Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Political Situation in Ukraine: The Russian PoV

The Ukrainian leaders seem to be starting to realize that the situation in the country is really critical. The president's team looks utterly discouraged if not demoralized. Despite all his inadequacy, Viktor Yushchenko is one step away from realizing that he would be held responsible for all the unbecoming deeds he did. In actuality, he already has to pay for some peculiarities of his first eight months in office.

The political crisis in Ukraine never abated. Instead, it entered a new and more dangerous stage. Prior to a vote on a new Prime Minister in Parliament, Mr. Yushchenko spoke to the deputies. He finally had to admit that the Tymoshenko government had performed in a very bad way. He said that GDP rate slowed down by 2.32 times over the last eights months. In general, there was a 5-time decrease in GDP. Industrial production rate dropped 2.4 times, agricultural produce shrank by 1.7 times. The president also informed the deputies that Ukrainian entrepreneurs and businessmen were forced to pay "in advance" 6 million hryvnas (29.3% of all fiscal revenues) in the first half of the year. The amount of unpaid wages increased by 15%.

But now we are not talking about the political collapse, economic crisis breeding an avalanche. We are not talking about police investigation into allegations regarding corruption among the former members of the government or the president's team. Right now we are talking about one man who played a certain role in the orange revolution. Different people describe him in different manners. Some people still call him a "Russian businessman," others call him an "oligarch in exile" or a "political refugee," whereas some regard him "the Kremlin's former puppeteer." We are talking about Boris Abramovich Berezovsky. His and his henchmen's activities are significantly reduced in Russia due to dramatic circumstances Mr. Berezovsky was part of while he was at the top. He was granted political asylum in Britain. However, his opportunities to show the best of his talents are apparently pretty limited in the West too. So Mr. Berezovsky has eyes for smaller countries of the former Soviet Union where he has interests. In the last few years Mr. Berezovsky has paid special attention to Ukraine.

Read the rest at Pravda.

No commentary from me. Make up your own mind.

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