Monday, July 14, 2014

Ukraine Then and Now

Rainy day in Kiev, May, 1992. Picture taken from the Sport Hotel.

Back in the early nineties the new country of Ukraine was in turmoil. Corruption was rife, and the people could not even begin to understand how to function without the Soviet Union.

Today, in July, 2014, not much of the essential has changed. The country is still run by corrupt politicians, the economy is still in a shambles. But at least back in the nineties the people were not killing one another.

You would like to wish the Ukrainian people a bit of good luck for a change, but good luck is not a thing much in evidence throughout the history of Ukraine.

Of course, it's easy to blame the whole mess on Putin. That's what simpleminded U.S. foreign policy does. But at its basis the trouble has nothing to do with Putin. The economy is not functioning and every politician who comes along ends up in the same slough of corruption.

Would membership for Ukraine in the European Union help? Not really. The EU has enough basket cases for members already, and it lacks the gumption to prop up another basket-case economy.

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