Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Ukraine election pointers

Looks like the Guardian has recommended this place as a source for Ukraine info thanks to my liveblogging of the “Orange Revolution” back in November/December 2004 (see here for the relevant posts).

I am, however, massively out of touch with the situation over there – if you’re interested, try Foreign Notes, Orange Ukraine, Neeka’s Backlog, Leopolis, Publius Pundit’s Ukraine archives and the (English language) Kyiv Post.

Be careful though – the Kyiv Post is also perpetuating the “Yanukovich is pro-Russian, Yuschenko pro-Western” nonsense over-simplification that took many of us in during the Orange Revolution. Hell – even the BBC’s doing it… It really is nowhere near that simple – and there’s a lot more to it than mere post Cold War political repositioning going on out in Ukraine, with dodgy business links and behind-the-scenes financial/personal ties between almost all the major political figures in the country that are enough to put even Blair’s Labour party to shame…

Personally I’m rooting for Yulia Tymoshenko, but only because she’s rather prettier to look at than the other major figures (despite her bizarre hairstyle). Her origins are as uncertain as her intentions – much like the rest of the leading candidates.

In other words, whoever wins by the time all the votes are counted (probably sometime tomorrow), no one is likely to be able to predict the ramifications. Foreign Notes, however, seems to have been doing the most consistent job of informed, largely unpartisan coverage of political events over in Ukraine for the last year or so. Almost certainly the best place to start in an attempt to unravel and understand the Byzantine rivalries of the place.

4 Comments

  1. nosemonkey

    prettier than the others does seem a little harsh, after all the poisoning attempt on yukashenko did not leave him the most attractive face in the world

    situation sounds similar in a way to Iran, where everyone talked about the pro-west and anti-west groupings, when in reality a bit more complex than that

  2. Yushchenko, not Yukashenko, and not Lukashenko :) There's been too much of Belarus for all of us this past week, I guess…

    Thanks for linking to me!

  3. I'm going to blame it on a combination of a typo and me being rusty on what's been going on in your neck of the woods. Fingers crossed it works out OK at any rate… Bloody confusing at the moment for those of us who haven't been keeping track that often.

  4. Hi – You're quite right to say that a lot the media oversimply events in Ukraine in their reports. Yesterday in the broadsheets it was 'Ukraine turns back on Orange Revolution' – today a completely different story.

    The previous parliament was juicily corrupt with briefcases full of cash regularly being exchanged between deputies. The new boys will be no different [it's alleged some of them have paid up to $5M to get in, after all], while others are even on police 'wanted lists' presently. [Parliamentary deputies get automatic criminal immunity]

    During a debate a few years ago, Tymoshenko suggested that in order to cover a shortfall in the Education budget, the deputies should all put their wristwatches into a waste paper bin by the exit – and that should just about cover it. [Apparently the Socialists and Communists have a penchant for discrete Patek Philippes and Breguet – Our Ukraine go for flashier Rolexes]

    She is the most interesting of politicians, and even has a good sense of humour. When asked with which Viktor she would go into coalition with [ie Yanukovych or Yuschenko] she replied, "If I was lying between them, then it would depend on whose rating was rising and whose was falling."

    Thanks for the 'plug' – LEvko, Foreign Notes