Dear Europeans

By Aleksandra Kovaleva

I don’t know why, but I want to appeal to European politicians and diplomats. I know they will never read it, but I still want to write it.

So.

Dear Europeans,

As an activist of protests in Kiev, I want to confess. I have never liked the word “Euromaydan” (‪#‎Євромайдан‬). Especially since the protests have had nothing to do with Europe or the EU for more than two and a half months.

Two months ago, I was still able to justify this “Euro” naming with “European” values. Or rather, universal human values, which have lately been usurped by Europe from amok Russia, Belarus and other “North Koreas” in Asia.

But today, even the “European values” concept is gone as an argument. We skipped the “European” values. Because I cannot imagine a Europe where people would be able to fight and die for freedom and dignity. These concepts seem to have no use anymore in sluggish well-fed Europe.

Living in Europe, I saw many protests by Europeans. The very first day of protests, “civilized” people of Europe were beating storefronts, torching cars, and, moreover, they were looting as well. Ukrainians on Maidan peacefully stood on the square for long freezing months, despite the draconian actions of the authorities. So tell me, who has more right to talk about civility? We or you? I do not understand how you, dear European politicians, even dare to talk about extremism in Ukraine.

Following the protests in the EU, I came to the conclusion that almost all of your protests were provoked by the same issue. Money. Europeans have always lack money. For money, they go to the streets; for money, they beat cars; and even a general expression of quiet dissatisfaction is also about money, and things connected with it. Apparently, it is now the main ‘European’ value.

And while people are dying in Ukraine, fighting against injustice itself, fighting for their simple dignity, in Europe dignity has been already forgotten. Not because Europeans don’t have it; they just don’t need it. They don’t use it. Dignity is gone.

So, dear European politicians, why do you think you have the right to teach us something? Thanks to the horror in Ukraine, we finally see what you’re worth.

Different people standing now on Maidan–the intelligentsia, small and medium businesses, the remnants of the Ukrainian middle class, students and villagers–who are impressing me the most. Young and old villagers–they die fighting for what? For justice and freedom. In the 21st century in the middle of Europe. For fucking justice and freedom. And it does not matter anymore who started all this, who is right and who is wrong and whether there is any sense in all what is going on. The Monster uses tanks against people, his troops are shooting girls with Kalashnikov rifles, and those villagers who were never interested in politics, they arrived in a strange city with their pitchforks and shovels to die here for some sort of ephemeral dignity and some theoretical freedom that Europe has long since forgotten. Tell me, are your European burghers able to do something like this?

We are expecting your sanctions for our monsters, but you do not want to do it. After all, your economy is in trouble, and the money of our oligarchs helps you not to die. And you, dear European politicians, you do not care that this money was stolen from Ukrainians, from me personally, as well.

At the same time you try not to see the simple fact that you have yourself brought your economy to collapse, trying to revive stillborn financial system with new loans. You are guilty in your crisis, not Ukrainians. But you take the stolen money from the hands of Ukrainian gangsters, and when the Ukrainian people say “What is going on, dear Europeans? These bandits are killing us now over this stolen money you keep in your banks,” you, dear European politicians, cannot even freeze it. I am not even asking you to give it back. So who are you?

Yanukovych fucks you all this time. He fucks us also, but we at least try to resist. But you, dear European politicians, seem to even like it. Otherwise, why are you calling again and again to initiate any dialogue with this thug? You know that he was twice in jail, for years there he was with thieves and murderers, so his mental system mutated to psychopathy (I don’t even talk about the fact that he was in jail for real crimes). You know what he did in Donetsk after prison. But you keep talking about the peace negotiations. The Monster kills people, and you keep saying that he is legally elected. I will not talk about bribes and violations during elections. I’ll only note that Hitler was legally elected. And Stalin also had “elections.” Oops, sorry, what am I talking about? You had your arrangements with those guys too, didn’t you? Without any concerns of shame. You have good experience with collaborating with different dictators.

You know, in Ukraine we say, “Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes all alone.” And sometimes, as in your case, instead of the wisdom, age brings stagnation. You’re too old Europe. Mentally, historically. For hundred years you are not able to move actively, drowsing in your warm and wet swamp of comfort. Long time ago you fought for freedom / equality / fraternity, and then immediately you rested on your laurels. Over the years the laurels rotted, but you’re still not moving. You moved from human values to mercenary ones and feigned loyalty to burgeoning dictatorships. You are sleeping in your comfort. Comfort is good, I am happy for all of you, really. But still, you are sleeping.

You’re too old, you’re blind to what is happening, you are deaf and cannot hear the screams. You are no longer able to move your ass. But most of all you don’t want to help anyone as long as it does not bring you profit, but you pretend to be very important guys and you demand respect. Just like old people do. So drink your good wine, eat your eco-products, trade in the car every five years and do not move your ass.

Now, dear European politicians, you are free to accuse me of ageism.

While you waddle from side to side, feigning activity, the new country rises. Rises in the struggle for real values. And if we will rise (with or without you), we with pleasure will welcome you here and show you, dear European politics, what real human values are.

P.S.
I often go to Europe. And I always feel there that I am Ukrainian. It’s not too cool. Whatever anyone says, still it is cooler to be French, English, Italian or German. Ukrainian? Ah, not far from Russia? Vodka balalaika? European citizens intensify how not cool is feels to be Ukrainian. “You have no normal cheese in Ukraine,” “How can you drink your wine?,” “How do you live without normal meat?,” “Your corruption is disaster,” “God, cars here are so expensive and your men are so ugly,” “How do you live with such bad roads?” This is what European citizens say and they are right about everything. And I can only nod sadly, and feel like a representative of the Third World. Now these complexes have vanished.

I know that from now on I will smile every time Europeans will try to talk to me about our differences. Drink your good wine and buy your new cars, dear European politicias. We just have quite different values in life.

That’s all.
Sorry for my English.

And yes, thank you, Poland. We hear you and we love you.

Edited by Robin Rohrback

105 thoughts on “Dear Europeans

  1. Poland is with Ukraina, Kiev and protestants with all its heart. We are praying for your well being and for great changes to come in Ukraina that will serve its people. We are here to help in any way we possibly can!

  2. You got this American’s attention; I may not be able to do much on this side of the world, but I am praying for a Ukraine that isn’t influenced by either Russia or the EU. Keep speaking out.

    BTW, your English was just fine; you got your points across and that’s the main thing.

  3. Dear Alexandra
    People in Poland are not as rich as you write. Not most of us.
    But you’re right, that we have forgotten what is really important.
    Some days ago Polish people was fighting for freedom “of ours and yours”.
    Today Ukraine do it. You are fighting not only for you, also for us.
    Don’t give up! Do not be manipulated by politicians fighting each other for what belongs only to Ukrainian people. Neither the Russian nor the EU.
    Good luck!
    Lukasz

  4. Indeed, Europeans – and the West in general – have become complacent and pompous in their dealings with the rest of the world. Your opinion is spot-on. Fortunately, not everyone is in a state of permanent slumber of imbecilism. There are nations more aware of what it means to be free – such as Poland most definitely is. The West is unable/unwilling to grasp it is declining.

  5. Dear Aleksandra
    After having read your letter, i`m speechless. So bitter and so true. Don`t give up. Our thoughts are with you.
    Jakub,
    Poland

  6. I am too disappointed with how the Western hemisphere dealt with the Ukrainian crisis. My impression is that despite being in Europe, the country is still considered a periphery and far away land for many here in EU. Not to mention the current state of affairs in the continent with bankrupt states, UK opting for an exit and Swiss voting against immigration that ultimately is on the plate to be dealt with.

  7. Blaming Europeans for the situation in Ukraine isn’t the right thing.
    Your nation was asleep for to long. Things needed to be done earlier.
    In the late 80’s Poland was economically equal to ukraine (generally the situation was equal)
    yet we managed to stand up and move forward.
    You shouldn’t mention hitler or stalin, Your nation had some inglorious episodes with them to.
    A bit of self-criticism is a good thing.
    Generalizing, basing your opinion on your own experiences isn’t allways right.

    Karol
    Poland

  8. Dear Alexandra,
    I hear you loud and clear. Europe has shown its true colors and I am absolutely disappointed. It only made me stronger and more proud to be a Ukrainian. We are equal now in every regard, we are Europeans and we don’t owe anyone anything!

  9. Aleksandra,

    I trully understand your point and you got support from of a lot of people in Poland. I believe that what you wrote will be also a good message for all EU supporters. It’s now visible like on hand, on what support we can count on from EU govermant and united countries when it comes to crysis like in Ukraine. Everybody see that in Poland and in the west, and we all know that you deserve the freedom which humans needs. You fight for the right thing and a lot of people think about you and pray for your sucess and safe.

  10. I am very sure that my notice will not be popular but I remember some similar situation in Georgia, several years ago. We all know how it was finished. Any noticed activity from EU would be met with great pleasure from a big brother. The proverb tells “the friend in need is a friend indeed” but history teaches us that friends come (mostly) late. Unfortunatelly the not human actions of the regime made the situation unreturnable. It is hard to say but You, the Ukraine have had the chance to win and you have done it. But be very careful, the freedom s not done forever! Remember lost victory of 2014!.
    I wish all the best for all the Ukranian poeple!

  11. your English is great!!! Europe wake up, Putin wants to take Ukraine don’t abandon people. Ukrainian Brothers, Polish people in UK will fight for you on every corner we had the same in Poland in 1983 Solidarity with Ukraine!!!!

  12. We hear you Ukraine and we love you too! We wish you much success in this noble endeavour! May this wound in your country heal with time and all sickness of corruption and injustice be cleansed! You deserve recognition and have the right to live without fear of repression of corrupted governments. Stay strong and you shall win!

    Bogdan & Ola

  13. Dear Alekranda,
    I read your message and I’m amazed with your hate. You call yourself better, more ethical, fighting for higher values. Now you say that you love Poland but I would like to remind you that exactly 70 years ago this ethical nation slaughtered 200 thousands of Polish people, children, women, elderly, in which name? In the name of free Ukraine. I didn’t read it in a book or on the Internet. I’ve heard it from my grandparents. They’re still alive. They’re very old, but they clearly remember and never forget how their brothers Ukrainians were chopping off legs, arms, ears and letting people bleed to death, killing with saws and axes. They remember how they had to hide in the forest during the winter nights because Banderowcy were coming. And now you call them your heroes, yes you do, your lovely Banderowcy who fought for clean Ukraine were beasts and barbarians. So please don’t tell me whose ethics are higher and learn the history better. Here you have some example of your fighting for freedom:


    You want other countries to help you but you say you’re independent so what do you expect from them? I feel really sorry for your situation and I hope it will be better soon, but since you’re independent, no country will send their army to help you cause it’s called invasion and trust me, that it’s never good. Already couple countries tried to help Poland by invading. It never works. You need to do it by yourself and sort your stuff out alone. The truth is brutal but I wish you everything the best and despite our past I treat you as my brothers and sisters, I have a lot of Ukrainian friends, but please don’t call those people I mentioned, your heroes.

    • Dear Dorota,
      In a war you have two truths: both sides are barbaric in each other’s vision and each part is “the good one” in their vision.
      We live in the present. Are you going to turn against every citizen of a country that you had a minor or major conflict with? Are you going to throw everything into their face? You said 70 years ago,..so most of them are probably dead now. Let’s not generalise.
      Europe needs solidarity, respect and dignity to stay alive. We cannot turn back in time to change those horrific events, but we can prevent some right know.

    • I think it wasn’t necessary to show these horrid photos, Dorota…

      Part of my family was killed by the Ukrainians 70 years ago. Just because they were Poles. And it helps to see the whole history of hatred – and it’s consequences – between the two nations. And won’t forget it, regardless of the current political situation and current political correctness. But now is our turn to be wise. And to help. Not because they helped us or could do it in the future. Just because the future is ours. And is open. And we are free to enable it.

      (I have seen in several places in Ukraine Bandera’s statues and paintings. It hurts, if you know the story of Volhynian slaugter of Poles by the Ukrainian Bandera’s nationalists. But let the dead bury the dead. Though we cannot change the past, the future is not yet in textbooks.)

      Pozdrawiam!
      K.Cor.

  14. Your are right. Though, we can move our ass and we would like to see monster gone. But we have to admit it – we are afraid. We are afraid of what can come. You have no fear when people died. But we are. We are afraid not for us – I am sure of it, but for Ukraine and probably of Ukraine. We afraid of the Monster who can falsify elections, we afraid of Russia armed forces dividing the Ukraine as they did with Georgia, we afraid extreme guys from Maidan start revenge and more people (monsters) will die, we afraid of smugglers and criminals, we afraid that too much money, required to help Ukraine, we afraid that a lot of Ukrainians will took our jobs, we afraid of another bunch of Nazis who are present in Ukraine as well as in any other country.
    However, what you did on Maidan is inspiring. Inspiring fight for freedom. Inspiring fight for right to choose. Inspiring fight for values, which can be rarely described by politician or journalist. But easily felt by farmer, Maidan activist or police. This is what we need for our Europe currently. Refresh in values and motivation to build better society.
    So despite of our fears you inspire us Ukraine! And we would want to continue this journey together with you.

  15. Dear Aleksandra, dont be naive, i regret but Europe dont give a shi…. about eastern countries, you don`t need values you need credits,, you don`t need social support form laazy overfed communities living in comfort over the years, you need loans to reform, to build infrastructure. Unfortunately none of what your country needs will be given – european politics as usual. Anyway good luck! Godspeed!

  16. Don’t apologize for your English. It’s very good English. No doubts, Ukraine is part of Europe in every sense of this word. Our Ukrainian brothers and neighbours deserve the best!

  17. Dear Alexandra and dear Ukrainian friends!

    I want you to know, that since November your voice is laudly heard in Poland. And in the last days it is the main theme both in Polish media and in private discussions at Polish homes.

    Since few days the main tv news stations (TVP info http://www.tvp.info, TVN24 http://www.tvn24.pl, TVN Biznes i Swiat, Polsat News, etc.) broadcast non-stop live the videos and the interviews from Kiev Ukraine.
    I personally for example forwadred the link to the YouTube video “I am Ukrainian” to dozens of my friernds, mainly in the west European countries, being aware that the west of Europe is not focused so much on you as you deserve.

    Please note, that you are not alone in your inspirations to live normal and free life.
    We hope that situation in Ukraine not only in coming days, but also on the long term in coming YEARS will allow Ukrainians to live with hope for best future for you and your children.

    But first, we know, you have to go trough the trauma of all these dead citizens, who were killed in last days around Maidan.
    And that is my biggest concern today, on 22. Feb.
    You must never forget your victrims, but look into a future and try to build a stabile situation in the country to ensure your save life, which I hope will become a normal life in the future.

    Herewith i attach the link to the “Forreign Affairs Magazine” web site:
    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140336/mitchell-a-orenstein/six-markets-to-watch-poland
    – text of the article about Polish transformation in last 20 years. I thing that it was a big struggle for many Poles, but today (even if we are only on the part of the way) most of Poles beleive that these economical struggles and concesnsus on main political targets were worth of where we are now.

    So I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you to succeed in this.
    Best regards!

  18. I truly think that all that was possible to support Ukraine in fight for freedome was done.
    Do not accuse Europe of you faith.
    – ALL european media talk 24/7 about Ukraine and what is happening there and why it is important for tle world to solve the conflict peacefully.
    – Polish government for the first time since ever has united and stated that: blood mess needs to be over immediatly
    – Polish government activised UE to support Ukrainian cause and we sent Sikorski to help you guys negotiate, since we Poles have already been there in 1981, when tanks were on our streets for two years!

    – Poland supports eventual refugees and we are well prepaired (hospitals, places to sleep and so on)
    – We try to send money and medicine, because material support is almost prohibited in your country.
    – All Polish people support the cause, share stuff on FB, go to the streets to show the support.

    I ask you: WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED? In my opinion it is only tanks we can send to help more, but it will cost tens of thousands of lives.

    Moreover: radicals on Maidan hold red-black flags, which are related to radical ukrainian parties responsible for mass murder of polish People (60 thousand people murdered!) in 40s’ previous century, which your ukrainian historicians deny and try to convince the world that it was Poles who murdered Ukrainians (there was retaliation which caused up to 3 thousand deaths on ukrainian side).
    We however try not to talk about it at this time, since it is most important for everyone that Ukraine becomes fully democratic country and you can live in peace and with dignity you ask for.

    Come on.

  19. Dear Aleksandra,
    I can find myself, my friends, my family, in every word that you wrote. People in Western Europe don’t have moral values anymore. I live in Uk right now and what you said it’s true: they only talk about money. We, in the East, have other values such as dignity, family, respect for nature, respect for our national symbols and respect for our citizens. We care. Let’s be proud of it.
    Stay strong Ukraine! You are an example for everyone.
    Romania is with you.

  20. I am with you, girl, and I am with you, Ukraine!
    After the last part with feeling pride from now on with being Ukrainian, I really wished I could hug you.
    Your text is so bitter, but so-so true… I wish our country, people, politicians, media cared more about you.

    …from Hungary

  21. Hi,

    I am sad to hear your opinion about western europe. I leave in France and all the people I know care about ukrainians being able to become free and we strongly support you. It is true that our ancestors already fought for their freedom so we are now leaving comfortably but this doses not mean that we do not see and we do not care about the fights of the others. You should not offend all western europe people so bluntly we are many that we support you and we would do everything that is possible to help you and reading your post made me really sad.

  22. Pingback: Pilant's Business Ethics Blog | Ukrainian President Ousted

  23. Dear Sasza,
    Please, forgive that my gouverment is not as active as should be. We, polish people, are deaply concerned about your Country. We are trying to get as much information as possible about current situation. We are praying for you, constantly thinking and taking about Ukraine. Some of us are in a bit mess as here, in Poland we still didn’t resolve our communism past issue ( as people who were responsible for protection of communism have never been sentenced, or they are receiving a big gouverment rent, there is still a lot of jurnalist that are claiming that those, communism gouverments were good and very humanitary), but please, do not consider them as a general, polish citizens, opinion. I wish you good luck. You are our brothers and sisters. You will always be important for us. With love, Aleksandra, Poland

  24. Aleksandra Kovaleva I really do feel for You, but this is much more complexed on Ukrainian side. You spoiled and devastated the Orange movement. Your society did not really understood the nature of reforms, which are never easy. You have turned yourself into even greater trouble choosing new politicians, who appeared to by not a single bit different from the previous corrupted communists, including (sadly) Julia Tymoshenko. Now you probably have the last chance to reconcile with the tough nature of reforms, which from this point will be even much harder. I strongly doubt that your people are any different from the economical point of view, as even your previos revolutionists appeared to have betrayed you and used power to their own personal benefit. I was deaply disapointed with Wiktor Juszczenko and Julia Tymoshenko who not only have stolen your money, but they did it in a way, you somewhat pretend not seeing this, maybe to avoid the situation of being accused of total stupidity or being naive. Neverthless You have learned your lesson (I hope) & you will make it in a different way this time around.

  25. Ukrainians, you are a great example to Europe. The Ukrainian people have defended their rights while not allowing the fight to slip into a civil war like in Syria. What you are doing is real democracy. I hope your actions will cast sparks on other post-soviet states. All the best from Poland! I am proud to be your neighbor.

    I don’t think though that western Europeans wouldn’t fight for their rights, but their oppression is much more subtle. Many decide to trade in their responsiblities and freedom for security, and so democracy erodes step by step, and few notice it.
    I think the real battle for the Ukrainians is just before you: to return to everyday life and not allow society slip back into the post-soviet relations, as the example of Egypt shows: toppling a dictator is only the beginning.

  26. Such a great article!! Europe seems to forget who is the REAL enemy. They forgot that THEIR OWN SOCIALISM is the cause of all the trouble even in their own countries. And now they want to export it in our own (Romania, Ukraine, Poland and so on). But we are “vaccinated” here, and see immediately their lies, this they also forgot: 🙂

    “You know, in Ukraine we say, “Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes all alone.” And sometimes, as in your case, instead of the wisdom, age brings stagnation. You’re too old Europe. Mentally, historically”

    ..

    “European Union, as an old=fashioned socialist bureaucracy, is “fundamentally unreformable” and also culturally hostile to the United States, therefore making military cooperation impossible. European defense is an idea in search of itself. It currently amounts to a paper army with paper resources, and its battlefields is a desktop in Brussels. The paucity of command and control assets and high-readiness units is potentially debilitating, as is the scarcity of high-end air units and precision weaponry.

    “(A unified) ‘Europe’ is the result of plans. It is, in fact, a classic utopian project, a monument to the vanity of intellectuals, a programme whose inevitable destiny is failure: only the scale of the final damage done is in doubt.”

    During my lifetime most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it. [..] What we should grasp, however, from the lessons of European history is that, first, there is nothing necessarily benevolent about programmes of European integration; second, the desire to achieve grand utopian plans often poses a grave threat to freedom; and third, European unity has been tried before, and the outcome was far from happy.”

    (On Who Got Credit For Ending The Cold War) “The role of Ronald Reagan had been deliberately diminished; the role of the Europeans, who, with the exception of Helmet Kohl, were often keen to undermine America when it mattered, had been sanitized; and the role of Mr. Gorbachev, who had failed spectacularly in his declared objective of saving communism and the Soviet Union, had been absurdly misunderstood.”

    “(Gorbachev’s) remarks in Prague seemed to me, to say the least, of doubtful validity. Yet nor should they be lightly dismissed. They represent the articulation of a strategy, common to the left in many countries, of seeking to escape all blame for communism and then going on to take credit for being more pragmatic, modern, and insightful about the world which those who actually fought communism have created. It is a pressing necessity to expose and defeat both distortions.” –

    “It is always important in matters of high politics to know what you do not know. Those who think that they know, but are mistaken, and act upon their mistakes, are the most dangerous people to have in charge.”

    “(I)t is highly questionable whether when ‘Europe speaks with one voice’, as we are so often told it is doing, anyone is really listening. Europe’s reputation as a serious player in international affairs is unenviable. It is a feeble giant who desperate attempts to be taken seriously are largely risible. It has a weak currency and a sluggish inflexible economy, still much reliant on hidden protectionism. It has a shrinking, ageing, population and, with the exception of Britain, rather unimpressive armed forces and, not excepting Britain, muddled diplomacy”.

    “The blunt truth is that the rest of the European Union needs us more than we need them.”

    Margaret H Thatcher

    All quotes are from her last book, ‘Statecraft’.

    • Greetings from Romania, btw. We have the same struggle here, as you have there. 20 years after the former communist president sent miners to beat us all, we still fight against their mass media, informers, oligarch, titutztkis and so on. That’s why we are so glad to see that you don’t want to make the same mistakes as we did, and you are not willing to compromise at all!

      If you need help or any kind of support, just give us a sign. Slava Ucraina!! 🙂

      http://inliniedreapta.net/tag/ucraina/

  27. With such attiture you probably just fed the Eastern twin of your “Monster” by providing the fact that you somewhat despise rest of the Europe. It can be a seed for possible discord future when you’re part of it. Ask yourself why opinion of some individuals of European origin had such influence on your obviously self-contained mind and origin. Nobody in the world can doubt your rights to be proud of what you have. If they do, just screw it and laugh in their face.

    If Europe were acting more “actively”, like threatening “the Monster” or even offering military force to support Maidan – the victory of taking back your stolen dignity would not be yours. Even more – it would have woken the Monster much greater than we could ever imagine. I’m really glad it all went as it went so far in Kiev. And praying for you to succeed this time and not to allow previous mistakes. and become ally with EU people.

    We similarily went on barricades in Riga, too in january, 1991. We had the barricades and our heroes. Some of our best cameramen died while filming the specnaz bullets fired in their direction. And it was those films sent and shown abroad and our determination to fight for our freedom alltogether that saved our regained independence. Filmed materials were sent out as visual message to the world in time when there were no Facebook, no blogs, no Twitter, in right time. I deeply thank every country that supported us back then.

    My humble advices for Ukraines near future now will be based on our own mistakes. Take it or leave it, it’s your choice. Taking them may make you to recover and grow more quickly than we could when we had our chances.

    1) Money is not what matters for Europe as it has it sufficiently. There is no crisis in EU, check validity of your information sources. Energy is the keyword, and yes, Ukraine can help with it in the future, and yes, Russia can lose lots of its profits because of that. So you’re part of these economical interests crossroads, so negotiate wisely.

    2) Establish “zero point” for individuals income declaration from the very start. Declare amnesty for corrupt money by defining 1 year to declare it without consequences. Define ceiling for the amount. Declare all other money as of illegal origin. It is crucial to avoid oligarchy to “restart” and “resprawl”.

    3) Define all offshore transaction targets to be discloseable if requested by state reveny service or similar controlling institutions. Enough said.

    4) Consolidate higher education and industrial research facilities by building labs for science-education-innovation clusters. Fund translation of Aristotles “Politics” to Ukranian, make it mandatory in highschools. Be generous on science and education budget. It will pay back sooner than you expect.

    5) Rebuild the transport infrastructure connecting strategic transit objects. Rebuild the rest of it using increased revenues from the former co-funded with aid expected to become available from ERDB.

    6) Let your new president meet Poland’s. Discuss the worst common part of your history. Let them apologize and forgive to each other in public.

    7) Make path for your current enemies to apologize and become loyal if they want to. Give promise to co-fund development of poorer regions and keep it.

    8) Make rule for students that are going abroad on foreign student exchange programs to return and work for the country for 3 years.

    9) Forbid wearing any symbols of Stalin or Nazi regimes. Support nationalism to keep the traditional celebrations, costumes, songs. Prevent its extreme versions and fear of otherness to be used in politics.

    10) Support any peaceful religion. Keep faith, whatever comes next.

    Sincerely,

    Jānis
    Riga, Latvia

  28. Dear Aleksandra,

    you delivered some good message and I’m pretty sure, that you are right in many ways. But let me comment your P.S.

    I’m a 29 year old guy from Germany who thinks of himself to be quite free from prejudice and bigotry. I love to travel Europe, Asia, and the US – in fact, I’ve been to almost every country in the EU and most of the countries in Middle-East-Europe. I’ve been twice to Ukraine, 2010 in Lviv and 2013 in Kiew and Donetsk, and enjoyed it a lot. Sure, not everything looked like high-priced Munich or New York City, but I met wonderful people and had an awesome time. While Lviv impressed me by it’s old-town architecture, I liked Kiew because of it’s great history and sights. Even Donetsk was worth a visit – people were the most friendly I’ve had met in years. I didn’t miss any sights or museums, because the friendliness of the people and the wonderful pubs/clubs was an event on its own.

    In the end, I had only two negative experiences. Having arrived at Kiew airport, we were ripped off by a taxi driver – we had a fix arrangement for two persons and took the usual care, but later on he threatened us to get the double amount. The second negative experience happened at Kiew airport itself, when two policemen wanted a bribe. We had bought a beer at the store and took it 20 meters to the restroom – we didn’t know it was a problem because we had bought it there (it was, unfortunately), but they hid in a distance and waited for it to happen just to get some money. In the US or Europe policemen wouldn’t have done that – they would have told us not to do it again and that would have been it. In Kiew they wanted to write an criminal complaint (what would have resulted in us paying ca. 20 Euros per person and missing our flight) or a bribe of 20 Euros in cash.

    I can understand all of your complaints against corruption and the political system. I can understand that you’re fed up with European politicians and maybe Europe itself. And sure you’re right, that Europe has its on problems, acts in quite an ambivalent way and is full of prejudices. But to be honest: Aren’t many of the problems discussed on the Maidan resp. involved in this revolution based on prejudices themselves? There are those right-wing-extremists on the Maidan, there are those Russians vs. Ukrainian problems and there is always the question of what comes next after Yanukovech. As you know probably best, Timoschenko is not the best example when it comes to corruption and shady activities. So what is the exit strategy? Where are the ideals? Why don’t people on the Maidan fight against corruption, no matter which parties or politicians will be the next in power (people in from Lviv to Donetsk to the Crimea would have supported that and there would have been no need to face Russian invasion)? The heterogenity of the protest and the different political goals of the people on the Maidan are the biggest weaknesses that might even result in an Egyptian or Syrian-like civil war leading to a Russian invasion in Kiew. Europe and the US will not go to war for Ukraine – just remember what happened in Georgia 2008. If you don’t come up with an exit option leading to a political goal you can realistically achieve – let’s call it the the fight against corruption – all of your sacrifices and losses might have been of no earthly use and led to an even worse political system.

    I wish you and the Ukraine the best of luck and a happier future – and I would love to return to your country any time.

    Stefan

    P.S.: The best way to overcome prejudices is tourism. Invite Europeans to Ukraine and explain why the should give Kiew or whatever other place a shot. Every country has its unique atmosphere and beautiful places – stay open-minded and tell tourists more about your country. They will apppreciate it as I did before.

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