RutgersUniversity political science professor Oleksandr Motyl writes onhis column in The World Affairs:
"Ukraine's tycoons will remain fabulouslywealthy and influential, regardless of whether they hide on theirestates or in their villas in the West. Their primary interestswill, as always, be the protection of their assets and privilege,which means stability and security. Although sultanism offered somemeasure of both, the collapse of sultanism and Ukraine's subsequenttime of troubles will likely incline the oligarchs to seek to alignUkraine with the global economy in general and the West inparticular as the only reliable guarantors ofboth."
According to the expert, the choice beforeUkraine's future democratic elites will mirror that before Polandand Czechoslovakia more than twenty years ago.
"Post-Yanukovych Ukraine will remain unified,like Poland, if its civic-political institutions, oligarchs, andleaders can agree on some degree of federalization ordecentralization that enables Ukrainian-language speakers andRussian-language speakers to use Ukrainian as a lingua franca andto enjoy linguistic choice at other levels of social interaction.Post-Yanukovych Ukraine will go the way of Czechoslovakia if somesuch consensus is not found."
"Chances are that the Polish scenario will getthe upper hand. The Yanukovych regime's endorsement of Russiansupremacism may appeal to diehard Russian-language speakers, but itwill, several years from now, likely be as discredited as theregime that spawned it. Unless the post-Yanukovych democrats engagein linguistic maximalism, it's a good bet that Ukraine will surviveintact and that a "social contract" between East and West willemerge, especially if the oligarchs endorse it, as they are likelyto do," noted the analyst.
Meanwhile, according to Motyl, a moresubstantive danger to post-Yanukovych Ukraine will be VladimirPutin's Russia.
"The chances that a declining quasi-fascistpetro-state such as Russia will become strong and stable are few. Abeleaguered Putin will almost certainly not choose democracy as themeans to save himself and his regime. Instead, Putin will tightenthe reins and increase his neo-imperialist rhetoric, perhaps hopingfor a "quick little war" that could provide his tottering regimewith a shot in the arm.
Will Ukraine survive a possible militaryintervention? It could go the route of Yugoslavia, and theresulting instability could also spell Russia's doom. Orpost-Yanukovych democrats and oligarchs may succeed in drawing onburgeoning popular patriotism and organizing a mass mobilization indefense of the "homeland." Given the parlous nature of the Putinstate, the outcome could easily be a stalemate, which would betantamount to a victory for Ukraine. Naturally, a defeat would meanUkraine's loss of the Crimea and some southeastern territories toRussia. That would be painful, but it could also consolidate apost-Yanukovych consensus around a breakthrough agenda inindependent Ukraine," concluded Motyl.