A recent story on the Herald Tribune: (bold emphasis added)
Ukraine, once considered a worldwide symbol of an emerging, free-market democracy that had cast off authoritarianism, is teetering. And its predicament poses a real threat for other European economies and former Soviet republics.
It is not hard to understand why world leaders are increasingly worried about the discontent and the financial crisis in Ukraine, which has 46 million people and a highly strategic location. A small country like Latvia or Iceland is one thing, but a collapse in Ukraine could wreck what little investor confidence is left in Eastern Europe, whose formerly robust economies are being badly strained.
It could also cause neighboring Russia, which has close ethnic and linguistic ties to eastern and southern Ukraine, to try to inject itself into the country’s affairs. What is more, the Kremlin would be able to hold up Ukraine as an example of what happens when former Soviet republics follow a Western model of free-market democracy.
Ukraine’s economy has stumbled due to falling prices of its top exports: steel and chemicals.
One danger of the current financial crisis is that it has given a wide floor for critics of capitalism. The fears highlighted above are precisely the manifestation of how history usually becomes a naive judge of moral and political ideals.
From Russia Today, a lowdown on how the economic crisis has manifested in the politics of Ukraine:
Not only is the economic crisis influencing judgement of political ideals, but it has also stirred a new wave of politics on its own.