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You're reading: World Affairs Journal: Is 2013 the end for Ukraine’s Regionnaires?

 The almighty Regionnaires couldn’t even cheat their way to a majority in the new Parliament and, instead, had to settle for what effectively amounts to a power-sharing arrangement with the opposition. Worse, they will now have to deal with a raucous collection of right-wing deputies, the “Svobodites,” who will harass and jeer them at every step of the way.

The much-vaunted professionalism of the Regionnaires received two fatal blows, when, first, the government was snookered into signing a billion-dollar deal with an imposter claiming to represent a Spanish energy firm and, second, all the expensive Hyundai trains procured by former Infrastructure Minister Boris Kolesnikov just before the Euro 2012 soccer championships last summer broke down in the harsh Ukrainian winter.

In moves that could impress only Leonid Brezhnev in the final years of his inglorious reign as Communist Party leader, the newly appointed speaker of the Parliament became Viktor Yanukovych’s crony from Donetsk, the aging, dull, and thoroughly uninspiring Volodymyr Rybak, while the prime minister’s job went to the equally dull and uninspiring incumbent, Mykola Azarov.

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