Despite its problems, Ukraine is a prize for Russia, Europe

By Will Englund, March 3, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine is in agony. In its 22 years of sovereignty, it has never had political leadership that could foster a national feeling among all Ukrainians. The previous, pro-Russian government was reviled by those who saw it as little more than an organized criminal gang. The new, pro-European government, propelled into power by the demonstrations in Kiev’s central square, has given those Ukrainians who opposed the protests very little reason to have confidence in it. The new government’sswift downgrading of the status of the Russian language made it appear to many that this was just another case of one clan taking power from another — and probably getting ready to snatch the spoils.

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