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Battle for democracy enters new phase

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 16
Famous American political analyst Zbigniew Brzezinski gave an interview to the Voice of America some time ago in which he once again highlighted the importance of the USA helping Georgia and Ukraine maintain their political course. He suggested that the priority of the current US leadership should be the consolidation of pluralism in the territory of the former Soviet Union. This would mean supporting Georgia and Ukraine to prevent them being transformed into Russian satellites.

At first glance, supporting Georgia and Ukraine contradicts the declared US policy of cooperation with Russia. However deeper analysis shows that this is not the case, but rather the contrary: if Georgia maintains its orientation and if Ukraine becomes a successful country the probability will increase that Russia will move in the same direction and become a post-imperialist democratic state, whereas if Georgia and Ukraine do not survive as pro-Western countries Russia will again become an empire with increasing ambition which will eventually make it rather difficult to establish mutually beneficial relations with it.

This is the general concept aired by Brzezinski. We should comment however that Russia is now concentrating on restoring its influence over Ukraine. The forthcoming Presidential elections there will be used for that purpose. Brzezinski thinks that the prospects of democratic forces in Ukraine are in danger. He has said that he becomes upset when he sees conflict between the democratically-oriented Ukrainian forces as this gives forces from outside the country the chance to manipulate Ukraine’s domestic politics for their own advantage. Anyone who thinks that Brzezinski is dramatising the situation is wrong. The August 2008 aggression showed that Russia is prepared to take radical steps, in particular, when nobody holds Russia to account for its aggressive actions.

So it is a very bad precedent to take actions which will encourage Russia to interfere in your affairs, for Moscow has many levers it can use to do so. Unlike in Georgia, in Ukraine there are multiple pro-Russian forces which hope to achieve victory in the Presidential elections and some are very popular. Brzezinski warns that during these elections external forces, presumably meaning Russia, will try to weaken Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. The Kremlin will attempt to subordinate Ukraine, maybe even snatch some territory from it, and slowly but inevitably Ukraine will becomes the focus of the Russian neo-imperialistic appetite. From the egoistic point of view this will be a relief for Georgia, as it will force Russia to open two fronts and prevent it giving its full attention to subduing Georgia. But in reality this will be dangerous for Georgia as well. Whether it gets its way in Ukraine or is frustrated there there is still much threat in either case that Russia’s leadership could conduct a variety of subversive actions against Georgia, directly or through its proxies.

The Ukrainian Presidential elections are of key importance in the struggle for democracy. There are several islands of democratic resistance in the post-Soviet space and Georgia and Ukraine are among the leading ones. It is therefore of crucial importance for the democratic development of the world as a whole to assist these countries. If this does not happen and the sparks of democracy in Ukraine and Georgia are extinguished they will die in every other part of the formed Soviet Union for many years and give bad example to the world, and particularly those countries which are waiting to see whether democratic or totalitarian regimes are stronger. Democracy needs muscle as well as ideals to succeed, and has a right to expect that the democratic states who have that muscle will defend those which do not, before they themselves become the next victims of totalitarian regression.