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Friday, November 17, 2006

Remembering the Orange Revolution

Interesting article on the anniversary of the Orange Revolution, with a message for Ukraine's president “Having come to power, you should have wielded it”

In all fairness, that message should also be directed at his one-time supporters, particularly Yulia Tymoshenko. Sad to think what national glory was sacrificed on the altars of their egos.

In the diaspora, however, the Orange Revolution isn't regarded quite so dismally. As the article points out, it was as much a demonstration of democracy as a call for a regime change. As an exercise in self-awareness for a nation, was a huge success.

Also, it put Ukraine on the world map. These days, whenever a non-Ukrainian Canadian asks "What was the Orange Revolution?" all I have to say is "elections in Ukraine ... remember the guy who was poisoned?" Of course, everyone remembers the news stories about Yuschenko's poisoning, and along with it, the vote-rigging and demonstrations against it.

I appreciate that it's easier to be sanguine when you're far removed from the day to day realities. Still, I take great comfort in knowing that even the most obtuse must realize there is no more need for long-winded explanations starting with "In 988 Ukraine accepted Christianity ...."

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