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Articles | 1115 | 24.02.2017

Three years after the Maidan. Chance for an alternative

Oleksandr Klymenko about Maidan in Ukraine

February. Kyiv. Barricades on Bankova Str. People in tents on Maidan. Police borders. Clashes between “activists” and representatives of law enforcement agencies.

Each Ukrainian has such pictures from February 2014 in his mind. Such course of events became crucial and tragic for Ukraine.

However, nowadays, it is February 2017. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. Former participants of the Maidan have other attitude to current course of events. In addition, TV shows different pictures.

Foreign embassies have other rhetoric. There is more sarcasm and disappointment among the publications of Ukrainians in social networks, instead of patriotic appeals. What are the consequences of three years after the Maida? Could we avoid such “life in a new way”?  Does our country still have a chance for an alternative?

Historical evaluation of any event is given much later of the event itself. What should the events of February 2014 considered to be? Was it revolution, a coup d’état or an external intervention? Time will tell. It is clear that the above-mentioned events have affected the lives of each Ukrainian.

Immediately after those tragic events on the Maidan, it was called the Revolution of Dignity.  People were invited to take part in protests for the sake of European integration of Ukraine. People were assured that the “regime” of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych was the only obstacle on the way to European future. Every person saw something “own” in this global future. Some dreamed of social standards of the EU, others dreamed of the similar opportunities in terms of self-realization, others wanted prosperity.

If we talk without emotion, I offer to look through the quality of fulfilled basic “requirements” of the Maidan.

Thus, European future and the myths, which were strongly imposed on Ukrainians during January-February 2014, have remained an unrealized dream.

Nowadays, three years later, Ukraine is even further from Europe than it was that time. The Association Agreement did not lead to significant advantages either in the economy, or in politics. The bureaucracy has remained, taxes have not been decreased, European market is not full of our goods. Nowadays, they tease us or blackmail for the visa-free regime. However, even the most notorious Euro-optimists have already understood that it is nothing more than a dummy. Documents that regulate the cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union have been seriously revised by European structures. No one even speaks about the terms of possible prospect of Ukraine’s membership in the EU.

Ukraine is actively losing its friends and allies in the international arena due to efforts of the current government. The main failure of Ukrainian diplomacy is spoiled relationship with the Germans and Poles, who were the main advocates of Ukraine in the Europe. The word “nein” that was painted by Goncharenko on a fragment of the Berlin Wall near the German embassy in Kyiv became an excellent symbol for summarizing the progress of euro-integration during the last three years.

Nein. No. The wall between Ukraine and Europe will not fall as it was in Berlin.

Hopes for European standard of living for Ukrainians, European standards for fulfilment of rights and freedoms were not justified either.

The economy of Ukraine simply fell. Experts calculated that during the last two years, export has dropped by 35%.  At the same time, export to Europe has increased by 4%. Trading with Russia and its allies has decreased by almost zero as it was expected.

There was no significant activation of relations with the EU. It did not take place despite the fact that it was one of the main arguments of the supporters of the association and initiators of the Maidan.

The list of the goods that are required on European markets is even more demonstrative. Raw materials and semi-finished products. The last drop is the categorical demand of European partners to lift restrictions on cutting and export of the Carpathian wood.

Ukrainians did not receive things, which were promised and expected for. Later, the country paid a terrible price for the painted picture of “European dream” on the sand.

It is still paying.

The list of losses is much more longer than achievements.

People were taken out to the square under the slogans of building European democracy. After that they were suddenly said: “Those, who is not with us, are standing against us!”

People were divided and confronted on various grounds.

Everyone discuss that Ukrainians have been turned into warring groups of “ukrop”, “separatists”, “nationalists” and “Kremlin agents”, Ukrainian and Russian native speakers, “soviets” and “decommunizers”, parishioners of “right” and “wrong” churches.

It seems that all moral and legal restrictions on threat of use of force and weapons have been removed

In late November 2013, plethora people came out on the streets in order to stand against unjustified (according to them) use of force by “Berkut” against unarmed demonstrators. Citizens were outraged at violence as an argument in political debates.

Three years later such discussions were ceased. In fact, there is no place to carry it out. All the media and TV are under the control of the government. Those, who did not want to come to heel, are being closed due to criminal cases, deprivation of licenses or other tools.

Territorial integrity has been violated for the first time since independence due to the scenario that was externally imposed on our country in February 2014. The attempt to solve the problem via force led to a war that has no end. According to experts, more than 10 thousand people were killed, 22 thousand were wounded. More than 1.7 million IDPs from the conflict zone are wandering through the country. More than 3 million people are still residing in the conflict zone.

Their fate – it is the most vivid illustration of the protection of human rights in Ukraine today. These people are deprived of social assistance. In fact, they are deprived of their suffrage, limited in their movement and access to administrative services. However, society is not standing against it. It seems that Ukrainians have become insensitive to discrimination, death, suffering and injustice.

Supporters of the Maidan do not give up. During the last three years, they have lost all conceivable and inconceivable “pros”. Nowadays, they clutched one thing: «on the other hand, we have dismissed Yanukovich».

Yes, Yanukovych was dismissed. However, they brought another “king” to the throne. President Poroshenko that was elected due to his promises of peace and life “in a new way” is not shy to own business and evade taxes through off-shores and low-tax jurisdictions. Current government does not even try to play democracy. Though, it demonstratively concentrates power and money in the hands of the one clan. Our industry is torn to pieces. Our resources are exported. Our people are used as one of the cheapest labour forces in the world. In fact, only one mainstay has not fall. It comes about the permission to sell our Ukrainian land.

The Ukrainians remained at the broken trough. Inflation at the level of 70% and depreciation of the national currency by 3.3 times are the results of the “reforms”. In 2016, there are new utility tariffs. The bills have already exceeded the amount of the minimum wage or pension. Consequently, current tariffs for necessary basic services are literally incompatible with life.

However, it seems that the authorities do not care about it. It’s obvious: it still transfers expenses from oligarchs to ordinary citizens. Instead of a democratic European country, we got an oligarchic banana republic.

Three years ago, such course of events seemed to be nothing more than an apocalyptic picture. However, it is our current reality.

I believe that there is only one advantage. In particular, we got rid of unnecessary illusions. Nowadays, three years after the Maidan, the only positive result of the events – is the general sobering. Plethora illusions was destroyed. We saw the true value of human life.

We lost a lot. We got only one thing: a chance to find that dignity that seemed to be found three years ago.

Maybe it seems to be a little. We have already tired not only of the course of events, but also of missed chances.

Although, this is the only way to success. To peace, prosperity, justice and law. It must be the own path. Not externally imposed, neither by the United States, nor Europe, nor Russia.

This path is about the fact that we have to be guided by our own national interests in terms of internal and foreign policy. We have to build equally pragmatic relations with both Europe and Russia. We have to finish this fratricidal war in Donbas. We must admit obvious things: Donbas residents are the same Ukrainians as well as those people, who live in other regions of the country. They have the same civil rights, including the right to state social assistance.

We have to focus not on the IMF’s advice that destroys our economy, but development of national production, creating new workplaces and support for our entrepreneurs.

We have to force oligarchs to pay taxes and dividends to the state budget from the seized state enterprises. We have no right to organize tariff and price genocide for ordinary citizens.

We have to support and provide our Ukrainian young people with assistance in self-realization, not to deprive them of scholarship and push them out towards emigration.

It is time to finish medical and pension reforms, to provide Ukrainians with qualitative medical care and opportunity to have dignified old age.

We must be tough and systemic in terms of establishing order in the streets of our cities. We have to bring to justice the perpetrators of the riots that destabilize the situation in the country. We have no choice, but to govern a system of operation of law enforcement agencies and the prosecutor’s office and ensure compliance with the laws.

Plethora people can state: it is impossible. The country has no alternative anymore.

We, together with the team of the «Uspishna Kraina» state: no. Everything is possible. In order to achieve it, those, who do not want to live in illusions and not ready to transfer responsibility for the country to others, should unite. Those, who are ready to love the country not by slogans, but by daily work and creation. Those, who believe, that the power – it is serving and creating, not the mean of fill up own pocket.

There are such people today. We have such people in our team of the “Uspishna Kraina”. Together we are confident: “An alternative exists. There is an own path for the country”.

Ukraine has a chance for alternative path and its following for enormous price. The path towards Ukraine that can be dreamed of by each its citizen. Regardless of preferences, confession and language.

Maybe this is the last chance for our country.

Let’s not lose it.

Link to source: Vesty

Photo: 20minutes.fr