- (October 1999)
Ukrainia's end of the tunnell.
Ukraine is Russia without the excesses: one man has ruled the transition from
communism to capitalism, Leonid Kuchma,
but without all the drama and intrigue;
the transition has resulted in a widespread economic crisis
but there was no Russian-style financial crash;
corruption is rampant but has not reached mafia-levels of violence;
a province (the ethnically Russian east) is uneasy under the central control
but with none of Chechnya's desire for revolutionary bands.
In november's elections,
Kuchma is everybody's favorite: Russians like him because he is a moderate
nationalist who recognizes Russian interests (and allows Russia to exert
its influence virtually at will), the West likes him because he means
stability in a region full of time bombs.
His main opponent is the head of the communist party, Petro Symonenko, who
advocates the restoration of the old Soviet Union or at least a federation
with Russia and Belarus.
Given Russia's troubles, even ethnic Russians are unlikely to be excited
about returning under Moscow's rules.
(February 2001 update: the mysterious death of a journalist tarnished
Kuchma's reputation and started mass demonstrations for his resignations).
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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