KYIV – From snowy Kyiv, I have watched the successful revolutions in Cairo and Tunis with joy and admiration. Egyptians and Tunisians are right to be proud of their desire to peacefully overthrow despotic governments. But, as someone who led a peaceful revolution, I hope that pride is tempered by pragmatism, because a change of regime is only the first step in establishing a democracy backed by the rule of law. Indeed, as my country, Ukraine, is now demonstrating, after revolutionary euphoria fades and normality returns, democratic revolutions can be betrayed and reversed.
Reference to the Orange Revolution is just one of the casualties in a newly revised Ukrainian history book aimed at fifth-graders.
February 25, 2011
By Alexa Chopivsky
"One Ukraine, One History" -- reads the text of billboards splashed across downtown Kyiv last month.
But just what does that history encompass? Less than a year into office, the government of President Viktor Yanukovych revised fifth-grade history textbooks to delete certain key events from Ukrainian history, including the 2004-05 Orange Revolution.
How To Turn A 'Partly Free' Ukraine Into A 'Not Free' Ukraine
President Viktor Yanukovych has returned Ukraine to its authoritarian ways, says Taras Kuzio.
February 15, 2011
By Taras Kuzio
Some Western policymakers continue to argue that Ukraine's political system is unlikely to evolve into a full authoritarian system along the lines of Russia and Belarus, President Viktor Yanukovych will slow down his authoritarian blitzkrieg, they argue, and the system will stabilize into a semi-authoritarian system.
In other words, Ukraine will stabilize at "partly free," the semi-authoritarian status that Freedom House gave it throughout the Leonid Kuchma era and to which it returned in 2010 after Yanukovych's first year in office.
An alternative viewpoint that's gaining ground is that Ukraine will decline further to "not free," the full authoritarian status that independent Ukraine has never held. If this were to take place, Ukraine would join the eight authoritarian CIS countries (Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and the five Central Asian states) that are classified as "not free" by the U.S.-based rights watchdog.