Tatiana Zhurzhenko

She was once the female icon of the Orange Revolution. Lately, the drama of repressed Ukrainian democracy has been staged upon the immobilized and tortured body of the imprisoned opposition leader. But how much longer can this postmodern political spectacle go on?

As voters go to the polls in Ukraine, Tatiana Zhurzhenko considers the future prospects of a weak and embattled leadership. Do parliamentary elections still matter? Can the cultural and political divide between western and eastern regions of the country ever be overcome?

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Gleb Pavlovsky, the Ukrainian-born former dissident turned “political technologist”, abruptly fell out with the Kremlin in April, reportedly over “indiscreet comments” made about the 2012 presidential elections. In interview with Transit a short while before, Pavlovsky gave a revealing inside view of the workings of political power in the former Soviet Union and in post-Soviet Russia.

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In post-Soviet societies, narratives of suffering have overtaken heroic triumphalism. Tatiana Zhurzhenko examines reasons for this shift, asking whether new victim narratives reconcile former enemies or provide additional opportunities to articulate hostilities.

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The Ukraine-European Union summit, originally planned for 19 December, was to have brought talks on an Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU to a conclusion. However the conflict over the prosecution of Yuliya Tymoshenko has endangered the process, raising serious doubts about the European aspirations of the current Ukrainian leadership. The country’s future hangs in the balance, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko.

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