The Russian weapons have turned the territories controlled by separatists into a real military stage. Part of the population supports the rebels, as they are promising the renewal of order and Soviet values. As “Ukrayinskiy Tyzhden” writes, the separatists see themselves as heirs of the soldiers of the Great Patriotic war, “have to oppose America and Germany,” “neo-nazis” and “imperialists.” But this is not all. They also want to renew “social justice” and establish the government of “civil communities.” In the first weeks of the conflict, this Soviet dimension was not too noticeable, notes the medium. In Donetsk and Luhansk, “people’s courts” have already appeared, which punish those who are disagreeable, as well as a secret police, which was modestly dubbed the “NKVD.” The separatists dream to once again nationalise the local economy and destroy the oligarchs. Continue reading
Near Sloviansk, in Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk there is optimism and faith in victory, writes blogger Alexey Arestovich
Today, I am going to talk about the good things. When you read the news-feeds for 15 minutes, you get a feeling of total disaster. Yet near Sloviansk, in Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk, at the headquarters of the self-defense units, you become filled with optimism and a faith in victory.
As it happens, I am now actively working with the military, self-defense units of different oblasts, and Kyiv. I am dealing with state officials, police, the Security Service of Ukraine, and the guys from the Right Sector. And you know what? I think we are crossing through the mountain pass.
There are so many honest, selfless people, who are sacrificing themselves for the sake of the new Ukraine, and the future. I could have never imagined that, despite all of my optimism.
People are really working. They really want to change the country and the system. They are not taking bribes and are not accepting very attractive schemes. They are truly sacrificing themselves and all that they have.
You know how heavily I criticize the state and the state system. Yet, I was completely struck with amazement seeing that today officials are talking the same way as I am and have started to work to change everything. People believe. Naturally, there are a lot of shortcomings. But the war unites everyone, and makes everything appear simple and crystal clear.
The healthiest atmosphere is at the forefront. You look at the people: they are dirty, sick and unshaven. They haven’t eaten for several days, have suffered losses, being under the fire every day, but are still standing straight and keeping their heads up high. The activists in the occupied cities are risking everything to win the battle. This is a new nation.
And, now, the rear. I went to my local residents’ registration office, and I was amazed by the courtesy of the employees and of the head of the office. I heard: “How are you?”, “How can we help you?”, “Elderly lady, please have a seat, here’s a free one.” And, you know what, I started to cry. We are crossing through the mountain pass, through the total disbelief and lies, through a huge wave of slander and insults, through the losses and hardships.
As a result of the tragic events in Odesa we have reached the breaking point. It was after May 2 when the state started slowly, with rumbling and crumbling, and with sediment, turning towards the people, interacting with the activists. There is a revolution in the minds of the officials.
New people have entered the system who want to change it. Bureaucratic obstacles are falling down. Officials are saying that there is a need to establish horizontal links. Efforts are being made to manage defense affairs without delay. People are helping each other as much as they can.
Even more severe tests are lying ahead of us, but our dear Ukraine will never be the same. She is young and beautiful, as a bride. She will march forward and beneath her feet flowers will blossom. An eternal spring, the spring of our victory is waiting for us. We shall build a totally different future, brand-new and beautiful, and then the whole world will be like that too.
I had thousands of opportunities to leave to different countries. I am so glad that I didn’t. I love you, my Motherland.
Translated by Katherina Smirnova; edited by Olena Wawryshyn
Translation by Sarah Phillips (note that in the original text in Ukrainian, it probably should have been February 18, 2014, instead of January 18):
“Disabled sportsmen uphold the honor of the Ukrainian state not only in sports…
Yesterday evening it became known that Dmytro Maksimov, a silver and bronze medalist in judo at the Deaf Olympic games in Sofia, died on Independent Square on January 18th, 2014. Relatives identified the young man’s body only yesterday.
A torturous, horrible death… The 19-year old Deaf athlete and a friend from training went with a group who were defending the Ukrainian state on Independence Square. When the shoot began, a grenade ripped off his hand. Someone took the young man to the Trade Union building, where he died from blood loss. His body lay in the Mykhailovskyj Cathedral several days.
Dmytro Maksymov was a real hope for the Ukrainian national Deaf…
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Was it terribly scary on Hrushevsky Street? It wasn’t, when it was heavy action. I’m opposed to Yanukovych because of the low salaries and poverty. Yes, I understand that the EU Association Agreement doesn’t mean that everything will all of a sudden become great and that we’ll see an [immediate] rise in salaries. It won’t be easy at first, maybe even harder than it is now. We’ll need a little time. But then it will improve. What do I want most of all? I want it to be over. But we’ll stand here till the end. Continue reading