have conditional democracy, democracy with flaws. There may not be a velvet or rose revolution, but discounting a Yugoslavia breakdown and doubting a Belorus path, any change will be for the better.

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