The Ukraine Contrarians

The events in the Ukraine are certainly interesting ones. The split in the country is evident, with large tracts of the Eastern regions supporting closer ties with Russia through Viktor Yanukovych. Curiously, or perhaps not surprisingly, the blogosphere largely supports the pro-Western Victor Yushchenko.

Perhaps that’s because we are Westerners ourselves. What is curious to me is the conversations I have with Georgian, Russian and yes, Ukrainian people. Despite their obvious dislike for Putin, my Georgian friends are inclined to support Yanukovych – simply because they don’t want to see yet another Soviet-era country move towards NATO and the EU. It should be noted though that Georgians are great lovers of Josef “Iron man” Dzhugashvili, he was afterall from Gory, Georgia. Russians seem to be plainly in support of Putin’s efforts to ensure Ukraine’s continuing close ties with Moscow, and too fear NATO expanion. While my Ukrainian friends are split either way.

To me what is plain is that no matter what people think, a fair election did not take places. Have another one – and if the majority favour moving closer to Russia – so be it. I hope my liking for liberal democracy does not make my too ethno-centric in my views.

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