In short, internal factors still pose the largest threat to sovereignty. Political and government institutions are weak, which is why the transfer of power is always chaotic, and why the rule of law and its application is discretionary and abused by the powers-that-be. Watchdogs say that Ukraine under President Viktor Yanukovych’s rule is swiftly slipping towards an authoritarian regime, being managed by a grouping of corrupt officials and greedy oligarchs much like it was under Leonid Kuchma from 1994 through 2004.

The legislature has been reduced to a rubber-stamp institution. Debate is absent in Ukraine’s parliament. Legislation is adopted by people heavily influenced by vested business interests whose lives – from where and how they live – are different as night and day of the people they represent. If they seek medical care and send their children abroad, how could they be expected to ensure the same services at home?
And corruption continues to enrich those in or close to power at the expense of the public and state budget.

In this cesspool of cronyism, nepotism, choking bureaucracy, kleptocracy and oppression, ordinary Ukrainians remain immobile. They are subject to heightened scrutiny and prejudice when applying for travel visas – whereas the business elite and political leaders keep their money offshore and freely travel to Europe and North America. 

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