Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ukraine comes to the forefront

THE first priority for Europe after Russia’s short August war with Georgia was to secure a ceasefire and a genuine pullback of Russian forces (see article). The second was to start fretting about Russia’s other neighbours. And the most significant of these by far is Ukraine.  Ukraine could not have ignored the war even if it had wanted to. Sebastopol, on the Crimean peninsula, is home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet, some of whose warships dropped anchor off the Georgian coast during and after the fighting. Evidence of Ukraine’s proximity to the conflict is also on show at Moscow’s military museum, where visitors can gawp at war booty: Georgian T-72 battle tanks that were modernised in Ukraine. This, say the Russians, shows Kiev’s support for what it sees as a “criminal regime”. Indeed, Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s president (pictured above) flew to Tbilisi to support his counterpart and friend, Mikheil Saakashvili.

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Source: The Economist

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