Europe has become steadily more introspective since the financial crisis broke out in 2008, writes Andrew Wilson. Moreover, with the refugee crisis and the Paris attacks grabbing European and global media attention, and Russia suddenly becoming an ally in the fight against ISIS, it seems that Ukraine has become a topic of the past. But should the West lose focus, Ukraine’s chances of success will be very slim.
is senior lecturer in Russian and Ukrainian studies at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies, University of London. He is author of Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, both Yale University Press 2005.
When it comes to influence-peddling abroad, there is a certain logic in the Kremlin seeking to influence both left and right, nationalists and separatists, traditionalists and post-modernists, writes Andrew Wilson. And aligning them to a realpolitik that serves regime prosperity and survival.
How TED commodifies knowledge and closes down debate
The media organization TED sells itself as one of a new brand of arbiters and brokers of innovation. And yet, writes Jason Wilson, TED’s preferred model of thinking is not the critical delineation of problems, or the formulation of better questions, but the closure of solutionism.
Unlike the Orange Revolutionaries, the Belarusian opposition lacked the extra crowds who would mobilize for their right to mobilize. The Lukashenko regime, on the other hand, made effective use of “political technology” alongside “administrative technology” to ensure election victory. But though Lukashenko may have won another victory, he hasn’t succeeded in abolishing politics, writes Andrew Wilson.
The single candidate's chances at the 2006 election
In the Belarusian elections in September 2006, the Lukashenko government is likely to employ a number of tactics to defuse the force of the opposition. This may include setting up an artificial third candidate that makes the incumbent regime appear the lesser evil, or exploiting anti-Polish sentiment against the opposition candidate Aliaksandr Milinkevich. But the Orange spark may still start a fire, says Andrew Wilson. Russia’s support for Lukashenko is waning, while the opposition will receive the support of the US and the EU, above all from the new members bordering Belarus. Even if it fails to replace Lukashenko, the opposition can prompt the gradual liberalization of his regime.
From hard-line Soviet to touchy-feely populist, Belarusian president Lukashenko has ploughed an erratic political course. It is easy to mock his pledge to provide modeling jobs for beautiful local girls, or to ensure that all Belarusian children are looked after at home – standard fare that appeals to his supporters, the “simple people” as he put it. But if Russian subsidies continue to fall, his nationalism might turn out to be genuine.