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Leonid Bershidsky

Ukraine's Politics Descend Into Slapstick

Fistfights do not bode well for reform.
Political discourse.

Political discourse.

Photographer: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

Less than a week after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden asked Ukraine's political leaders to play nice, the quiet war between the teams of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President Petro Poroshenko has turned publicly and comically violent.

The situation is growing increasingly reminiscent of Ukraine's previous attempt to break with Russia's dominance and embark on a European path. From 2005 to 2010, then President Viktor Yuschenko's faction clashed repeatedly with that of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, rampant corruption undermined the economy and reforms proved fake. This led to the election of President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted last year in a bloody uprising.