The Ukrainian government seems to have blinked in a showdown with protesters last night, and, maybe more significantly, the country’s leading churches seem to be backing the people against Yanukovich. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church doesn’t appear to be longing for a closer relationship with Moscow, and that substantially enhances the chances that Ukraine will eventually look west.
Ukraine's Opposition Will The Kiev Protests Make A Difference?
Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets on Sunday in Kiev to protest the government’s turn toward Russia. But while the protests are massive, it’s a much more complicated situation than some media reports let on. Kiev, the national capital, is in the western part of the country where anti-Yanukovich forces have always been strong. But anti-government demonstrations in the west can paradoxically bolster the government’s position in the east. The real battle is likely to depend on how Ukraine’s powerful oligarchs divide among themselves and on how successful the government is at staving off a looming economic crisis.
Ukraine's Opposition A Lawyer, A Boxer and A Surgeon Walk Into A Bar
For the time being, Western hopes that Ukraine will begin to tilt more toward Europe depend mostly on a heavyweight boxer allied to nationalist thugs. The three main leaders of the protests are a motley bunch.