Ukraine’s political leaders have adopted increasingly aggressive rhetoric against both Western and domestic critics who are trying to keep the nation on a democratic track.
First, President Viktor Yanukovych refused to release jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, calling on the West to “respect” Ukraine. Then, he demanded that the European Union offer Ukraine a clear path toward membership and stop treating the country like “beggars.”
This week, a senior administration official launched a stinging attack on criticism of the proposed election law by Western expert bodies. “First, they’ll tell us what system we should have, then who should be in parliament,” the official said.