"As if Russia did not already have enough worries, with the security issues associated with the Sochi Olympics and the growing unrest next door in Ukraine, it now faces severe downward pressure on its currency," writes Will Pomeranz.
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"The prestige of hosting the Olympics — and the huge international spotlight that accompanies the spectacle — limits Moscow’s ability to act decisively toward Ukraine as it might have otherwise," writes Will Pomeranz.
Big scale political crises occur in Ukraine approximately once in a decade, with each next crisis more devastating than the previous one. However, if the crises of 1994 and 2004 resulted in a change of power, the crisis of 2013 so far has not been resolved.
How important are the Sochi Olympics to Vladimir Putin and Russia? And with concerns about security dominating pre-games discussions, how concerned should we be about safety?
Ukraine is on the verge of spinning out of control. A pro-European protest that began more than two months ago in Kiev’s central square has flared into broad, angry opposition to the authoritarian policies of President Viktor F. Yanukovych. If the United States and European Union wish to encourage a peaceful resolution, they must use their leverage now. Otherwise the situation could degenerate further, to the point where the West will be no more than a spectator.
"If Ukraine is to embark on the path to greater democratization, its political leadership must make police reform a top priority," writes Fellow Erica Marat.
The concept of politics as “dirty business” can be reiterated ad infinitum; and the instinctive distancing of community from political parties, their boring slogans, props and active members can be regarded as simply the implementation of new technologies by the authorities (especially in today’s Maidan). However, the fact is that in 2012, less than every fifth respondent agreed that the country had political leaders capable of ruling the country in an efficient way or that the ruling political parties could be entrusted with power...
Lately we have been hearing more and more cries for “rebooting” Ukraine. Yurii Lutsenko, the former Minister of Internal Affairs, calls for introducing a second and third republic, while Roman Bezsmertny, the author of unaccomplished administrative reform, has undergone a complete reincarnation; "Depa" and "Gepa"* insist on moving the capital of the country to Kharkiv, while Andriy Klyuev, a prominent businessman and politician, sympathizes with unfortunate Poland about what it will do with Galicia when it breaks off from Ukraine.
Anyone following the current developments can provide an explanation for what has been going on. Some people refer to the geo-strategic battles between East and West; others,to the launching of the 2015 election campaign; some refer to Yanukovych’s pathological hatred of Tymoshenko; and still others claim that another global redistribution of spheres of influence and capital is taking place. All of these opinions are probably valid and each of them makes sense to a certain extent, but only to a certain extent.
Experts & Staff
- Matthew Rojansky // Director, Kennan Institute
- William E. Pomeranz // Deputy Director, Kennan Institute
- F. Joseph Dresen // Program Associate
- Mary Elizabeth Malinkin // Program Associate
- Izabella Tabarovsky // Manager for Regional Engagement
- Mattison Brady // Program Assistant
- Blair A. Ruble // Vice President for Programs; Director, Urban Sustainability Laboratory; and Senior Advisor, Kennan Institute
- Kateryna Smagliy // Director, Kennan Institute in Ukraine