Orange revolution to spread?

In stark contrast to what is happening in Russia democracy movements may start breaking out in other former USSR states.

From Kyrgyzstan on the Chinese border to Moldova, where Europe’s only ruling Communist Party faces elections next month, opposition parties are eagerly studying Georgia’s “Rose Revolution” and Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution,” which led to the triumph of pro-democracy forces. Opposition groups are even selecting symbols for their banners when the moment arrives – tulips for the Kyrgyz opposition, grapes for Moldova’s anticommunists.

“The recent events in Ukraine have made people everywhere understand that taking to the streets gets the authorities’ attention,” says Tatiana Poloskova, deputy director of the independent Institute of Modern Diaspora, which studies Russian minorities in former Soviet countries.

Georgian President Mikhael Saakashvili and newly inaugurated Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko were clearly addressing their former Soviet colleagues last month when they hailed their revolts as the leading edge of “a new wave of liberation that will lead to the final victory of freedom and democracy on the continent of Europe.”

The article does go into some detail about the obstacles these movements face and the authoritarian regimes that must be toppled. It will take a lot of effort and help. Hopefully we’ll be able to step up.

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