November 23, 2004 | Comments Off
Elections were held in the Ukraine over the weekend, and the results are very much in dispute. The pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich has evidently defeated the pro-western Viktor Yushchenko, though the results are so suspicious that even Jimmy Carter would have to admit of doubts. The Telegraph reports:
In scenes reminiscent of the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, more than 200,000 anti-government demonstrators cheered on Viktor Yushchenko and called for his pro-Kremlin rival to accept electoral defeat. Many later broke away from the main protest in a sea of orange opposition flags to surround the presidential building in Kiev, the capital, where they were met by the police line. . .
…The crisis in Ukraine erupted after Viktor Yanukovich, who favours closer ties with Russia, declared victory in a presidential run-off held at the weekend. The poll was widely condemned as rigged by western observers.
The dispute widened last night as Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, congratulated the pro-Moscow candidate and called for law and order to be upheld.
But pro-government miners threatened to descend on Kiev and two buses of volunteers were said to have arrived in the capital. In the Russian Duma, ultra-nationalists urged military intervention.
The outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, who may face corruption charges if the pro-western camp gains power, had warned that he would not hesitate to use force against the demonstrators if disorder was threatened. But last night he held talks with Mr Yushchenko aimed at avoiding bloody clashes.
This is something that needs to be given closer attention that it has received thus far by our useless media. There appears to be a serious effort afoot by Vladimir Putin to expand the Russian empire, and though we have forgotten all about the menace of the Russian Bear, we should keep a very cautious eye on this part of the world.