With less than a week left until the Ukrainian parliamentary elections, there is growing uncertainty about whether the new parliament will provide a boost to President Petro Poroshenko's flagging reform agenda and attempts to manage the extremely fragile situation in the east.
Forthcoming elections give Ukraine a feeling of hope. However, for most Ukrainians the optimistic political advertisements contrast sharply with their own experiences. The war in the Donbas and the worsening economic and social situation are likely to bring more people to the parliament with no appetite for dialogue.
In August, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called for early parliamentary elections to kick-start his reform agenda and to cleanse Ukraine of lawmakers who owed their loyalty to the ways and personalities of the pre-Maidan era.
Facing economic collapse, a winter without Russian natural gas, and a frozen conflict in the Donbas, a divisive election may be the last thing Ukraine needs. But on October 26, Ukrainians will head to the polls to elect a new parliament.
The Ukraine crisis has betrayed fissures in the Russo-Kazakh relationship. It is difficult to predict a post-Nazarbayev Kazakh policy toward Russia, but developments in Ukraine suggest that future Kazakh leaders will have to deal with a new source of friction with the Kremlin.