Putin to step down if Yushchenko takes the office

Yushchenko's way to power was accompanied with a series of strange assassinations

One could divide the Ukrainian society into two feuding parts: pro-Russian and pro-American. It would not be a big mistake to categorize the first part as the followers of Viktor Yanukovich, whereas Yushchenko's political and financial sponsors and the incumbent national authorities would join the second part.

Pro-Americans took active measures to seize the central power in Ukraine after the second round of the presidential election was over with Yanukovich's victory, as the “old” Central Election Committee decided. Pro-Russians in their turn tried to prove that the actions of the opposition, which they characterized as a coup, were illegal. The orange opposition seized power as a result, and Yanukovich's proponents convinced the society that the takeover was illegal. Everybody got what they wanted.

Pro-Russians' attempts to come to agreement with revolutionaries and illusions to avoid serious conflicts eventually resulted in the lost of initiative. Conflicts will be inevitable: it will either be a conflict between the two parts of the Ukrainian society now, or a confrontation between the Russian Federation and Ukraine a little later.

The pro-American part of Ukraine has been exercising its intention for years not to make a slightest stop on the way to take Viktor Yushchenko to the presidential office. Yushchenko has become a significant persona; the attempted poisoning of the opposition leader has played a certain role at this point too. Yushchenko's way to power was accompanied with a series of strange assassinations. Mass media outlets do not report much about the assassination of Viktor Yushchenko's first wife, who could have shared a lot of impartial facts about her ex-husband. The former chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine, Vadim Getman, was killed too. Getman was a close person to Yushchenko's first wife - he could have easily ruined the career of the Ukrainian opposition leader.

Ukrainian pro-Americans have not changed their strategy after the second round of the election. The Central Election Committee was formed and the national election law was changed in Yushchenko's favor. The Ukrainian parliament sent an inquiry to the Prosecutor General about instituting criminal proceedings against Viktor Yanukovich on the allegation of attempts to destroy the national integrity of the nation. It is worth mentioning that the punishment of Yanukovich's followers will become more intense in the event the pro-Americans eventually win the presidential election in Ukraine. One may recollect the presidential election in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, when pro-American Eduard Shevardnadze was replaced with a much more ardent proponent of the USA, Mikhail Saakashvili. As the Georgian experience shows, the US administration pursues both disloyal and disobedient countries, which do not wish to follow Washington's will.

Analysts do not exclude that the reign of the orange opposition might be launched really soon in Ukraine. Ukraine's cooperation with Russia will probably have to experience drastic changes in this case: the two countries might cease the economic cooperation, shut down high-tech joint productions. To crown it all, Ukraine might hand over the control over gas and oil pipelines to the USA or the EU. It is noteworthy that it goes about Russia's existence as a subject of global politics.

The loss of Ukraine will virtually mean that Russia's existence as a superpower is over. It will only prove that Russia is unable to do anything in the country, where the majority of people speak Russian and where many think of themselves as Russians. The USA does not enjoy a great popularity in the Ukrainian society. However, the US administration has already managed to gain almost everything: Viktor Yushchenko will most likely take the office and obtain the powers of a king. To crown it all, the Ukrainian policy will not depend much on Yushchenko – the USA will have the total control over Ukraine's strategic line.

Journalists and analysts often forget about another important aspect of the Ukrainian – the people. The people of Ukraine believed in Russia and the Russian president, they took part in massive street actions; they simply came to polls all over Ukraine to express their will. Many of them will feel deceived and disappointed, when they see that their actions and efforts returned no results at all. The elite of the Russian society will be disappointed in Putin too. It will be much harder for the Russian president to fight with the influence of the “orange revolution” in Russia.

Vladimir Putin stated at one of his press conferences that Russia was not playing the game of backstreet intrigues. According to the Russian president, Russia's actions are absolutely correct. Putin did not specify the correctness, though: Russia was probably correct to the Kuchma-Yushchenko regime, although the question about 15 million people, who voted for Yanukovich remains open.

Yanukovich's recent statements, however, do not shine with optimism. Viktor Yanukovich has recently told The Washington Times that his followers would never recognize Yushchenko as the new Ukrainian president. “People are currently establishing civil society organizations. They welcome volunteers, who will make certain decisions,” Yanukovich said.  According to Viktor Yanukovich, he does not participate in the decision-making process and is not even aware of the essence of it.

Roman Melnikov

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Author`s name Olga Savka