End of an era

FEW HAD expected that the fall of Viktor Yanukovych would come so soon. Though the mounting turbulence indicated that he would have to exit, as per the power surrender agreement signed under the mediation of European envoys, the ouster, when it finally came, with security officials turning down his request to let him fly out of Ukraine, was sobering. It reflected the full circle that arrogance has to come, wherein dictators get to learn their lesson in power politics.

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Published: Mon 24 Feb 2014, 9:31 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:31 PM

With Yanukovych himself now wandering out in the chill outside Kiev, the second Orange Revolution has triumphed. The president abandoned his capital without a show of force, as many iron-fisted leaders have done throughout history. He was deposed after parliament voted to dismiss him by a legally binding constitutional majority. Now the fast pace of events has seen former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko freed from jail, and the opposition mulling over a new draft constitution to rewrite a new power balance in the country.

The European Union’s proactive diplomacy should come as a rude shock for Russia, which for the last two weeks was busy concentrating on security affairs in Sochi. The triumph for the West in Ukraine is indeed a huge setback for Kremlin, which had propped the regime of Yanukovych with aid.

The million-dollar question is, what’s next? With parliament designating speaker Oleksander Turchinov as the interim president, it is hoped that the months of political standoff will now finally come to an end. As The Hague expressed its concern over the situation in Ukraine, Kremlin should realise that any interventionist approach from it will only aggravate the turmoil. Yanukovych’s exit doesn’t mean a stable government. With a host of political opponents at loggerheads with one another, Ukrainians have a tough choice to make at the polls.

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