May 20, 2014
MEN OF STEEL:
A Finland model for Ukraine? (David Ignatius, May 20, 2014, Washington Post)
Posted by Orrin Judd at May 20, 2014 8:29 PMAfter months of war fever over Ukraine, perhaps the biggest surprise is that citizens there will be voting to choose a new government in elections that observers predict will be free and fair in most areas.This electoral pathway for Ukraine seemed unlikely a few weeks ago, given Russian President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea and his covert campaign to destabilize the Russian-speaking areas of eastern Ukraine. There were dire warnings of a new Cold War, and even of a ground war in Ukraine. The country seemed at risk of being torn apart. [...]It wasn't Ukrainian government troops that restored order in eastern cities such as Donetsk and Mariupol. The army's performance was middling, at best. Stability returned because of the deployment in at least five eastern cities of steelworkers and miners apparently dispatched by Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, who opposed a breakup of his country.