Not Europe yet
Five years ago, thousands of Ukrainians launched the EuroMaidan Revolution, which later led to the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych. There were two main motives behind it. First, it was a revolution in support of Ukraine’s national identity in its struggle against Russian imperialism, since Yanukovych was seen as a puppet of Moscow.
Second, it was an uprising in favor of the European values, the main one being a corruption-free state, and integration into the free world.
The first purpose has been largely achieved. Ukraine has pulled out of the Kremlin’s orbit.
However, the European values of the rule of law, human rights and separation of powers have not triumphed in Ukraine.
Despite visa-free travel and an association agreement with Europe, Ukraine still has no rule of law, no independent courts and no clean government. Human rights are routinely violated by the authorities and corruption is the worst in Europe.
While banging on about European values, top officials are spurning them and preserving post-Soviet lawlessness and disregard for human rights.
Unfortunately, the national identity agenda introduced by the EuroMaidan and fueled by Russia’s war against Ukraine is used by the authorities as a fig leaf and a façade to distract attention from the failures to reform.
By failing to create a genuine European state, Ukraine preserves weak and dysfunctional institutions and exposes itself to the risk of further Russian aggression. Moreover, the values of the nation’s elite have more in common with the Kremlin than with Europe, and it can easily succumb to Russian influence again.
Ukraine can only resist the Kremlin if it becomes a wealthy and strong nation with free citizens equal under law and clean and incorruptible state institutions. This will mark true independence as a nation.