"The huge turnout of protestors in Kiev—and the subsequently harsh crackdown by the police against them—completely changed the political situation for Yanukovych, Putin, and all of Ukraine. The current political instability in Kiev undoubtedly rivals the 2004 crisis, which led to the Orange Revolution. Putin's seeming victory in convincing Yanukovych to rebuff the EU is looking more Pyrrhic with each passing day as an increasing number of Ukrainians express their anger at Yanukovych's decision to table the agreement with the EU," writes Yevgeny Kiselyov in the Moscow Times.
"In 2004, people protested against Yanukovych because he resorted to rigging the election to become president. Now he is president of Ukraine, and people protest against him because they have lost belief in Yanukovych intending to lead their country towards the EU. Demonstrations also continue out of fear that he might not only take from them the European prospect, but democracy, too," writes Bernd Johann for Deutsche Welle.
"If Moscow put the heavy hand on Ukraine to make a definitive choice between its own Eurasian Union and closer ties (through the Eastern Partnership) with the EU, that was in part because similar all-or-nothing language was coming from Brussels. Whether this reflected ignorance of Ukrainian realities or the fact that there were too many other distractions—from the euro crisis to the German elections—is not yet clear. But by insisting on a signature from Kiev by the deadline of late November, Brussels was asking for something that was always going to be difficult for Ukraine to give," writes Mary Dejevsky in the Financial Times.
This CFR Backgrounder compares laws governing same-sex marriages in six countries.
Health Insurance Website Meets Deadline for Fixes
The Obama administration said it met its goal of improving its online health insurance marketplace, and after a series of technical fixes and upgrades the website now works more than 90 percent of the time, up from 43 percent in October (WaPo).