Global News: November 2004 Archives

Ukraine update


Ukraine may be headed for a rerun of the runoff election. That at least is the likeliest, happiest outcome of the current crisis. Discoshaman and TulipGirl continue to post regularly. Discoshaman has some photos up on his blog, as well as the third installment of his series on how and why the election was stolen. TulipGirl links to a wonderful story about a revolutionary babushka, an answer to the misapprehension that Ukraine is a mere pawn in a struggle between Russia and the west.

They link to many more blogs and news sources, including SCSU Scholars blog (which has some interesting maps illustrating the likely pattern of voter fraud) and Orange Ukraine, which has a comparison of Russian and American involvement in the Ukraine election.

Show your support for Ukraine


Amelia Hunt has created some logos you can display to show support for democracy for Ukraine. I'm displaying one above. You can find them here. Hat tip to Fire Ant Gazette.

All eyes on Ukraine


Ukraine is in crisis following the presidential election runoff. Reform candidate Viktor Yushchenko is believed to have won the election, but election officials have proclaimed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych the winner. Yanukovych is backed by the political establishment and the Russian government. There are reports of voter fraud, particularly in eastern Ukraine, which has a higher concentration of ethnic Russians. When I say voter fraud, I don't mean vacant lots voting, but soldiers shooting election officials or stealing ballot boxes. Not to mention pre-election intimidation -- shutting down opposition newspapers and TV stations, replacing election officials with allies of the government, poisoning Yuschenko.

There are pro-reform demonstrations all over Ukraine, perhaps a million people on the streets in Kyiv, the capital. There are reports that Russian special forces (spetznaz) flew into the airport and are in the city.

The situation reminds me a lot of the Philippine "snap election" of 1986, in which long-time President Ferdinand Marcos attempted to cheat Corazon Aquino out of her election victory. Clerks at the central election office walked out to protest fraud, and people took to the streets in support of two military leaders who turned against Marcos.

TulipGirl is there in Kyiv and has links to news reports and commentary. Here's a link to her most recent entry, about reports of a $21.6 million bribe paid to the head of the Central Elections Committee. Start there and work your way back.

Her husband, Discoshaman, has been out on the streets with the protesters. He's just posted the first in a series of entries to try to explain to the rest of the world what this conflict is all about. A couple of excerpts:

You have to understand the situation in Ukraine. The country is run by a series of oligarchic clans that actually found their beginnings in the Soviet Union, and then grew fabulously rich during the early days of "privatization". ...

Do you start to see how life works here? This isn't about a few stolen votes. It's about an entire system of fine control over the political, social and economic life of the people. Economics and politics are incestuously fused here in a way that is difficult to imagine for those in the West.

The BBC has a Q&A piece up with the basic facts of the election crisis.

Keep praying for Ukraine.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Global News category from November 2004.

Global News: October 2004 is the previous archive.

Global News: December 2004 is the next archive.

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