The celebrations of the ouster of President Yanukovych among Ukraine’s protesters may be short-lived, as they find the jailed and recently released Yulia Tymoshenko consolidating power with a depressingly familiar cast of characters.
“The problem is that the old forces are trying to come back to take their old chairs,” noted one protester, while another declared “Tymoshenko is just Putin in a skirt.”
Protesters who thought they were signing on for a “revolution” are rapidly realizing that all they’ve managed to do is replace an unpopular government that won the 2010 elections with the equally unpopular government they replaced.
Supports of Yanukovych in eastern Ukraine are a bit more relieved by this. While they’re irked by Tymoshenko’s apparent takeover, with so many open neo-Nazi supporters in the Kiev protests, it could’ve been much worse.
Still, with Russia, the US and the EU driving Ukraine’s politics, all votes are going to be split roughly down the middle between the two predictable factions, with everything hinging on a couple of percentage points either way.