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You're reading: This is not Ukraine’s finest hour

This
suggests that Yanukovych would probably win again in a runoff, despite
Ukraine’s  persistent economic doldrums,
despite rampant violations of the human rights by his government and the
overall backsliding of democratic freedoms (worst since the Soviet times). Add
to this a pandemic of kleptocratic abuses and the demise of the nascent civil
society.

The
declining fortune of the Yanukovych regime on the international stage is
graphically seen in the failure of a recent Ukrainian trade mission to
Washington. The visiting  battalion of  buffoons, none of them able to make a business
presentation in English, and only one speaking in Ukrainian, was a sorry
spectacle, barely noticed back home.

Amazingly,
the staying power of the Yanukovych regime seems to be rationalized in the
minds of at least some by the disillusionment of the people with the outcomes of
the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought Viktor Yushchenko and Tymoshenko to
power. “We were fooled” is a recurrent theme.

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