Today’s presidential election in Ukraine is unlikely to resolve the ongoing crisis, and could have wide-ranging ramifications, experts say, as Ukrainian officials predicted pro-Russian insurgents would interfere with voting, while Russian President Vladimir Putin complained that Russia’s interests are being ignored.
“This election is going to reaffirm that there’s a split among the Ukraine society,” said Bill Martel, a professor of international security studies at [The Fletcher School at] Tufts University. “We know that the western half of the country wants to be part of Europe and the EU, and the eastern part of the country — and we can debate the extent — wants to be closer to Russia.”
“This has immense implications on the future of Europe and frankly for the nature of world politics for the foreseeable future,” Martel added. “It signals that Russia has made a resurgence in a geopolitical sense. Putin is willing to put pressure on states, using military force, to influence domestic politics.”
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