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9 April, 2013 10:00   ▪  

Forbes: a few oppositionists freed from prison do not represent a serious threat to Yanukovych

“Yuriy Lutsenko's pardon means very little for Ukraine’s democratic process, as the current ruling powers are determined to remain in that position,” writes Forbes.

“The news (about Lutsenko`s pardon – Ed.) might alleviate the West’s outrage and increase Ukraine’s chances of signing a cooperation agreement with Europe next fall. However, this seemingly positive move means very little for Ukraine’s democratic process, as the current ruling powers are determined to remain in that position. The way the president of Ukraine has centralized his power and concentrated it in the hands of his family and friends in anticipation of the next presidential elections in 2015, is a clear indication that he does not plan on stepping down,” notes Forbes.

READ ALSO: The Lutsenko Pardon: Enough to Appease the EU?

“A few oppositionists freed from prison do not represent a serious threat to Yanukovych as he retains all levers of control. Protests, rallies and strikes, which symbolize democratic society to westerners, will be allowed and might appease some European leaders. Ukrainians, however, who experience the damages of centralized power and the absence of the rule of law on a regular basis, are not fooled. Ukrainian entrepreneurs admit that today’s situation is far worse than it was in the chaotic 90’s, with increased tax department and militia raids of private businesses, for the purpose of money extortion,” claims Forbes.

“The term “Civil Society” is still new to Ukraine, and most people don’t realize the power they have. That can change, however, despite today’s abysmal pessimism among citizens, if the opposition continues to fuel the democratic processes,” the website adds. 

READ ALSO: Civil Society and Its Enemies


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