While the initial protests were successful in ousting now former president Viktor Yanukovich, a question remains as to how quickly and effectively a new administration can reign in the enormous volatility that Ukraine is facing. It's simply not a matter of finding a new leader. He, or likely she, given the enormous popularity of recently freed political prisoner, Yuliya Tymoshenko, will have to restore both confidence from a fractured nation as well as validity as an international power.
We have to remember that Ukraine is a country of vibrant and passionate cultures, cultures that often come into severe conflict with each other. Aside from the pro-Europe leaning west and the Russian-centric east, there is also a strong contingent of Tatars in the southern region of Crimea, where decades of persecution by the Russians are unlikely to lead to any immediate reconciliation. If the old adage is true, Tatars can find themselves allying with ethnic Ukrainians simply out of historical spite.
The multi-ethnic conflict that is sure to spill over onto the streets is further exacerbated by an unsurprising fall in the Hryvnia, the official currency of Ukraine. According to Bloomberg News, the Hryvnia weakened 5.6 percent to a record 10.30 per dollar at 11:40 a.m and the central bank is reportedly taking a hands off approach, allowing the currency to naturally devalue.
The interim government is seeking a $35 billion aid package to fend off potential default. As I mentioned previously, this would be a tremendous burden on the European Union (particularly Germany) as they already have enough problems with the Greek default along with other member state laggards. A report (again unsurprisingly) suggested that Europe is tired of handing out what essentially amounts to freebies to prop up unstable and volatile nations.
Thus, we are left with a very uncomfortable situation : while most sympathize with the average Ukrainian's plight, there is little that can be done. No economy has gone through the 2008 global collapse unscathed and it appears that the fortitude to support words with action is lacking. Some may have you believe that the situation is resolved, but in all frankness, we are just at the beginning.