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12-17-2013, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
That seems the most insightful view of this yet. Just curious, you've been working in Russia but I take you're not Russian?
My mother moved/fled the Soviet Union in the early 80's shortly after I was born. Ethnically she is Ukrainian. I spent my entire life in the West (Australia, excluding six months in the USA) up until 2006 when I had the opportunity to work in Russia. At the time in specific fields such as mine expats were offered a lot more money in Russia than back in the West due to being in high demand. Without knowing a word of Russian and almost nothing about Russia I thought I would spend 18 months in Russia earn some good money and return home. Although I disliked it at first I slowly grew fond of the country and have been generally happy with my decision to stay longer. I have also visited Finland on numerous occasions

Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
EU would have been more of a sign or a gesture to Ukrainians that they'd be part of Europe rather than Russia hence why so many people were for it.
That is correct but it should also be noted that Ukraine is very split, Western Ukraine is very nationalistic it has always been Pro EU/Western Integration from what I understand. Eastern Ukraine has always leaned towards Russia. This is one of the main reasons Ukraine failed to make any progress after the fall of the USSR (Ukraine never managed to reattain its Soviet-era level of per capita output). Ukraineís cultural cleft between Russian Orthodox East and Uniate West prohibited any rulerís level of popular support be at 50% of the population. This constant problem with political legitimacy, experienced by both pro-Western and pro-Russian Presidents, stymied reform efforts and attempts to reign in oligarch power. It is a never ending circus, and very sad as the people suffer. The Donbass oligarchs want to clean their money and secure their wealth through integration into the West. This was one of the main reasons Ukrainian TV channels were propagandizing the benefits of EU association. They only changed their mind when they saw the horrific offer the EU/IMF gave them.

Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
As for Putin, while everyone admits he's not running thing in a "perfect way", the other options are even poorer. The fear is that one day those poorer options will get in power. Also as BalticWarrior sort of suggested, Putin's administration isn't exactly helping in creating a competent opposition by shutting them down so easily. There isn't a chance or atmosphere for better options to develop.
This is true, although I have found a lot of the reporting in the Western Media to be overblown or not representing the true opposition parties in Russia. A lot of progress has been made under Putin, but a lot of progress is still required. I do hope when Putin leaves office in 2018, Russia has two legitimate parties. As I said he is no angel but I can see why he has support in Russia.

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