Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Critical Moment in Ukraine

As I write there is a great drama being played out in Ukraine. Victor Yanukovitch, the Russian leaning and autocratic Prime Minister is attempting to cling to power through massive voter fraud. His Western-oriented opponent, Victor Yushchenko is having none of it and tens of thousands of supporters have taken to the streets in an attempt to have the election declared a nullity. Will they succeed? Will Ukraine explode in violence?

In large measure it may depend on whether we in the West care enough to apply persistent pressure on the old regime in support of those people in the cold streets several thousands of miles away. If our governments fail to apply continuing pressure, and back it up with real ecomomic and political xonsequences then Yanukovitch may well succeeed in subverting democracy in his country and we will all be poorer for it.

I suggest we pause and pray for the Ukrainian people. If you aren't normally a praying person try it anyway. It couldn't hurt. Additionally, you might send an email to Prime Minister Martin urging him to oppose this travesty of an election. Down in South America today he made the right initial noises by demanding an investigation. Don't let this one drop through the cracks.


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