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You're reading: Andrew Wilson: ‘Something deeply rotten at the heart of the state’

When in 2007 Ukraine was given the privilege of co-hosting the Euro 2012 games, the tournament was seen as a unique opportunity to unite the country, improve infrastructure and set in train European reforms. Everything that has happened since has deviated from that script.

Today, the world’s media routinely portray a country in democratic crisis; Andrew Wilson’s take, which delves a bit deeper, concludes that things are, in fact, even worse. Sport engages us most when it provides a test of character. Normally of course this is when people are actually playing the sport in question; but Ukraine’s co-hosting of the European Championship Finals with Poland this summer has had a similar function, casting an unexpectedly bright light on all that is wrong with modern Ukraine.

It was supposed t o be the other way around. When the tournament was originally awarded jointly to Poland and Ukraine in 2007, just three years after the Orange Revolution, theunderlying story[10]was about cooperation across borders and between the many versions of ‘Europe’, and even Ukraine’s long-term European future.

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