It’s up to Putin now

The Ukrainian Supreme Court has now declared the presidential runoff election results invalid — and has ordered that a repeat of the runoff be re-staged throughout the entire country on December 26. The Ukrainian parliament speaker has already urged the implementation of the Supreme Court ruling. All of this comes less than 24 hours after ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

The Ukrainian Supreme Court has now declared the presidential runoff election results invalid -- and has ordered that a repeat of the runoff be re-staged throughout the entire country on December 26. The Ukrainian parliament speaker has already urged the implementation of the Supreme Court ruling. All of this comes less than 24 hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the idea of holding a runoff election. (click on this San Jose Mercury News timeline for the backstory.] After President Bush made a rhetorical push-back, Putin responded today by muttering dark warnings about the unipolar world:

The Ukrainian Supreme Court has now declared the presidential runoff election results invalid — and has ordered that a repeat of the runoff be re-staged throughout the entire country on December 26. The Ukrainian parliament speaker has already urged the implementation of the Supreme Court ruling. All of this comes less than 24 hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the idea of holding a runoff election. (click on this San Jose Mercury News timeline for the backstory.] After President Bush made a rhetorical push-back, Putin responded today by muttering dark warnings about the unipolar world:

“Attempts to rebuild the multifaceted and diverse modern civilization, created by God, in line with the barrack room principles of a unipolar world appear to be extremely dangerous,” Putin said in a speech at the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund in New Delhi. “The more persistently and effectively the authors and followers of this idea act the more often mankind will come up against dangerous disproportions in economic and social development and against global threats of international terrorism, organized crime, and drug traffic,” he said.

What’s becoming clear is that the correlation of forces within Ukraine are tilting in favor of a runoff election that would presumably lift Viktor Yushchenko to power. The emerging question is whether the correlation of forces outside Ukraine will permit this to happen. Will Putin tolerate the blow to his reputation that would come with a Yushchenko victory (remember, he and his administration campaigned hard for Yanukovich)? Still developing….

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

Tag: Theory

More from Foreign Policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.

Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother?

The power dynamic between Beijing and Moscow has switched dramatically.

Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.
Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.

Xi and Putin Have the Most Consequential Undeclared Alliance in the World

It’s become more important than Washington’s official alliances today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

It’s a New Great Game. Again.

Across Central Asia, Russia’s brand is tainted by Ukraine, China’s got challenges, and Washington senses another opening.

Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.
Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.

Iraqi Kurdistan’s House of Cards Is Collapsing

The region once seemed a bright spot in the disorder unleashed by U.S. regime change. Today, things look bleak.