Monday, February 24, 2014
European Norms in Ukraine
The swift fall of President Yanukovych after 82 people were killed in fighting between protesters and police says to me that in key ways Ukraine is already part of Europe. In much of the world (Syria, Iran) a willingness to use violence against protesters is part of what keeps people in power; in the west, so many deaths are a political crisis in their own right. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the deaths filled the whole Ukrainian establishment with so much remorse and loathing that they all spontaneously turned against Yanukovych. He had many enemies and no doubt there has been much murky dealing behind the scenes. I am saying that the fighting greatly weakened rather then strengthening him. When what brings down a leader is not lack of toughness but insufficient concern for the feelings of the people, something important has changed in the political world.