Daily Archives: May 2, 2014

• In an interview with the Financial Times, Ukraine’s interim prime minister says his country is entering its “most dangerous 10 days” since independence in 1991 and is struggling to counter pro-Russian separatists on the verge of taking over the industrialised eastern heartland.

• The arrest of Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, has thrown the party’s political ambitions into chaos.

• Philip Stephens says the arguments of former British prime minister Tony Blair have been lost in his search for personal riches.

• Criticised over corruption and the pace of economic change, the ANC, South Africa’s ruling party, is facing its toughest election.

• As Jeb Bush considers running for the US presidency, the New York Times looks at how Republican donors and fund-raisers who had planned to back New Jersey govenor Chris Christie are rethinking their allegiance. Read more

Gideon Rachman

The Ukrainian government’s decision to launch an offensive to re-take the city of Slavyansk from Russian-backed separatists marks a shift both in rhetoric and in strategy. In recent days, the noises coming from the government in Kiev has been rather defeatist. On Tuesday, the acting Ukrainian president Oleksandr Turchynov said that his government’s forces were “unable to take the situation in the (eastern) region under control.” Speaking to me in Kiev yesterday, Arseny Yatseniuk, the interim prime minister, said that Ukraine had been placed in a “trap” by Russia – in which any Ukrainian effort to take on the separatists (or “terrorists” as Yatseniuk calls them) could be used as an excuse for full-scale Russian military intervention. Nonetheless, Kiev has decided to take the risk. The question is why? Read more