Uncle Volodya says, “When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state. “
Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. The redirection of Ukraine is not going at all well; in fact, it probably now occurs to the architects of the bring-Ukraine-into-the-western-fold-and-snatch-it-from-Putin plan that it could hardly have gone worse. The country is stony broke and groaning under a mountain of debt, the government is broadly perceived as illegitimate and self-appointed despite the west’s loud shouting that it was established in the finest traditions of democratic struggle, an early and blindingly stupid decision to pander to the west-Ukraine base by altering the status of languages in Ukraine aroused fury across the Southeast, and so incensed the mostly-Russian Crimea that it threw down its hat on the floor and slammed out of the building forever; gonzo, off to join the Russian Federation by popular acclaim. Another earlier terrible decision – to recognize Kosovo – kicked the legs out from under western arguments that a unilateral declaration of independence is against international law. Now Ukraine has lost a good-sized chunk of its seacoast, not to mention its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), along with significant deposits of oil and gas, some of which already had exploration deals signed with the United States and Italy, now null and void. Routing the South Stream pipeline along a shallow shelf rather than through the deepest part of the Black Sea – as would have had to be done to avoid Ukrainian territorial waters which now belong to an independent Crimea – will save Gazprom $10 Billion right off the top. Sometimes the only thing that will make you feel better is to go off and have a good cry.
But how did we get here? Did events have to unfold the way they did? They certainly did not, but I’m glad you asked. Because modern man has a short memory, and things move so fast in our world that peddling an alternate narrative even a short time later is relatively easy. What really happens often goes down The Memory Hole. But I like to think of bloggers, along with being the last shred of journalism’s conscience, as a kind of grating over the memory hole, that prevent big stories from falling through and disappearing. Here to refresh everyone’s memory on events so recently transpired, is hoct. Those letters are short for Hero Of Crappy Town, from a quote by Firefly’s Hoban Washburne; “Let’s go to the crappy town where I’m a hero”. Advertising himself as “Anti-state, anti-empire, pro freedom”, hoct is comin’ at you live from Ljubljana, the capital of beautiful Slovenia. Take it away, hoct!
The Toppling of Viktor Yanukovich: Points to Remember
Few Ukrainians Will Mourn Yanukovich’s Departure
Polling from February 2014 indicated only 23% of Ukrainians supported the government of Yanukovich against the opposition and the protesters. The West-Center of Ukraine resented him his corruption, his authoritarianism and his failure to definitely orient economically towards Brussels and sided decisively against him. But equally so the South-East of Ukraine failed to rally behind him, in the way that West-Center had rallied behind the opposition. Indeed why would it have?
From the point of view of many in the South-East Yanukovich was corrupt, indecisive and had lied to them about where he was planning to take the country. For example, after Yanukovich was elected head of state in 2010, largely on the votes of the Russian-speaking South-East Ukraine, he and the people around him wasted no times in initiating trade talks with the European Union that led to the 2013 EU Association Agreement proposal, but only came around to making Russian a regional state language in 2012. That is, fully two years after taking power, but just in time for his party to receive a boost for the 2012 parliamentary elections.
As a consequence of his cynicism in ignoring the aspirations of the South-East, except immediately before elections, the segments of the population that had propelled him to power in 2010 withdrew support and he was left to fend for himself. Continue reading