Russian-speaking Dnipropetrovsk has always been impartial in its opinion on the rest of Ukraine. None of the local politicians sparked anti-Ukrainian hysteria, but there has been no uprise of Ukrainian patriotism here either. Back in February thousands of Dnipropetrovsk citizens, akin to those in Donetsk and Kharkiv, gathered for Anti-Maidans.
Everything changed in March, when local industrial magnate Igor Kolomoyskiy became the governor of the oblast, and the co-owner of the biggest shopping mall in the city “Passage” Boris Filatov was appointed his deputy. By the way, during the last days of Yanukovich’s presidency, when Filatov was outside of Ukraine, the government quickly made up criminal charges against the businessman because the big screen inside “Passage” shopping mall, instead of traditional advertising, started broadcasting Channel 5 during the clashes in Maidan. Continue reading →
On Friday, May 25, secondary schools throughout Ukraine, including Crimea, were holding ceremonies marking the official end of the school year. Students graduating from the Lesya Ukrainka Gymnasium No. 5 in Sevastopol, along with their teachers, wore vyshyvankas (Ukrainian embroidered shirts) to school as a sign of protest against Russian occupation of the peninsula.
A few days ago Lev Shlozberg, member of the council of the Pskov region, stood up and addressed a silent audience. They all listened in awe. He attacked the prevailing mood in Russia, comparing the attacks on “people’s traitors” and the mass patriotic hysteria with the atmosphere in the 1930s under Stalin. And if that was not enough, he continued to expose the corruption in the governor’s office, the deal and tricks that allowed the ruling class to enrich itself and keep the rest of the population in poverty. “These are the real people’s traitors,” he said, “these are the people that ruin our country.”