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4 Reasons Why Poroshenko Should be Really Worried


This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been well received on his tour of western capitals. Saying all the right things about democracy and western values Poroshenko never lets anyone doubt he is Washington’s man in Kiev.


However this role of repeating neocon talking points has not played out very well for post-Soviet leaders willing to do Washington’s bidding. Poroshenko should be worried – think Gorbachev, Saakashvili, Yushchenko, and Yanukovych.


Poroshenko might care to remember Gorbachev.  When Mikhail Gorbachev was at the height of his global popularity, his country – the USSR – was on the verge of collapse. Loved in Washington, no one lifted a finger to save Gorbachev (or his country) when crisis came. Gorbachev was abandoned by the west who left him hanging out to dry.


Poroshenko should have a serious chat with Mikheil Saakashvili. The former Georgian president would most likely tell a sob story of how he was once Washington’s rising star in the post-Soviet space, bringing “western democracy” to the region. Saakashvili is a political con artist almost without peer. He thought he had Washington’s backing to attack South Ossetia. Saakashvili thought wrong. Washington was not willing to go to war with Russia to save him. Today he has serious legal problems back in Georgia.  The usual stuff: corruption and abuse of power. Saakashvili was abandoned by the west who also left him hanging out to dry.


Then there is Viktor Yushchenko.  Poroshenko served in a number of high government positions while Yushchenko was Ukraine’s president. In retrospect, Yushchenko is the most accidental president since Harry S. Truman. Nonetheless in the wake of the Orange Revolution he was the west's darling. The European Union smiled on him with promises.  NATO saw a fresh eastern victim ready to be captured. Washington’s meddling in Ukraine – to the tune of $5 billion – didn’t do Yushchenko much good while he was President. Yushchenko was loved by the west but soon forgotten. Yushchenko was abandoned by the west who also left him hanging out to dry.


Finally, there is Viktor Yanukovych. Up until February 22, 2014 Yanukovych was the legally elected president of Ukraine. He was internationally recognized. The EU negotiated with him. But the west betrayed him, recognising the violent coup that overthrew him and Ukraine’s constitutional order. Yanukovych was abandoned by the west who also left him hanging out to dry.


Given recent history, Poroshenko will be abandoned by the west and left hanging out to dry.

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