Timothy Garton-Ash, author of the recently-published "Free World", hits back at the commentators who want to leave Ukraine to the oligarchs. He's not starry-eyed, but he has no time for lofty talk about "mobs":

"Ukraine has an appalling level of corruption, involving those on the opposition as well as the government side. Members or supporters of both do have connections to a mob, in its other sense, meaning mafia. What follows an opposition victory will be messy, disappointing to most of those young orange supporters in Kiev's Independence Square, and sometimes unsavoury, as in all post-communist countries. None of this means they don't have the right to try...

"Please examine your attitude and see if it doesn't reflect some deep-seated prejudices of west Europeans towards the continent's other half, typecast for centuries as distant, exotic, mysterious, dark etc. A good test is to substitute, say, "Spaniards" or "French" for "Ukrainians" in any statement, and see how it reads."
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2004/12/response-to-cynics-timothy-garton-ash.html|||12/02/2004 11:52:00 am|||||||||