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Ukraine’s instability along historic continuum

Can my friends from the Ukraine help me out here?

Politically unstable Ukraine
Politically unstable Ukraine

The history of the Ukraine is one of relative high points, followed by a series of low, lower, and tragic low points with surges in which tens of millions were killed.

Watching events in the Ukraine today without having deep knowledge and relying only on news reports, it is difficult to understand. The President of Russian, Viktor Yanukovych wants to retain his post, although the opposition has grown so strong that he is forced to accept a Prime Minister from the opposition. Therefore, he has offered that job to Arsenihey Yatsenyuk.

Events are all about sorting out appointments and position in government, establishing who is in control. The parliamentary process there is very messy and unstable.

“Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 January 2010 with runoff on 7 February 2010 (next to be held in October 2015)
election results: Viktor YANUKOVYCH elected president; percent of vote – Viktor YANUKOVYCH 48.9%, Yuliya TYMOSHENKO 45.5%, other 5.6%”

Can you imagine in the United States, a day when Barack Obama would call up Republicans and say, "You know, this government has grown beyond my ability to handle it. How about stepping in here. Is Mitt Romney still available?"

“'Not afraid'

Speaking to large crowds in central of Kiev late on Saturday, the opposition leaders repeated their demands.

"Viktor Yanukovych announced that the government wasn't ready to take the responsibility for the country and offered to the opposition to lead the government," said Mr Yatsenyuk.
"What is our response to this? We are not afraid of the responsibility for the destiny of Ukraine."”

It sounds like the government in charge would like to unload the responsibility and the opposition is ready to accept it.

Today’s news from the BBC, “Ukraine crisis: Opposition rejects offer of PM post.”

“Ukrainian opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk says protests will continue after he rejected President Viktor Yanukovych's offer to appoint him as prime minister of the country.

Mr Yatsenyuk said the opposition was generally ready to accept leadership, but several key demands must be met, including new elections.

Clashes continued overnight. Activists stormed a Kiev building housing police.

The president's proposal came amid new efforts to end the deadly unrest.

David Stern
BBC News, Kiev
Ukraine's opposition leaders have apparently interpreted President Viktor Yanukovych's latest offers of significant concessions, including top positions in the government, as a sign of weakness and are forging ahead with their campaign to unseat him.

Their plan may indeed work. But if it doesn't, it could spell disaster for them, their supporters and the country as a whole. Both sides are playing a game of attrition. Mr Yanukovych seems to be hoping that the longer the negotiations, parliament votes and other political manoeuvrings drag on - and this includes the political jockeying that would follow Arseniy Yatseniuk's becoming prime minister - the more air will escape the protest movement.

But the opposition, at least at the moment, does appear to have the upper hand. Their activists have taken their battle beyond Kiev to government offices in half of the country. And camps in central Kiev could only be dislodged after a brutal and bloody struggle.

It is also possible that Mr Yanukovych's recent proposals are not sincere. But if they are, it now looks as if he is prepared to forfeit everything - short of his actual presidency. The question is whether he could eventually give this up, or ultimately, with his back against the wall, he would fight back.”

Looking back at history, according to the CIA Fact Book:

“Although final independence for Ukraine was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy and prosperity remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties. A peaceful mass protest "Orange Revolution" in the closing months of 2004 forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election and to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist slate under Viktor YUSHCHENKO. Subsequent internal squabbles in the YUSHCHENKO camp allowed his rival Viktor YANUKOVYCH to stage a comeback in parliamentary elections and become prime minister in August of 2006.

An early legislative election, brought on by a political crisis in the spring of 2007, saw Yuliya TYMOSHENKO, as head of an "Orange" coalition, installed as a new prime minister in December 2007. Viktor YANUKOVUYCH was elected president in a February 2010 run-off election that observers assessed as meeting most international standards. The following month, Ukraine's parliament, the Rada, approved a vote of no-confidence prompting Yuliya TYMOSHENKO to resign from her post as prime minister. In October 2012, Ukraine held Rada elections, widely criticized by Western observers as flawed due to use of government resources to favor ruling party candidates, interference with media access, and harassment of opposition candidates.”

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