Damn, this better not affect the development of stalkers. Source: BBC
MSNBC.com Divisions run deep in the Ukraine Country split between those drawn to Russia, those eyeing the West ANALYSIS By Thomas Bonifeld Bureau Chief NBC News Updated: 12:51 p.m. ET Nov. 24, 2004 MOSCOW - For the third consecutive day, tens of thousands of Ukrainians protested on Wednesday over what they see as a presidential election that was stolen from the pro-Western opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. There is growing concern about a possibly violent conflict as the supporters of the current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych — the Kremlin-backed leader who has already claimed victory in the disputed election — have, for the first time, started to take to the streets of Kiev as well, just a few hundred yards away from Yushchenko supporters. As the government's election commission declared Yanukovych the winner, the opposition candidate rejected an offer from outgoing president Leonid Kuchma on Wednesday to bring him together with the prime minister for talks. The confrontation, in many ways, mirrors divisions in Ukrainian society which are deep and break along ethnic, geographic, and historical lines. Ukraine – unique geographic position Sandwiched between four NATO nations to the west and its longtime former master Russia to the east, Ukraine and its people seem, just like the presidential candidates, to be heading in opposite directions. The election results split the country along territorial lines, with the north and west largely supporting Yushchenko while the south and east backed Yanukovych. Yanukovych draws his support primarily from the Russian-speaking, industrial parts of the country from which he hails. Russian is his mother tongue and critics say he speaks Ukrainian poorly. Not surprisingly, he believes stronger ties to Russia are critical for his country's future. And with an estimated 20 percent of Ukraine's population of 47 million made up of ethnic Russians, there is a natural draw toward Moscow. Ties to Russia, pull to Europe There are also long-running historical ties that bind Ukraine to its giant eastern neighbor. Ukraine was first absorbed by Russia under the czars in the 18th century. It was to remain a part of the Russian empire and then the Soviet Union until 1991 when that Communist nation came unraveled. Though the two Slavic nations both became independent of one another at that point, their economies remain integrally linked.
Ukraine was the second-most important Soviet republic after Russia, but it is heavily dependent on Russia for energy imports, especially natural gas. While the southern and eastern Ukraine are drawn to Russia, the west and north pull toward Europe, much like opposition candidate Yushchenko himself. Thus, it is in these parts of the country where he largely swept the vote. Unlike Yanukovych, he sees a need for his nation to gradually become more integrated with Europe and the West, not Russia. Russia - not a disinterested observer But Russia is not a disinterested observer. Russian President Vladimir Putin, virtually campaigned for Yanukovych, meeting with him several times in the run-up to the elections. He also put in a congratulatory call to him Monday night before the results were fully counted or the opposition had conceded. According to the official Kremlin web site, Putin said, "the battle was hotly contested, but also open and fair, and the victory was convincing."
In fact, many in the West do not see eye-to-eye with the Russian president on that point. The U.S. State Department has expressed deep concerns over the fairness of the vote and warned of possible punitive action. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has echoed those sentiments saying, "There will be consequences if there is not a serious, objective review." Real threat of violence But with the number of demonstrators on the streets of Kiev growing every day, there are more immediate issues for Ukrainians to worry about than threats from foreign bureaucrats: like settling on a new president and making sure that decisions does not lead to violence in the streets. At a meeting of the Ukrainian government on Wednesday, Yanukovych said, "There are no grounds for people coming out in the streets.” He also said that authorities had no intention of being the first to use force, but they would maintain law and order, and added that the situation on the streets could lead to "unforeseen consequences." That sentiment is shared by political analysts like Nikolai Petrov of the Carnegie Moscow Center. "In a situation when there are hundreds of thousands of persons from different sides, nobody can guarantee that violence will not happen. Petrov added that time was an important factor. "The longer this confrontation goes on, the higher the risk of violence," he said. Thomas Bonifield is the NBC News Moscow Bureau Chief. URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6575312/
This could be fascinating, I must monitor the outcome of this seemingly stimulating perplexity.
i'm afraid it's going to get messy :(
Yea, I've been trying to keep up to date on this issue for a while, I find it actually quite interesting. So far I've heard and read of Kiev police siding with Yushchenko and so have some high figures in the Ukranian military and Putin telling Western countries not to get involved. So far Canadian and other Western media are playing the Russians in the bad light as Communists trying to reclaim a lost state and the pro-Yuschenko groups as some sorts of freedom fighters against 'Russian tyranny' marching with the likes of Lech Walesa, or at least thats how I've seen it in the media so far. I'm trying to keep up to date on the facts but keep getting mixed up between the two Victors :confused:
Only one supreme can exsist in a national divided by truths and goals, but many can thrive in a united country of strength and wisdom.
Basically, The Ukraine better pick up it's act, or things are going to get nasty. They really need a strong leader, one that will bring up the economy and standard of living.
Communist or Capitalist matters not, living in utopia does not discriminate.
46 and 2, are just ahead of me
23rd September 2004
Wait i think there was a typo... It's supposed to say Iraq not Ukraine. Just kidding, oh well cling to your computer screen cuz the Tv's gonna be covered in blood.
:dpistols: I say let them kill each other. If thats the way they want to play, go ahead. America has nothing to do with it. (Dont like Ukranians anyway)
I like Ukrainians. In fact, a nice 19 year old Ukrainian chick was after me in Venice, last summer. So, that just makes me like them even more. Plus I know alot of Ukrainians anyways.
I had to deal with them till I moved to the States. I am basing my opinion on hundreds of Ukranians I knew, not just 2-3. They are nice to you, cause you are an American. They hate Russians