Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Road Map for Ukraine

A look at a map of Ukraine, one demarcating the Russian-speaking regions, gives one an ominous feeling. The future comes into stark relief now that Viktor Yanukovych has been impeached and has fled the capital and his former rival Yulia Tymoshenko has quickly been released from jail.

Building off his expertise in the Middle East, Michigan professor and historian Juan Cole presents an early picture of the way forward for Ukraine, emphasizing the lessons learned during the Arab Spring:
Here are some parallels to the Arab upheavals of 2011 and suggestions for how Ukraine can avoid another failure in transitioning to democracy.
* It is good that the Ukraine military has declared neutrality. In Libya and Syria military intervention turned peaceful protests into a civil war. In contrast, in Tunisia, the military declared neutrality, which contributed to that country’s peaceful transition.
* Geographical divisions such as those in the Ukraine can be deadly to political progress. The grievances of the easterners in Libya have affected oil production. Likewise, in Yemen some of the post-revolution violence and protests have come from southerners unhappy at northern dominance. Despite their victory on Saturday, the western forces would be wise to seek a compromise with the east rather than simply attempting to dictate to the latter.
Read all of Juan Cole's analysis here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. Interesting article. I have been in Ukraine and in Kyiv. I bought a tour I was there for a week, and noticed that not many people speak Ukrainian. Basically, all speak Russian. Although I do not understand why. Ukrainian language is beautiful. I advise you to go there, you will like it.