Skip to comments.Russia/Ukraine: Did President Putin Miscalculate In Ukraine?
Posted on 12/01/2004 7:58:39 AM PST by kupia_kummi
As the political crisis in Ukraine continues, some politicians and analysts in Russia are beginning to ask to what degree Russian President Vladimir Putin has harmed Moscow's interests by his close involvement with the presidential campaign of Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Did the Kremlin play its cards wrong and what implications does this have for the future?
The blame game has already begun in Russia. Ukraine -- with 50 million people, historical ties to Russia, and strategic location -- is Moscow's most important neighbor and ally. But was Russian meddling in Ukraine's presidential campaign and disputed election a blunder that could harm this relationship? Some analysts and politicians believe it was -- and they fault President Putin for making a major miscalculation.
The Kremlin's involvement in the campaign was hardly subtle. Advisers were dispatched to Kyiv to assist Prime Minister Yanukovych. Putin all but endorsed Yanukovych against his main rival, Viktor Yushchenko. He even went so far as to make strategically timed trips to Kyiv just prior to the first and second rounds of voting. A former Kremlin adviser said Putin managed not only to alienate millions of Ukrainians but also to strain relations with both the CIS and the West.
After the vote, Putin telephoned Yanukovych to congratulate him, even before Ukraine's Central Election Commission controversially declared the prime minister the winner.
But what followed was likely not part of the Kremlin plan: mass protests by Yushchenko supporters that could force a new election, Western condemnation of the electoral process, and even the prospect that Ukraine might split in two.
(Excerpt) Read more at rferl.org ...
The Ukraine is the crown jewel of what Russia sees as its Western hinterland. If Putin succeeds in bringing it back under Moscow's control, then all the opprobrium the world heaps upon him will have been worth it.
This is all in the hands of the Ukrainians now. IT appears that the government is not going to back down and is attempting to run out the clock. The opposition MUST find ways to ratchet up the pressure. If this means restricting the movements of Kuchma and his gang, so be it.
and they fault President Putin for making a major miscalculation.
Flushing your credibility down the toliet makes "major miscalculation" seem too tame. Huge, arrogant, frelling blunder comes to mind. Talk about making a fool out of yourself on a world stage.
What the h___ was the Kremlin thinking? No one would notice?
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