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Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

UKRAINE AND THE VELVET REVOLUTION

The events surrounding the presidential election in Ukraine are becoming more and more important. At stake is whether Ukraine will be oriented towards Russia or towards Europe.

In an essay titled "Freedom's Front Line," Tomothy Garten Ash, an expert on contemporary European affairs, points out another important feature of the conflict. It is whether Ukraine will experience a "velvet revolution." That form of political change has become a feature of European life in recent years: in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Serbia. It is a challenge to the long tradition of violent revolution identified with the Jacobin-Bolshevik tradition. It is important for the world that the US and other powers pressure Ukraine to settle the confronation peacefully so that velvet revolution becomes a permanent way of changing untenable situations.

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