Ukraine: Oligarchs, Peace and Sovereignty

In an article titled “Was Ukraine betrayed by its own elites?,” Lee Jones, Professor of Political Economy and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London, outlines the forces whose interplay has led to the horrific invasion that Ukraine faces today. He implicates both Russia and the West but, ultimately lays the blame at the feet of competing Ukrainian oligarchs. He suggests that the most likely outcome, now that Russia has invaded Ukraine, is the balkanization of the nation along ethnolinguistic lines. Yet he is hopeful that, in the light of the mutual injury inflicted thus far, Russia-Ukraine negotiations might progress, leading to a compromise that will restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity (to the extent that is still possible) and secure peace. He suggests that this will involve –

  1. A Russian withdrawal from Ukraine (this might be limited with respect to the territories of the East and the South).
  2. Pro-Western Ukrainians (elites )and their pro-Russian counterparts find a more consensual way to coexist.
  3. Ukrainians stop internationalizing their internal conflict.
  4. Ukraine genuinely works towards neutrality.
  5. Foreign powers (Russia and the West) cease their meddling.