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They want freedom

by DoDo Tue Mar 18th, 2014 at 06:17:58 AM EST

For a change, there is a more measured article in Der Spiegel on the situation in southern Ukraine, based on interviews with two pro-Russians and one Svoboda member, with a conclusion including this revelation (for the reporter I assume):

Saving Lenin: There Are Few Heroes Ukrainians Agree On - SPIEGEL ONLINE

This is about more than one bronze statue. People in Illichivsk don't have much money, their houses are gray and their streets full of potholes. But they also have a beach and the Black Sea, they have friendship and love, they have the Russian language and an identity of their own, and until now they also had the certainty that when they woke up each morning, they would be allowed to live the way they chose. That certainty ceased to exist when the old regime did.

When it comes down to it, everyone in Ukraine, east or west, wants the same thing: To be allowed to live the way they see as right. In other words, they want freedom.


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Meanwhile, the one dead in the clashes in Donetsk was identified as a local member of Svoboda. (This led Russian propaganda into incoherency, because his far-right allegation fit their line, but his death and being local is not quite in line with claims of imported West Ukrainian nationalists attacking peaceful pro-Russia protesters.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 14th, 2014 at 02:52:19 PM EST
Truth alone can resolve conflict
.
"Truth alone can resolve conflict. Peace can occur only in a truthful environment. Fear, anger, hatred and cowardice lead to conflict and there can be no peace in such a situation." [Mahatma Gandhi]

Right Sector march through the city of Ivano-Frankivsk  h/t MofA

Today, a march by far-right social nationalists under the Pravy Sektor/ Right Sector (Правий Сектор) banner took place in Ivano-Frankivsk. Right Sector is a hastily constructed confederation of various radical and far-right Ukrainian nationalist organisations that emerged in the course of the Euromaidan protests. The clearest programme is declared by the Social Nationalist wing which was incorporated into the confederation.

Those marching at around 16:00 today chanted slogans including, 'Ukraine/ Above All', 'Glory to the Nation/ Death to the Enemies', 'Glory to Ukraine/ Glory to the Heroes', 'Right/ Sector' and 'Bandera, Shukhevych / Heroes of Ukraine'. The last slogan was new to me and was not one that I had heard as part of the torchlight procession which took place in the city, headed by social nationalists Patriot of Ukraine.

I added my comment:

More about Vasyl Abramiv

Ivano-Frankivsk City Council awards honorary citizen titles to Bandera and Shukhevych - May 2010

[see page 18-19] June 26, 2011 - Arrested and imprisoned were 14 members, who were accused of various crimes but questioned in the December 31, 2010, detonation of the Joseph Stalin statue on the front porch of the Communist Party head-quarters in Zaporizhia. Tryzub (Trident) denied any involvementin that attack, but several of the imprisoned members, including 31-year-old Roman Khmara and 26-year-old Vasyl Abramiv, admitted to participating in the December 28, 2010, vandalism of the Stalin statue, in which they sawed off its head. But the Tryzub activists denied their involvement in the list of other alleged crimes, particularly the detonation of the Stalin statue of which they were all accused. Many of them resisted capitulating to the beatings and torture that they say they endured at the hands of police, who allegedly wanted false confessions from them. The arrests were made to pressure the Tryzub members to confess to other crimes, stated Volodymyr Yavorsky, executive director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union for Human Rights (UHHRU). [History Tryzub in Kyivan Rus]



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 14th, 2014 at 04:31:04 PM EST
Beyond the fascists' march itself, worrying:

Right Sector march through the city, the police HQ is blockaded, plus a local news update | Revolution, lecturing and life in western Ukraine

After some chanting demanding that representatives of the police come down and speak to the crowd, Abramiv declared his indignation at the cowardice of those in the offices who `refuse to listen to us who speak for the Ukrainian people (narod).' He declared that Right Sector had fought the Security Service, it had fought against the Yanukovych regime and it was prepared to fight the new government. `Our brothers didn't give their blood for a government of oligarchs' and others associated with the old regime. He demanded full `lustration' of new local and national authorities, a process designed to expose anyone who cooperated with the previous regime, so that only those `who will fight for Ukraine and the Ukrainian soil' will be in power. Abramiv then declared that as of tomorrow the local Right Sector will form a `military headquarters' which will be armed and will divide members age-appropriately.

Also worrying:

Not a single local news report has mentioned the march through the city centre* and this time there has not even been an attempt to sanitise or bowdlerise the slogans chanted. Pravy Sektor/ Right Sector is being normalised, even glorified, by the local media.

But the following is encouraging:

After Right Sector left, I spoke to the Self-Defence lads remaining by the entrance to the police HQ. I introduced myself as a Briton who has been in Ukraine for nearly two years and is keenly interested in events. They put forward a tall young man who spoke very good English, although we spoke largely in Ukrainian. He told me that he had come back from working in the USA at Christmas and has been involved with Maidan Self-Defence since then. I asked him what he and his colleagues thought of Right Sector. He answered, and his comrades agreed, that `they just came here for the PR (піаритися)'. A great Ukrainian verb made from the English `PR' literally meaning `to PR yourself'. A colleague of the man who had been to America said that in a month Right Sector would fall apart and they're a bunch of posers with no idea of discipline. The tall man who had been to American said that they were sick of Right Sector promoting themselves and forgetting that Self-Defence had been there from the start. They also said that in Kyiv, at least, Right Sector was part of Self-Defence in terms of being a subordinate unit of organised divisions. In Frankivsk, however, no one has any idea about who Right Sector's allegiance is to and what orders they are following. There is clear tension between the groups and any cooperation seems to be uneasy. The Self-Defence lads on the door of the police HQ, meanwhile, were very demonstrative in refusing to take Right Sector's newspaper which teenage girls with RS badges were handing out to the crowd.

I already quoted too long, so I only paraphrase that the Self-Defence itself was at the police HQ to block a new police head named by the new government, due to past arrests.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 14th, 2014 at 04:53:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that in a month Right Sector would fall apart and they're a bunch of posers with no idea of discipline.  

Yeah right...that is what Germans once said about Hitler and his bunch...the rest is history...
Their giving weaponry to this gang not even realizing how dangerous it will be in the future for this and any other so called Ukraine government.Ukraine (minus what ever territory Russia annex) is going to be total mess...I do not know if we can find appropriate example in history. Maybe something like Libya today but with totally different pretext...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 17th, 2014 at 12:09:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine was never a bastion for press freedom ...

Ukraine authorities block Russian TV

(3News.nz) - Late Thursday night, clashes broke out in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk between government supporters and a hostile pro-Russian crowd. At one point a pro-Russian mob encircled and threw objects at a small huddle of people, shouting for them to get on their knees. At least one person died in the turmoil.

Rossiya-1, another state station, on the same evening reported that the incident had been provoked by "special forces" of the Maidan, the informal name of the movement that brought about last month's ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukraine's pushback against the Kremlin-led smear campaign has not been much more sophisticated.

Broadcast authorities there on Tuesday ordered the suspension of the signal of Russian state-controlled television stations, a move that drew swift indignation from Moscow and international media advocacy groups alike. [Who is Rada MP Mykola Knyazhytsky?]

People in Russia's provinces, where Internet penetration is weak, are particularly prone to one-sided information.

Covering the Ukraine conflict grows increasingly dangerous

What has Russia in common with Israel and Egypt? Indeed, a ban or policy to curtail NGOs seen as foreign agents ...
Russia: "Foreign Agents" Law Hits Hundreds of NGOs

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 16th, 2014 at 04:15:24 AM EST
And the authorities in Crimea had already replaced Ukrainian channels with Russian ones.
by Gag Halfrunt on Sun Mar 16th, 2014 at 10:47:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The articles I linked treated both sides equally. Have you seen US media cover the facts about Kyiv harassing the Russian speaking Ukranians? I haven't, it didn't come forward on the search engines easily either.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 16th, 2014 at 11:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, but do Russian media handle the suppression of Ukrainian-language TV in Crimea?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 16th, 2014 at 11:47:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they even changed time zones to match russia's

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Mar 17th, 2014 at 12:13:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the article from Der Spiegel indicative of broader, more nuanced sentiments about the Ukrainian fiasco among the German population? Are there any polling data to show what is the range and nature of public opinion?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 16th, 2014 at 11:08:15 PM EST
I quoted results of one poll (on sanctions) here. As for indication of popular sentiments, I don't think so: first, in Germany, it's just the media that is most stringently pro-confrontation and even criticises Merkel along the same lines the Anglo-Saxon media does ("selling out for economic interests"); second, we are speaking about a foreign correspondent here, a reporter who was hit be reality on the head.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 17th, 2014 at 04:07:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel is not public opinion, it's published opinion. Like all other media, it attempts to steers public opinion in the desired direction.War is bad for business, unless you're in the business of war.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 17th, 2014 at 06:33:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Like all other media, it attempts to steers public opinion in the desired direction.

That was the assumption beneath my question, along with the question "Whose desires?" After all I am immersed in US print and broadcast media where I have found few glimpses of sanity on this issue but where the polling shows little support for US intervention. MfM made an excellent point about the opportunity the fossil fuel sector sees to dramatically increase the profits from their shale gas, but that doesn't really account for the immediate reaction of almost all US print and broadcast media, which I attribute to an instinctive reaction to wounded pride due to the inherent insult Putin's move gave to the attitude of US triumphalism and exceptionalism.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 17th, 2014 at 11:24:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh...I left that kind of ideal  behind me long time ago...

I would like to live "the way a like" here in Australia but hey there are rules and laws and policies that very often I do not like.All I can do is to (futilely) vote (when allowed). And this is not first time this happened to me.I left Milosevic Serbia naively believing that I will live in a "free world". Yeah right...
Unfortunately the only rule that I see is definitely working is : "The weak are meat the strong do eat".
Very often for many people it is just that they found themselves "in wrong place at wrong time" and their lives parish or just goes down the toilet.
People in many parts of Serbia experienced this many times during history because "we built our house in the middle of the road". So many were born in one state (country) and died in different one not even moving from their village.Ukrainians of all sorts if only they are clever enough (as they are not), shouldn't kill each other for the sake of USA or Russia. But I am afraid it's too late now.There will be blood...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Mar 16th, 2014 at 11:30:32 PM EST
everyone in Ukraine, east or west, wants the same thing: To be allowed to live the way they see as right. In other words, they want freedom.

Sure, fascists who violently overthrow a legitimate, elected government, deliberately killing their allies in the process, want freedom.

How did eurotrib become just another blog spewing propaganda for the US Empire?

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Mon Mar 17th, 2014 at 07:38:19 PM EST
It's hilarious that you think DoDo of all people would spew US empire propaganda...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 17th, 2014 at 08:26:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How did criticism of the propaganda of the US Empire become the uncritical spewing of the propaganda of the Russian Empire for you?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 18th, 2014 at 05:30:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.. since your previous comments here @ET. A bit hasty on your assertion of political feathers of bloggers in this community today.

Re: Europe (none / 1)

Invading is a misrepresentation of history

Capitalism's showing its ugly face once more since the downfall of the USSR is no reason to belittle the nastiness of actually existing socialism. The invasion of Hungary made quite an impression on the West European Left at the time ...

Your comment referred to the 1956 Hungarian Revolt and the Suez Crisis, Stalin's totalitarianism and Western imperialism. Today's two hot spots are indeed Eastern Europe and the Middle East, yet much has changed for the people. Not so for abuse of power by the mighty, claiming exceptionalism as mantra for evil deeds. Ugly politics and covert operations are ever present. The naive can't see through the propaganda, it takes historians to uncover what truly took place.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 19th, 2014 at 12:53:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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