'I don't see, so far, Ukrainians fighting other Ukrainians,' says Orysia Lutsevych. 'Members of the Party of Regions are playing this card, trying to say that a split is possible. But this will not get popular support in the way that Ukrainians will be willing to split, become autonomous, or join the Russian Federation.'
Andrew Monaghan warns that sleaze allegations are all too freely bandied between Russian political foes, and points out that a nationwide anti-corruption drive has been central to Putin’s policy agenda. Nevertheless, he writes, ‘corruption sits on the heart of the Russian body politic’.
Were Ukraine a functioning democracy, Friday’s agreement under EU mediation would be significant. But in today’s Ukraine, there is a world of difference between agreements and their implementation, writes James Sherr.
"It will not turn into a civil war because those who are supporting the government are not prepared to risk their lives," said Orysia Lutsevych. "Ukraine will not split because there are not significant numbers of Ukrainians who are supporting the use of violence against civilians."
With smart sanctions, targeting financial assets and judicious visa bans, including on members of the Yanukovych family, the West could help to break the status quo in Ukraine, writes Orysia Lutsevych.