Ukrainian Lessons

An interesting summation of what is happening in Ukraine


Four things that are wrong with the conventional wisdom about the country’s politics.

by Petra Stykow and Peter RutlandTransitions Online, 10 April 2014

The dramatic developments in Ukraine left Western media scrambling to explain a distant and complex country to an audience that could barely locate the places on a map or pronounce the names.

Ukraine found itself in a tug of war between Moscow and Brussels, and this fed into a simplistic narrative of a bifurcated country, torn between East and West, that misrepresents the situation on the ground. The fact that Western policy is based on this misreading of Ukraine helps explain why it has gone so badly astray.

1. Binary thinking is lazy thinking

Western newspapers have been very proud to publish maps showing the Ukrainian electorate divided along into two neat halves: the west-center versus the south-east. Looking at that electoral map, it does…

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