People ask why I never write about the internal politics of Ukraine. The reason is that I know readers will apply whatever they know about their own Western countries to the situation in Ukraine, forgetting that it’s a very different place and you can’t always translate what’s happening there to Western terms.
Example. In the US, a president or a governor who comes to politics straight out of business is a disaster. But in Ukraine, a president who created his own chocolate factories and a chain of stores and cafes is a great thing. For historical reasons, people who have the organizational skills and the wherewithal to make an actual product are extremely scarce. And the actual politics is in a rudimentary state. In the US, there are multitudes of entrepreneurial people who can make things happen, and the political process is complex, so you need somebody who understands this complexity. But in Ukraine the situation is very different.
Or take the reduction in social services that Ukraine urgently needs. It’s not the same kind of welfare that exists in the West, it helps nobody, it does nothing but cripple the people.
Or take the IMF. It’s been very helpful to Ukraine but try explaining that to folks who read the highly cute yet very silly Shock Therapy and didn’t get that it’s a work of fiction and nothing else.