How independent is Ukraine?
On 24 August 1991 the parliament of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic declared its separation from the USSR and Ukraine's independence. Kiev is marking the anniversary with a big military parade and international guests such as US presidential advisor John Bolton. Just under five years after the start of the Ukraine war commentators paint a grim picture of the country.
Fear of Putin holding country together
Five years after the Euromaidan and the loss of Crimea and Donbass Ukraine is a country of bitterly disappointed hopes, Crimea-based Russian blogger Alexander Gorny writes in Echo of Moscow:
“A military parade in Kiev, patriotic solutions, the battle cry 'Glory for Ukraine'. The Horilka [liquor] flows and fiery speeches are delivered about Ukraine not wavering even though in reality it is crumbling somewhat. But all this is important for Ukraine, as is the 'demonised' image of Putin. Now Ukraine is celebrating its Independence Day for the fifth time without Crimea and Donbass, which it has probably lost forever - thanks to the Euromaidan which so many citizens supported in the hope of it bringing change. But instead of change they got decline - among other things also in their brains.”
True decolonisation yet to come
Ukraine hasn't yet achieved full independence, political scientist Kostyantyn Bondarenko writes in the daily Korrespondent:
“In this world, natural selection and the law of the jungle apply. We have options: either we believe in our own strength and finally start living an independent life or we remain a footnote in the annals of history. ... I firmly believe that Ukraine will achieve independence. Our true decolonisation is yet to come. As painful as it may be to look on as my country is ruled by blabbermouths and [people like US presidential advisor John] Bolton 'inspect' the Independence Day parade.”