In a State of Decline

VIKTOR POBENDINSKY/UNIAN

Former Prime Minister Viktor Yuschenko leads the moderate bloc, Our Ukraine, ahead in pre-election polls

Ukraine should be one of the powerhouses of Europe: bigger than France and Switzerland combined, rich soil, a well-educated population of 50 million, once part of the industrial heartland of the Soviet Union. Instead, it is an embarrassment, marginalized as smaller neighbors like Poland and Hungary prepare to join the European Union — and most other European leaders try not to think about it. Pretty much the only time Ukraine makes the front pages, in fact, is when another scandal blows up. Like the one involving former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, now in detention in the U.S. but pleading his innocence,...

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