For Ukraine to meet the successful revolution test, it must implement a systemic change rather than just substitute one leadership team for another. Otherwise, it's simply a case of the same corruption and problems playing out with new actors. Ukraine's revolution could be declared successful if its political system and laws were harmonized to the point where the country gained acceptance into the European Union, thereby representing a full transformation from Russian protectorate. It's all still a long way off at this point.
Not to say that corruption wouldn't still exist in Ukraine, but the kickbacks and corruption would run through the European Parliament, the way it's done in the rest of Europe. Cynicism aside, this begs a critical question: Does the Ukraine really want a revolution? I'm not being facetious. Consider that since its inception in 1867, my native Canada has never experienced a bloodstained revolt for its independence from either of its two founding nations, England or France. Both official languages are constitutionally enshrined, and Canada enjoys warm relations with both countries.
Canada now has free-trade agreements with the U.S., Mexico, Europe, Israel, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Colombia, Jordan and Panama, as well as bilateral economic cooperation and investment agreements with China and others.
Ukraine may want to avoid a revolution for the same reason that George Clooney doesn't want to commit to any one woman. When you're that sought after, why tie yourself down? Ukraine can position itself to exploit its geopolitical love triangle with Europe and Russia, and play the field on its own terms.
Anyone who's ever done business in Ukraine knows that kickbacks and corruption among the elite are par for the course. If you want anything done, palms need to be greased. Among the duties of the business intelligence firms operating in Ukraine is to determine which palms require greasing in any given situation. Yanukovych's palatial mansions are a testament to this. So what would happen if the Ukrainian people simply eliminated the corruption without making a binding commitment to either the Russian or European sphere? Would it increase the standard of living inside the country without the difficulty of such a black-and-white choice?
Take it from a native Canadian, dear Ukrainian friends: No one says that you have to get married geopolitically.
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