(UkeTube) Why has Ukraine had such a difficult time since independence? Why are reforms continuously stalled? Henry E. Hale and Robert W. Orttung discuss these and other key issues in Ukraine, based on their book: Beyond the Euromaidan: Comparative Perspectives on Advancing Reform in Ukraine (Stanford University Press, Sept. 2016).
– – – – –
Partial transcript/topics with timestamp:
– 1:00 Comparisons with other countries; how to overcome obstacles; best experts on Ukraine/issues.
– 2:05 The book began during Yanukovych era.
– 3:25 Six topics addressed: corruption, oligarchs, rule of law, constitution building, economic reform, and identity politics.
– 6:20 Fundamental issues: corruption, influence of international community, constitution. Corruption and oligarchary have not been dealt with.
– 7:02 Pervasive corruption in Ukrainian society is entrenched because people think this is the way things are normally done. There is no foundation of the rule of law, which is the foundation of a working democracy.
– 8:05 President Poroshenko is an oligarch. Politicians do not have an interest in getting rid of corruption because they benefit from it directly. Fighting corruption will be a grass roots effort, thus the importance of civil society.
– 8:30 Ukrainian politicians are not taking the lead on corruption.
– 8:50 Freedom of the press is a problem in Ukraine, blocking change in Ukraine.
– 10:20 Surprising, disappointing – ideals people fought for were not realized, little progress.
– 11:30 Fate of Viktor Yanukovych was not expected, unforeseen.
– 12:31 Constitution of Ukraine has been a reasonable success thus far – system of checks and balances, limited ability of President or any other politicians to usurp power.
– 14:27 Small economic progress and reform – some changes in energy and gas sector, less Russian participation in energy system.
– 15:06 Much stronger sense of Ukrainian identity and unity.
– 15:25 Media scandals. Several journalists killed in recent years. Small progress but reason for hope.
– 15:56 Corruption reforms do not kick in right away. Research shows fruits do not appear for several years.
– 16:36 Ukrainians have proven that popular mass mobilization can clearly make a difference, but today, elections are the way to resolve political differences. Opposition expressions through elections is better than street protests.
– 18:35 Mikheil Saakashvili
– 20:20 Donald Trump wants a much closer relationship with Putin. Where does Ukraine fit in with American system of values? Should Americans stand up for Ukrainians or make a deal and sell off Ukraine for oil drilling rights in the Arctic? What are our values?