Destinations Magazine

Ukraine Before the Election: The Battle for Ukraine’s Future

By Stizzard
Ukraine before the election: The battle for Ukraine’s future

ONLY a few photographs of dead fighters and flowers in the center of Kiev recall the dramatic events that unfolded on Independence Square, or the Maidan, a year ago. The barricades and the encampment are long gone. The city feels subdued and traumatised as it awaits the parliamentary elections on October 26th. The energy and hope of a new beginning that sustained the revolution have been drained by a war that has claimed 3,600 lives. Crimea is gone; large swathes of Donbas, the industrial region in the south-east, have been seized by separatists; the ceasefire is fragile.There has been little in the way of good news. Ukraine has lost precious time to reform its economy, which is teetering on the verge of collapse. The first post-revolutionary government included some of the activists from the Maidan protests and proved to be pitifully weak, lacking experience and skills. Pavlo Sheremeta, who resigned after six months as economy minister, says the old ways were so entrenched that he had little control over his own ministry, a replica of Gosplan, the Soviet state-planning committee. “I spent three hours every day signing some 200-300 papers. Most of it was…

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