To the European and World Community:
We, the representatives of the Right Sector of Maidan, address the international community (UN, USA, the EU and certain European countries) to express our position regarding the latest events in Ukraine.
Ukraine is currently experiencing a deep systemic socio-economic and political crisis. The financial and economic sectors are virtually in a state of default, which is further aggravated by the intensification of political confrontation between protesters who oppose the rampant corruption and repression and the Yanukovych regime. The country is virtually on the edge of an internal armed conflict that is being dictated by those in power. They are pushing the country towards massive bloodshed and posing a threat to not only post-Soviet societies but to countries in Central and South Europe.
We declare that our activists, together with millions of Ukrainians came out in November 2013 to peacefully protest against those in power – Viktor Yanukovych and the Party of Regions, who have been mired in corruption in all spheres of administrative, political and economic activity, who criminally violated the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, and who facto destroyed an independent judicial system and democratic institutions and openly started to usurp power in the country.
The regime has violated democratic principles, including free elections, freedom of choice, freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and imprisoned opposition politicians. It is establishing a dictatorship of one party that has virtually all of the characteristics of a mafia structure and a tyranny of one person – Viktor Yanukovych. As a result, the regime has responded violently to many of the peaceful actions of the Ukrainian people who were rightfully demanding the restoration of rule of law, fair elections, government accountability, and guarantees for their rights and freedoms, and an end to corruption and povery.
Numerous protesters, politicians and human rights activists have been arrested and imprisoned. In November and December 2013, the Yanukovych regime violated not only the law but also common sense. The world witnessed brutal violence and tyranny against civilians. In light of such actions of terror organized by the government and the lack of results from negotiations between the opposition and the government that had aimed at stopping the uncontrollable violence, patriotic parties and organizations united in the revolutionary movement known collectively as the Right Sector had no choice but to organize themselves and protect the civil rights and freedoms of Ukrainians in the face of mass terror, kidnappings and torture of innocent people and unjustified arrests and imprisonments carried out by special forces (including Berkut and Gryfon) and “titushki” (government sponsored street criminals). The regime has placed the country and the capital at the mercy of lawlessness, terror and tyranny!
Guided, therefore, by Article 5 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which was glaringly violated by the tyranny of Yanukovych, active citizens united in the Right Sector put up an active resistance to the brutal troops of the regime because, according to the Constitution, it is the people who are “the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine” and “the right to determine and to change the constitutional order in Ukraine belongs solely to the people and cannot be usurped by the state, its agencies or officials”. “Nobody can usurp the power”: this is stated in our Constitution! Accordingly, the actions of the Right Sector not only arose out of necessity and a sense of dignity and self-preservation but have also been justified by constitutional norms!
Moreover, these actions are justified by a number of international and European declarations and charters, including the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, adopted by the resolution 217A (III) of United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948, “whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to a rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law”.
In response, the regime has waged a war against its own people. In the middle of winter, with temperatures nearing -15 °C, it used water cannons [against protesters] even though, according to decree №49 from 27 February 1991 (“On Using Special Means for Protection of Public Order”), use of water cannons is prohibited in temperatures below zero degrees.
Berkut special forces used not only stun grenades, violating the rules governing their use, but also rubber bullets and later even metal projectiles, shooting the protesters in cold blood. The outrage reached an unprecedented cruelty when Berkut started to violently beat people already lying on the ground, including the doctors of the Red Cross, when people were kidnapped, tortured, taken hostage and their property being destroyed, and when people were killed! These are unheard signs of tyranny, terror and genocide in a country in the middle of Europe! In this light, all the accusations of extremism and provocations against Right Sector are absolutely groundless and unfounded.
We would therefore like to declare that we stand ready to defend the right of the Ukrainian people to fair elections and democracy using all possible means. At the same time, we recognize the danger of forcing the country into a civil war. Thus, we declare ourselves ready to seek potential ways of resolving the situation.
In the face of the hypocrisy of the criminal power and its policy of lies, intimidation and terror, we demand, in this initial stage of negotiations, to resolve the conflict through:
1. The unconditional release of everyone who has been taken hostage: The “Right Sector” is ready, at this stage, to begin negotiations on commitments and guarantees on both sides. The regime is currently attempting to stall and deceive the public as it is temporarily releasing the hostages without guaranteeing an end to the criminal proceedings against them.
2. Resignation of Yanukovych and a confirmation of the date for new presidential elections.
3. Immediate confirmation of the date for parliamentary elections and elections to the Kyiv City Council.
The Right Sector is ready to participate in the political processes of the state on the basis of a common position of patriotic and nationalist-conservative parties and organizations.
In the view of all of the above, we wish to adivse that the Right Sector has formed a Political Council, whose members are willing to seek common ground with a unified opposition. We believe that the democratic parliamentary opposition, if truly democratic, is obliged – given the unified nature of the oppositional forces, the role the Right Sector has played in revolutionary events in this country, and [the opposition’s] political and moral responsibilities before our nation and history – to commence consultations with the Right Sector’s Political Council on the participation of its representatives in a unified political process to resolve the conflict in our country.
The Right Sector also wishes to advise the representatives of the world community (the UN, the EU, the OSCE, the governments of European countries, and the United States) of its willingness to directly inform their representatives of the Right Sector’s vision on the situation in our country and possible ways of resolving it, to express its political and ideological ideals, to dispel unfounded accusations of extremism and the allegedly terroristic orientation of its member organizations, and to declare its position regarding Viktor Yanukovych and his regime.February 12, 2014, Kyiv, Ukraine
Translated by Oksana Poliakova
Edited by Lesia Stangret