16 April 2014 — Strategic Culture Foundation
The civil disobedience movement in the Ukraine’s South East spreads around growing into a people’s uprising.
The industrial region is actually the major contributor to the country’s budget. At that, during the 22 years of Ukraine’s existence as an independent state it has not acquired any role in the political life of the country worth of its economic potential or the size of population. Any attempts of South-Eastern Ukraine to offer state structure reforms or put forward the idea of making Russian an official language have been immediately and flatly rejected by Kiev.
The coup brought to power extreme right Ukrainian nationalists. They started to threaten the population of the south-eastern part of the country which tried to preserve its national Russian authenticity. The people were actually pushed to take resolute actions to defend themselves. Now they are not as quite as they used to be before – they raise their voices and are ready to become a force to reckon with, no matter what it may worth.
Moreover, they offer new solutions and a new pattern of political dialogue. The proposals put forward are related to Ukraine becoming a federal state and envision more democracy by expanding people’s participation in local governance bodies. The newly formed political and civil structures in the South-East are nothing else but the elements of emerging civil society.
Kiev does not view the civil initiatives and protests in the South-East as the actions reflecting the people’s wish to reform the state and make Ukraine a comfortable place to live in. They paint the movement as the «Kremlin’s provocations» and «subversive activities of Russian special services». Central Ukrainian TV channels will never show the footage shot in the small populated area of Rovenki (the Lugansk region) where local dwellers, mainly women, hit the streets to defend the town from the incoming formations of Pravy Sector militants. There are more documentary footages shot each day to show mass non-partisan civil protests of grassroots.
During the whole month Kiev has been talking to a major part of the country’s population using the language of threats, ultimatums and accusations of separatism.
Behaving like an odious dictatorship, the Kiev regime announced the launching of «anti-terrorist operation» against the South-East. The first blood is there. Troops are being dislocated to quell the protests. Kiev never made precise what terrorists it is fighting, but the regime is actually waging combat actions against its own people and their self-organization structures, it’s nothing else but the fight against democracy…
With the war on its own people declared, no way can the regime represent the whole Ukraine at the international four-party talks to take place on April 17. This fact is obvious.
The world should know what the South-East has to say listening directly to those who represent its people.
The mass protests have moved to the stage of becoming a popular uprising. Under the conditions, only an immediate implementation of the protesters’ demands can allow Ukraine to preserve its territorial integrity. They are well-known: to hold local referendums on self-determination making precise the powers delegated to the regions, to make Russian an official language of the country, to tear up the European Union – Ukraine association agreement and the restoration of friendship and strategic cooperation relationship with Russia.
The delay of the Kiev’s positive response to the South-East, or even punitive actions against it, will eliminate the state of Ukraine, at least within its contemporary borders.