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World Affairs Journal: Yanukovych brings in Russian thugs for back-up

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Feb. 20, 2012, 9:29 a.m. | Op-ed — by Alexander J. Motyl

Alexander J. Motyl

Alexander J. Motyl is professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark, as well as a writer and painter. He served as associate director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University from 1992 to 1998. A specialist on Ukraine, Russia, and the USSR, and on nationalism, revolutions, empires, and theory, he is the author of Pidsumky imperii; Puti imperii; Imperial Ends: The Decay, Collapse, and Revival of Empires; Revolutions, Nations, Empires: Conceptual Limits and Theoretical Possibilities; Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after Totalitarianism; Sovietology, Rationality, Nationality: Coming to Grips with Nationalism in the USSR; Will the Non‑Russians Rebel? State, Ethnicity, and Stability in the USSR; The Turn to the Right: The Ideological Origins and Development of Ukrainian Nationalism, 1919–1929; and the editor of more than ten volumes, including The Encyclopedia of Nationalism. Motyl’s novels include Whiskey Priest; Who Killed Andrei Warhol; Flippancy; The Jew Who Was Ukrainian; and a work in progress, My Orchidia. His poems have appeared in Counterexample Poetics, Istanbul Literary Review, and New York Quarterly (forthcoming). He has done performances of his fiction at the Cornelia Street Café, the Bowery Poetry Club, and the Ukrainian Museum in New York. Motyl’s artwork has been shown in solo and group shows in New York, Philadelphia, and Toronto; his art is represented by The Tori Collection.

The good news is that President Viktor Yanukovych has finally gotten around to firing some of the deadbeats in his Cabinet.

The bad news is that he’s replaced them with two individuals with absolutely no connection to or roots in Ukraine.

The worse news is that they’ve been placed in charge of the “power” agencies, the Ministry of Defense and the Security Service (SBU).

And, lest you think you can now take a breath, the worst news is that both guys have a record of violence as long as Yanukovych’s security entourage.

It started on February 3rd, when Yanukovych made Igor Kalinin the head of the SBU. Then, on February 8th, he made Dmitri Salamatin minister of defense.

Read the story here.
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