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UKRAINIAN PUBLIC PROTEST STAGED ABROAD? POSSIBLE, SAYS RUSSIAN POLITICAL EXPERT
MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti) - Current mass protest in Ukraine may be manipulated from other countries, assumes Gleb Pavlovsky, prominent Russian analyst and chief of the Moscow-based Foundation for Effective Politics, or FEP.
The Ukrainian public split has certainly gone very far, he said to newsmen yesterday. There are many aspects to the developments, standing at whose root is a deep-reaching crisis of the Kuchma regime. That crisis surfaced toward the end of the presidential campaign to cause numerous electoral problems. The Ukrainian election arrangements and constitutional process thus became questionable.
Public protest against a system tailored by the previous regime is certainly behind the controversial developments. The analyst, however, discerns foreign puppeteers behind it, who have smoothly arranged the events. He does not mean whatever particular country and its own ends. What he has in mind is that the protest control centre is outside Kiev, so the outcome is hard to prognosticate, said Mr. Pavlovsky.
Confrontation is sweeping Ukraine as the opposition, out to secure Victor Yuschenko's presidency at all cost, has crossed constitutional limits. Ukraine's Central Election Commission has officially proclaimed Victor Yanukovich president elect. The Constitutional Court suspended that status of his before it holds hearings, scheduled for tomorrow, November 29, to consider his rival's appeal. Now, further developments depend on whether he can resist, says Gleb Pavlovsky.
The expert does not think Victor Yanukovich can properly hit back, judging by what he has been doing for now. Mr. Pavlovsky is apprehensive, and thinks Yanukovich may share the fate of Chile's President Allende.
However, the Ukrainian political style is rather vague, unlike Russian, and this vagueness may help to avoid bad clashes, hopes the analyst.
Certain Western-based media outlets unexpectedly echo many of his points. Thus, the UK's influential The Guardian remarked yesterday:
Be that Albania of 1997, or Serbia of 2000, or Georgia of November 2003 or, again, present-day Ukraine, the media always come up with one and the same tale of young demonstrators who overthrow an authoritarian regime merely by gathering in a central square for a rock concert. The West's own mythology of popular revolution dominates its public imagination to such an extent that Westerners have become dangerously tolerant of blatant double standards in media coverage of the developments. Acting Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich's supporters have also rallied en masse in Kiev-yet the British television is not casting them, while opposition demonstrations have an extensive coverage.
Demonstrators who are backing Victor Yuschenko have laser lighting, plasma screens, sophisticated sound gadgetry, rock performers, tent shantytowns and a huge stock of saffron-coloured garments-and despite all that, the Western public is deluding itself to assume it is all nothing but spontaneous action, the London-based daily sceptically remarks.
A turnout of 96% in Donetsk, Victor Yanukovich's native town, is treated as an evident bluff, while 80% votes in Victor Yuschenko's favour in other parts of Ukraine have not aroused the slightest doubt.
Such countries as Ukraine are, to the West, a tabula rasa, and the West goes on adding them the political colouring it desires. That mode of covering international developments stems from the much-praised Western democracy malfunctioning, points out The Guardian.