Why Now?
Friday, November 26, 2004
  Ukraine on the Edge

The Ukraine is once again on the tipping point between Europe and Russia. The election and its aftermath are swirling around this question.

The conventional story is that the nation of Russia was founded in 862 when the Viking leader, Ryurik, was elected as the prince of Novgorod. This notion and the date are based of the annals of Novgorod, the oldest surviving records. Archaeology shows that Keiv, the capitol of the Ukraine, is the oldest city, and was the center of early Russia. When Ioann IV became the first Tsar of all the Russias in 1547 the capitol was Moscow. The Mongol invasion and destruction of Kiev pushed the center of power to Novgorod, and then Moscow.

There were three recognized divisions: the Great Russians, the White Russians, and the Little Russians. The Great Russians are now known simply as the Russians, the White Russians use the Slavic version, Belarus, and the Little Russians are the Ukrainians. The languages display their common roots, but they have separated over the centuries.

When the Mongols were evicted, the Ukrainians came under the power of their Lithuanian and Polish neighbors, but eventually rejoined the Russian Empire in 1654 under Tsar Alexis.

When the Soviet Union broke up in the early 1990's not everyone was thrilled. There are elements in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine who want to form a confederation, as well as no small number who think the Russian Empire should be re-united. They enjoyed being a superpower, and want to return to that status.

Lukashenko of Belarus and Putin are on-board with a confederation, Lukashenko believes he will be the leader of the confederation and Putin knows that he will control it. This leads to the Ukrainian election.

The apparent winner, Yanukovich, is Putin's man and will lead the Ukraine into the new confederation. The opposition candidate, Yushchenko, wants the Ukraine to become a full-fledged member of the European Union.

The keys to the Ukraine are the opinions of the Military and the Security apparatus. The model for the governments of the former members of the Soviet Union is this troika: Party-Army-KGB, the Russian version of checks and balances. If the Party, represented by the current President Kuchma, can get either the Army or the KGB to back him in a confrontation with the opposition, Yanukovich takes over. If both back Kuchma, the protests will be put down and the current government officials can continue looting the country. If only one backs Kuchma there will be violent struggles. If both back Yushchenko, there will be trouble, but it is possible that a new, fairer election will be held.

Currently it looks like both the military and security are sitting out the problem, but the "Orange" [Yushchenko's opposition supporters] are ramping up their protests. The Ukrainian supreme court has put things on hold pending an investigation of voting "anomalies" and could order a new election.

Another problem is the ethnic mix: ethnic Ukrainians tend to live in the West, while ethnic Russians live in the East. There are also major groups of Rumanians, Tatars, and Kazaks living in the Ukraine. The country is torn down the middle.

If a new election is held and determined to be fair, that doesn't automatically mean that Yushchenko will win. The Ukraine is a divided country and the result will depend on voter turn-out. Whoever wins, nearly half of the population will be diametrically opposed to their policies. The legislature is evenly split with opposition parties holding a small majority.

Putin is on the path to becoming Rasputin. Vladimir is apparently more interested in ruling the world, than being a peaceful ruler.

More can be found at LIVE at the Nuke Free Zone.

[edited for an egregious swap of directions.]


<< Home

On-line Opinion Magazine featuring annoyed rumblings from the leading edge of the Baby Boom firmly tied to a reality-based world.

A press entity IAW: FEC AOR2005-16

Established: 21 November 2004

My Photo
Location: Cinco Bayou, Florida


bryan at dumka dot com

My Military

West Florida

Home on the 'Net

Previous Editions
November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / July 2006 / November 2006 /

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.

Terry Pratchett

Disaster Assistance

Red Cross

Salvation Army

Noah's Wish

Friends Disaster Service

Habitat for Humanity

Legislature in Session

Click for Fort Walton Beach, Florida Forecast

On-Line Magazines

Alley Cat Allies
All Hat and No Cattle
Roger Ailes
The American Street
And Then...
Baghdad Burning
Bark Bark Woof Woof
Beast of Sound
Michael Bérubé
Beaumont Enterprise
Blog Amy
Blonde Sense
Bohemian Mama
President Boxer
A Brooklyn Bridge
The Carnival of Bad History
Wes Clark
Collective Sigh
Culture Ghost
Cute Overload
The Daily Howler
The Daily Kitten
Dark Bilious Vapors
Democratic Veteran
Dependable Renegade
Dohiyi Mir
Easter Lemming
Echidne of the Snakes
Elayne's Journal
Exit Stage Left
Facing South
Fanatical Apathy
First Draft
The Fulcrum
General J. C. Christian
Bob Geiger
Grumpy Forester
Gulf Coast Progressive
Ignorant Hussy
Informed Comment
Interstate 4 Jamming
The Invisible Library
It's morning somewhere
Molly Ivins
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Ezra Klein
Lab Kat
Lean Left
Legal Fiction
The Liberal Coalition
The Liberal Oasis
Madeleine Begun Kane
Main and Central
Make Me A Commentator
Making Light
MercuryX23's Fantabulous Blog
The Modulator
Morning Martini
Musing's musings
National Archives
The News Blog
No More Mister Nice Blog
Nuke Free Zone
Old Fashioned Patriot
Olduvai George
1 Boring Old Man
On This Day
Open Source Politics
Opinions You Should Have
The Otter Side
Outside the Tent
Out, Standing in Her Field
Pacific Views
Pensacola Beach Blog
People's Republic of Seabrook
Political Animal
August J. Pollak
Rittenhouse Review
Rook's Rant
Rubber Hose
Rugo's Rambling
Ruminate This
Sadly, No!
Seeing The Forest
Shakespeare's Sister
Sisyphus Shrugged
skippy the bush kangaroo
Suburban Guerrilla
That Colored Fella
3 Old Men
The Times-Picayune
Unclaimed Territory
Under the News
Joel Veitch
Vestal Vespa
Voice of a Veteran
War and Piece
Whiskey Bar
Oliver Willis
Trish Wilson
James Wolcott
Words On A Page
World O' Crap
WTF is it now?
Yellow Doggerel Democrat


Operation Yellow Elephant

August J. Pollak

Howard speaks for me

Get the Brand Democratic gear

Click to Feed a Friend

Get the Firefox browser

Ad-Aware SE


Flying Spaghetti Monster

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

Blogger Buzz

Blogger Status

Powered by Blogger