Why the West Must Join the Ukraine Protesters: Op-Ed by Senior Statesman and former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili

Wall Street Journal

Former President of Republic of Georgia and Senior Statesman at The Fletcher School, Mikheil Saakashvili

The television-news coverage of Ukrainians protesting in the streets of Kiev might prompt viewers to think they're flicking past just another outbreak of unrest in an overall restless world. The usual paraphernalia is there—the street rallies, Molotov cocktails and police crackdowns. But these demonstrations are unlike those in other countries, where people are seeking social rights or protesting against a corrupt ruler. What we have been witnessing in Ukraine, with protests that began in November and have gained a volatile intensity in recent days, is the first geopolitical revolution of the 21st century.

The burning dividing line between the hundreds of thousands of protesters in cities across the country and the Yanukovych regime's police lies between two ideologies, two visions of the world and two choices of life: independent, Western democracy or Vladimir Putin's Russia.

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