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Scrutiny
  
And the Kremlin smiled...
Yanukovich wins, but his ‘women’ problems have just began
18/03/2010

The way time flies, and fortunes change in politics is often quite baffling. Ukraine’s pro-Russia opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich won a slender victory in a closely fought general election in February. The country’s juvenile democracy is juxtaposed between Russia and the West – as was evident in the Orange Revolution in 2004, when the emotionally charged junta took to streets to ensure victory for the pro-American Yushchenko. However, that emotive outcry is all but buried for now, as the hero of that saga Yushchenko stands at a humiliating 5th position in the current elections.

Moscow detests Yushchenko for his attempts to join NATO and his pro-West nationalist policy. Obviously, the Kremlin is pleased with the current results. Russia’s importance to Ukraine cannot be undermined – the former supplies Ukraine’s entire gas requirement and also maintains its naval base in the Black Sea – critical for Ukraine’s stability. Yushchenko’s Orange Revolution was then backed by another lady protagonist in Ukrainian politics – Yulia Tymoshenko – who became the Prime Minister – but their tie-up soon fell apart as Yuschenko tried to move Ukraine radically away from the orbit of Russia’s influence whereas Tymoshenko followed a more pragmatic path, despite playing a diplomatic and tactical gas war with Vladimir Putin.

With the current victory of the evident Russian proxy Yanukovich, Putin is expected to change various laws to his advantage, including one which would have otherwise have forced the Russian Black Sea fleet to be withdrawn from Crimea, Ukraine, by 2017. But Putin hadn’t counted on dame Tymoshenko, who now is protesting the election of Yanukovich, as she feels it is not a legitimate victory with the slim margin. Interestingly, she can get a no confidence vote passed to prevent him from coming to power. Wonder how that Kremlin smile is turning out now...

By:- Sayan Ghosh
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