From a western point of view, things do not look promising in Ukraine:
Mr. Yanukovych, however, has again proved the adage that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. He is a Russophile thug who is slowly forging an authoritarian state. His government has centralized power, repealing amendments to the constitution - without public debate or any kind of vote - that substantially weaken parliament. Media censorship is on the rise. Journalists critical of the regime have disappeared mysteriously. In recent regional elections, opposition parties were harassed. Ballot tampering and voter fraud were rampant.
Mr. Yanukovych's base is in the Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine - the Sovietized industrial east. His Party of Regions seeks to make Russian an official language; in fact, its website refuses to use Ukrainian. He has put joining NATO and the European Union on the back burner - bowing to Moscow's demands. Slowly, but surely, he is splitting Kiev from the West. In short, he is Mr. Putin's poodle.
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