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Ukraine's Last Best Hope

How Political Reform Can Defend Against Russian Intervention

Courtesy Reuters

The turmoil unfolding in Ukraine actually provides the people of Ukraine with an opportunity to make their country a better place. Historically, any one of three conditions -- a new, transitional government; dire economic challenges; and the threat of a mass uprising -- has made a shift to a freer, more democratic, transparent, and accountable government attractive to citizens, leaders, and their core supporters. Ukraine is in the unusual situation of meeting all three conditions at once. But to turn opportunity into reality and foster a genuinely free, democratic, and prosperous society, the country’s leaders, as well as the United States and the European Union, need to engage in democratization’s best practices. That means an independent judiciary that enforces free speech, a free press, freedom of assembly, and competitive -- not merely free and fair -- elections in which leadership turnover is likely. Establishing these democratic foundations will

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