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For an average observer, the past month in the United States has been characterized by a frenzy of oppressive government legislation designed to infringe upon personal liberty. While this has been true for most of the Obama administration, the maelstrom, whipped up by the media, on this specific issue regards a minor law passed by the state of Indiana and not the federal government.

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Ukraine shows that, when pressure is applied, Potemkin institutions reveal themselves for what they really are. The lessons for countries in the neighborhood, most of all Russia, should be apparent, as, although there are major differences between Ukraine and its anxious neighbor, at the most fundamental levels, the institutional stagnation is the same.