Archive for February, 2010

Election in Ukraine

So it’s down to Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yanukovych. The gas princess and the thug. Technically speaking you could call Mrs. Tymoshenko the liberal candidate and Mr. Yanukovych the conservative one but such labels are misleading. So are their respective designations as “pro-Western” and “pro-Russian.” Both see EU membership as a goal. Mrs. Tymoshenko has hinted at NATO membership but unlike Georgia, Ukrainians are largely against this and seeing that Mrs. Tymoshenko is a populist above all else it’s unlikely she’ll try to push this issue too forcefully. And, believe it or not, I think it’s actually a good idea.

NATO has an important role to play tempering Russian influence over the former Soviet Union but I foresee Ukraine playing a key role in maintaining security and cooperation in Europe and and joining a U.S.?dominated military alliance would result more in just pissing Russia off than anything constructive. The Ukrainians are strong?willed people—not malleable like the Belarusians—so the danger of Finlandization is really not an issue.

So who’s it going to be? I really have no idea, it’s, as they say, “too close to call.” But my support is behind Yulia Tymoshenko all the way. But my exact reasons for that support are hard to explain. I’ll be the first to admit that part of Mrs. Tymoshenko’s allure is decidedly non?political. She has down pat that whole “Amazonia, Queen of the Slavs” look that intrigues men and empowers women. Not to mention the fact that she counts among her supporters real life Amazon Ruslana. And if I spoke Ukrainian I’d probably be able to also appreciate Mrs. Tymoshenko’s charismatic authority versus Mr. Yanukovych’s clunky turns of phrase. She’s definitely more experienced but that same experience, as prime minister during the recession, may be her downfall.

Honestly I don’t know what I’m going on about. The eastward march of the European Union cannot be stopped. Though corruption in Ukraine is a reality, it still pales in comparison to Central Asia. Either candidate would be good for Ukraine. Maybe they can form a coalition. Everybody will be happy. Well, everybody except Viktor Yushchenko.

Tymoshenko & Yanukovych

I just wanted to point out that despite many already existing Tymoshenko-Yanukovych images, I made this one all by myself, WITH THE MOST RECENT IMAGES. Yup.