Saturday, November 27, 2004

Three Ukraine links you need (and one you might want) 

PowerLine has a letter from a NYC bond trader on some Ukrainian financial shenanigans that RocketMan read on the air today. When I first worked at the National Bank in November 1995, there were only two Americans with daily passes, myself and a bond market consultant from the U.S. Treasury. Shenanigans with bond trading in Ukraine have a long tradition. If I could ever get the Treasury guy to come out with his stories, oh the stories he could tell!

I had no idea Dan Drezner had been in Donetsk. He is worried,

Speculate on what you think will happen here. What keeps gnawing at me is that whatever the outcome, one region of the country is going to be supremely pissed off.

Whether this leads to an attempt at secession -- and how the Russians would react to this -- are the questions on my mind.

I actually doubt it would happen. Look at Abkhazia or Belarus. It's only been about ten years.

Third, take a look at these claims of voter fraud in Kharkiv. They translated the word for ballots as bulletins (and no, I don't know the Ukrainian word for ballot).

Last, Captain Ed has separated out the segments of that first hour. I'm sending them to Mom ASAP.

UPDATE: OK, four. Ed also has written up a post about a letter we read in the last segment of the hour today.

In their election, the Kuchma government candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, actually represents the closest partner we would have in the war on terror. Yanukovych has pledged to increase troop strength in Iraq and mirrors Putin's resolve to conduct a forward strategy in the fight against Islamist terror. Viktor Yuschenko speaks of pulling Ukrainian troops from Iraq, where they comprise the sixth-largest segment of the Coalition.

One would expect the Bush Administration, therefore, to have sat quietly and hoped for Yanukovych to come to power regardless of the means. That focus on expediency has been an unfortunate hallmark of American foreign policy for decades, a leftover of our Cold War-style binary approach to the world. Instead, both Colin Powell and George Bush spoke strongly about their rejection of the election's results and the need to hold a credible election in Ukraine.

As Natan Sharansky has noted, Bush behaves like a dissident. Again.