Yesterday in a deal brokered by the European Union, Russia agreed to supply gas to Ukraine through March.
But Roman Skaskiw, an Iowa Writers Workshop graduate living in Lviv, Ukraine, says distance from Russia was more important than gas to many Ukrainians.
"They're very proud right now. They feel like this is a long overdue divorce, and if they have to be cold for one winter or chop wood, they were ready to do that."
The gas deal is hardly the only concern for Ukraine at the moment. Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have planned a separate vote on November 2 in defiance of the Ukrainian national elections held last Sunday. Skaskiw says last Sunday's elections show a change in the Ukrainian people's mentality.
"It's very significant. It's a civilizational shift of Ukraine towards Europe and away from Russia."
Host Ben Kieffer discusses the gas deal, the recent elections and attitudinal shifts in Ukraine with Skaskiw in this Newsbuzz edition of River to River. ISU professor of political science Jim McCormick also joins the conversation.