RIGGED ELECTION IN UKRAINE, CITY-KILLING MISSILES:
WELCOME TO THE PAST
November 26, 2004
By Toby Westerman
Copyright 2004 International News Analysis Today
Rigged elections and super-sophisticated, city-killing weapons: welcome to the past.
The victory of Moscow's handpicked candidate through a rigged election combined with the recent announcement of Moscow's determination to deploy the most advanced multiple warhead missiles bring the world back to the days of international subversion and nuclear terror.
In Ukraine, once the breadbasket of the USSR and important aerospace center for the Soviet Union, the pro-Moscow government is attempting thwart the will of its population with Soviet-era tactics. The goal is to insure that the new government will keep Ukraine a faithful partner of Russia and avoid excessively close ties with the U.S. and the European Union.
Ballot box stuffing, falsification of votes, and the manipulation of absentee ballots were among the abuses leading observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to conclude that Ukraine's Sunday presidential election was below Euro standards "for democratic elections."
Now, even civil war is mentioned as a possibility.
Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-Western opposition's candidate for president, rejects government claims that he has lost and is leading mass demonstrations which demand a change in government, and a turn from Russia to the United States and Western Europe.
In response, the pro-government, pro-Moscow candidate, and purported election winner, Viktor Yanukovych, who is also Ukraine's Prime Minister, condemns the opposition's call to void the election, and branded the demands a "call to revolution."
As Prime Minister, Yanukovych is identified in the minds of many with the current Ukrainian government of Leonid Kuchma and the series of scandals which have attached to him, from fraud to murder.
To counter opposition rallies, an old Soviet trick is being employed: pro-government demonstrators are coming to the capital, Kiev, to face the opposition, and they are receiving police escort during their trip. Many are from the mining area of eastern Ukraine, and can be counted on to either confront the demonstrators directly, or infiltrate into the opposition and foment political violence.
Should mass civil unrest occur, the Ukraine's government could justifiably call in troops to break up the demonstrations and suppress the opposition.
Ukraine's pro-Moscow government has apparently learned valuable lessons from the recent successful resistance by the people of the post-Soviet republic of Georgia to a similar attempt at election theft.
In November 2003, Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, former head of the Communist Party in Georgia and former Foreign Minister under Soviet ruler Mikhail Gorbachev, lost his position because of a popular revolt against the results of a rigged parliamentary election.
Should the opposition fail to be victorious, Ukraine will fall firmly under Moscow's influence, and will join Belarus and the states of Central Asia as devoted protégés of Moscow.
As Moscow's territorial domination grows, so does its military spending.
Moscow is increasing its defense budget for 2005 over the current year, with some of those funds paying for the development and deployment of the SS-27 and its submarine launched version, the SS-NX-30 (Bulava), according to the Russian news daily, Izvestia.
These weapons have multiple reentry nuclear warheads, and Moscow claims that these missiles are capable of eluding or withstanding counterattacks from any anti-missile shield.
The missiles are part of a military budget which is increasing by one-third over the current year. Hypersonic nuclear and tactical missiles, improvements in small arms, and increased personnel training are all part of Moscow's dedication to possessing state-of-the-art armed forces.
Political manipulation and military might: the world may well learn again to fear the Russian bear.
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