Thursday, November 25, 2004


I've been the growing crisis in the Ukraine with fascination. A disputed election and widespread allegations of electoral fraud have resulted in mass-protests and a general strike, and threats of civil war. So far things have followed the "people power" model - turn out the people and get them to march round and round the government buildings until the authorities give in. This has been successful in Georgia, in Yugoslavia, Argentina and the Philippines, mainly due to the reluctance of the government to use military force (and the reluctance of militaries to act against popular demonstrations). But I'm worried that in the Ukraine, with its history of authoritarian government under the Russians, it may simply turn into a Tiananmen-style massacre.