Crossroads: Ukraine and the Triumph of Democracy

Crossroads: Ukraine and the Triumph of Democracy (63:00)
Item# 39532

Examining Ukraine’s past and present politics, this program features firsthand accounts from six Ukrainians who witnessed and took part in the 2004 Orange Revolution—a climactic chapter in the country’s transition to a free, self-governing state. An in-depth look at Ukrainian history is provided, while candid interviews reflect both the optimism of citizens who welcome brand-new freedoms and the foreboding of those who long for the stability of the Soviet system. Scenes shot during the collapse of that system and in the midst of Viktor Yushchenko’s bid for the presidency are interwoven with footage conveying the precarious yet hopeful condition of Ukrainian industry, culture, and political life. (63 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (17)

1. Ukraine: Trade Route Crossroads (04:11)
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In its history the Ukraine region fell at the crossroads of well traveled trade routes going in all four directions. Through the Ukraine passed the world's commerce and culture. She was the coveted borderland of many rulers and nations.

2. Revolution in Ukraine 2004 (04:20)

During WWII, Ukraine suffered 8 million casualties. In the 1930s, 7 million were lost to starvation. In 2004, falsified election results fomented a revolution in Ukraine.

3. Ukraine's Presidential Election 2004 (02:59)

Leading up to the election, outgoing President Leonid Kuchma seemed to favor candidate Yanukovych, who ran as a moderate. His rival Yushchenko stood for change in a corrupt system of government that had no democratic oversight.

4. Rigged Election Results in Ukraine 2004 (02:55)

When presidential candidate Yushchenko is poisoned by dioxin, the world begins to take notice of Ukraine. In the election, he receives the largest number of votes, but a run-off is required. A rigged election run-off sparks Ukrainians to revolt.

5. World Protest Over Rigged Election Results in Ukraine (02:57)

The magnitude of protestations against Ukraine's rigged election captures the world's attention. The U.S. calls for a full review of the tallying of election's results. No one in the Ukraine government anticipated such a popular uprising.

6. Ukraine: Peaceful Revolution Is Victorious (04:45)

Ukraine's government still tightly controlled by outgoing President Kuchma initially validates the election results. The election committee then calls for another round of elections for December 26, 2004. Viktor Yushchenko wins the presidency.

7. New Chapter in History of Ukraine (04:42)

After 1500 years of oppression, the people stand up for their rights in the beginning of a "new" Ukraine. To maintain autonomy and a democratic government, the people of the Ukraine must embrace their religious and geopolitical histories.

8. Stalin's Divisionist Strategies in Ukraine (02:41)

Stalin sought to crush Ukrainian identity, first through starvation, execution, and imprisonment. Secondly, Stalin brought thousands upon thousands of other ethic people into the Ukraine in order to dilute the identity of the Ukraine.

9. Perestroika: Ukrainian Independence 1991 (01:45)

The Ukrainian vote for independence in December 1991 effectively ended the existence of the Soviet Union, with the Ukraine being the second largest republic to have emerged from the ruins of the USSR.

10. Post-Soviet "Democracy" (03:48)

In the Ukraine, post-soviet privatization led to the barbarizing and theft of the plants, which were destroyed or sold off for cash. Agriculture, small business, nearly everything was destroyed. Ukraine was set back decades and nothing improved.

11. What the Revolution Means to Ukrainians (02:49)

The "Orange Revolution" empowered Ukrainians to demand and create a government that is "by the people and for the people." Ruslana Lyzhichko, a pop idol, is an icon for the revolution.

12. Ukraine's New Government (03:25)

In January 1995, Viktor Yushchenko takes over as president of Ukraine. It is critical to meet the basic human needs of the people. One hundred days into the new administration, people do not like the changes they begin to see.

13. Ukraine Needs Nationwide Reconciliation (03:04)

People's dissatisfaction with Yushchenko worsened. The new president must deal with the deeper issues of accountability and responsibility, and a respect for the law.

14. Ukraine: People's Needs vs. Government Corruption (03:53)

Business interests get involved in the new administration in Ukraine. People fear that moral codes and ethics will not be at the core of government. The people's needs are supplanted by competing political agendas.

15. Ukraine: Culture of Corruption and Bribery (03:14)

The legacy of corruption in Ukraine is President Yushchenko's number one problem. Corruption throughout the history of Ukraine tends to breed apathy and cynicism in the people. Can Ukraine breaks its cycle of bribery?

16. Individual Responsibility for Democracy (02:48)

Ukraine's independence means that individuals must take responsibility to see to the growth of the economy, the tending of crops and harvests, rebuilding the infrastructure, and more.

17. Ukraine Referendum (04:09)

In 2006, Ukrainians vote for legislators. No party has enough seats to unilaterally place a new prime minister in office. The election symbolizes that the spirit of democracy is alive and well in Ukraine.

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