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You're reading: Democracy must be broad-based

The EU policy is to keep Ukraine at arms length, while maintaining a chummy attitude that maximizes the flow of gas, literally and figuratively. A possible intercession by the European Court in the ongoing cynical prosecution of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Kyiv is probably not much more than an expression of European political correctness that may mitigate the proceedings without changing the fundamentals.

If anyone needs a reminder of what are these fundamentals, a short line says it all: The mother of all corruption. I have not talked to anyone at the Atlantic Council, but speaking with plain people in Kyiv says volumes. The present regime, they say, will never voluntarily give up power, because relinquishing it would assure the top players’ detention and trial for brazen violations of the human rights and a plethora of economic manipulation bordering on crime.

What turn can the people take in Ukraine to deliver themselves from this morass? A clever idea would make me a rich man, which will never happen. But with some understanding of the poor man’s instincts, it is fairly clear that social issues sooner or later will be king, as they usually have been throughout Ukraine’s history.

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