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A nation must think before it acts.
Three years have passed since the Orange masses swelled in the streets of Kyiv and yet, despite the Orange Revolution’s promises of democratization, state weakness and governmental fragmentation continue to deter democratic progress in Ukraine. This article examines the situation in Ukraine today and argues that political, economic and social developments in the country have largely confirmed the Project on Democratic Transitions’ hypotheses regarding the factors that facilitate or hinder post-communist democratic transitions. The PDT hypothesis concerning anti-democratic diffusion from Russia is particularly relevant to the Ukrainian case – as is the proposition that ineffective management of ethnic conflicts undermines democratic development. Drawing upon these and other relevant hypotheses, the essay presents pragmatic solutions for dealing with obstacles to democratic progress in Ukraine and underscores the important role Ukraine can play in influencing democratic development in its fellow post-Soviet states.