I’ve received a number of requests from readers for some commentary on the Ukraine situation.
I wish I had something useful to say.
Other than wondering where in Hades the United Nations is, though, I don’t really have a solid understanding of what’s going on there. I know the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko lost in what appears to be a heavily-rigged election to Russia-backed Viktor Yanukovych. I know that people in some parts are thinking revolution if their man isn’t declared the winner, and that people in other parts are thinking secession (or at least a major restructuring) if their man isn’t declared the winner. I know that I have trouble keeping them straight because of the similarity between their names. I know that there might be another election. And that the Ukrainian economy, already a mess, is teetering on the edge of collapse.
That is about the extent of my knowledge, and it sure isn’t enough to base any meaningful writing on.
Did I ask where the UN was?
Debbye’s Being American in T.O. is now Murdoc’s prime source for Ukraine coverage. Go read.
UPDATE 2: A good friend of mine who currently lives in Poland (and previously lived in Russia, too) emailed me this:
Poland can be a big key in this situation. Lech Walesa was invited there and went there. Not sure if he is still there. Also the Polish president, Kwasniewski, has been invited to go and help. His reaction was that he is willing, but wanted to figure out first how he can be helpful. He seems to be a guy that is able to relate to both sides. Poland has gone through this transition to democracy and has a history with Ukraine, so it will be interesting to see how they can be influential in this. One Pole told me that they were surprised that Poland was doing more than countries like Germany and France. But Poland is moving forward and in the EU, so it is time that they can step up and lead the way in some things like this since they will be able to relate to Ukraine in a unique way. [emphasis mine]
Poland, indeed, can probably understand things better than most, and that might make a big difference. Longtime readers will know that I’m a bit of a fan of Poland, and hearing that some Poles are surprised that they’re doing more than the Old European powers just confirms my feelings. I hope they’re proud of Polish efforts.