Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, December 05, 2004
Who cares who the people of the Ukraine want for their President, when it's the resurrection of the Soviet Union that really matters, according to the Guardian's Jonathan Steele.

Yuschenko is no better a person than Russia's favourite Yanukovich, and look who's supporting him.

Not President Bush, as it turns out, who's happy to see the Ukraine within the Russian sphere of influence, but the links between US and Western European sponsors of democracy and the Yuschenko forces are enough to condemn the Yuschenko forces in the eyes of the Guardian left.
In Ukraine, Yushchenko got the western nod, and floods of money poured in to groups which support him, ranging from the youth organisation, Pora, to various opposition websites. More provocatively, the US and other western embassies paid for exit polls, prompting Russia to do likewise, though apparently to a lesser extent
And that's reason enough for Steele to conclude that Yuschenko represents a "postmodern coup d'etat, the CIA-sponsored third world uprising of cold war days adapted to post-Soviet conditions. Instruments of democracy are used selectively to topple unpopular dictators, once a successor candidate or regime has been groomed."

Just as in the case of Iraq, the Ukraine's circumstances and the gullibility of its population mean it is not capable of real democracy, according to the Guardian's columnist, and intervening in any way to support fair electoral processes can not be justified:
In Ukraine's case this is playing with fire. Not only is the country geographically and culturally divided - a recipe for partition or even civil war - it is also an important neighbour to Russia.
From the point of view of the European left, the end of the Cold War was a disaster, and now the Ukraine has missed a golden opportunity to shut up in the interests of making life simpler for Putin, as Jacques Chirac might have put it.