What is surprising is two factors.
The first is his inability to be critical of anything “his” side undertakes – unlike those of us on the “orange” side, who were quite happy to criticise ex-President Viktor Yushchenko and ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. I agree with Swain that Tymoshenko’s references to the Arab world are, of course, misplaced. Just as Ukraine is not Russia, as ex-President Leonid Kuchma famously wrote, so too Ukraine is not Egypt.
What is all the more difficult to comprehend is how a British scholar can so readily brush aside political persecution in a country like Ukraine. Here are close to 30 politically motivated cases and jailings in Ukraine today meaning this not a “Kuchma-light” administration, as he describes it (where the only political prisoners were nationalists charged with the March 2001 riots) but “Kuchma-heavy.”