Friday Update

So, in the past 24 hours we've had the following occur:

1) The Ukrainian Supreme Court has ruled that the Central Elections Commission can not validate the election results until they have had the opportunity to review the "allegations" of voting irregularities. This is undoubtedly a good thing for the opposition, but by no means a guaruntee of victory. While the Supreme Court did rule earlier that the Government would not be ale to set up hundreds of polling stations in Russia (if THAT had happened, the ballot stuffing would have been even worse than it actually was) they also ruled (questionably) that Kuchma would have been able to run for relection if he had wanted to.

2) A General Strike has been called. It's been heavly enforced by the opposition in some quarters, not enforced at all in others.

3) State run and state affiliated television journalists are coming out, on air, in support of the opposition. This is huge, as the coverage they had previously been providing was either non-existant (the only way I was able to hear about the beginning of the protests through media outlets on Monday was through BBC world service on shortwave) or heavily biased in favor of the government and their candidate.

4) In a laughable attempt to either provide a counter demonstration or (more likely) to bring in provacateurs to incite violence, the Government has been busing in Miners from the Donbas region to Kiev.

5) World leaders are continually arriving in Kiev to try to help broker a solution, including European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, and Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. They are meeting with boths sides and attempting to act as honest brokers.

6) Internal Police, are apparently coming on stage in Indepence Square and asserting their support for the protesters and their unwillingness to engage against protesters. I saw footage of this on TV yesterday. While its certainly a good thing for the opposition, I wouldn't read too much into it. Being a bit of an insignia, patches, and militaria geek by proxy from my Uncle (who is a serious militaria geek) I was able to tell that all the police that were showing support both were a) not officers (in fact some of them were cadets) and b) not members of any of the special security forces that would be actually busting heads were that order to come down.

7) I read the following in today's Post. At first glance it has a bit of a "so what?" feel to it, but there's subtexts here that can't be ignored:

On Friday, Moldova said it does not recognize the results of the election in Ukraine, putting the former Soviet republic at odds with Putin.

"Moldova expresses concern about the non-transparency of the voting process," Moldova's Foreign Ministry said. It said the "fundamental principles of democracy are distorted in Ukraine."

Moldova, which sits right next to Ukraine, has been involved in a low-level civil war for the better part of a decade as the mainly Russian Trans-Dniester region has all but broken off from historically Romanian Moldova in an attempt to establish their own government. The only way that they've been able to pull this off is by having a large detachment of the Russian military on its soil. The last thing Russia wants is more of these former Soviet states mouthing off and drawing attention to Moscow's crushing of their sovreignity.

I'll be keeping an eye on things throughout the day and probably posting an evening update later.