Let’s get real about the situation in Ukraine, it is in fact a war. It’s a war that has been waged by the Victor Yanukovych “mafia” against the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people since the Orange Revolution in 2004. It is only in the past few weeks that this war has escalated from political, economic and individual attacks, to violence against the people who have been peacefully demonstrating against the Yanukovych regime for the past two months.
In 2004 Yanukovych attempted to steal the presidential elections, only to have massive demonstrations, and the Ukrainian Supreme Court, under pressure from the international community, foil his plans. However, rather then being prosecuted or at least fading into historical obscurity, ironically he was brought back into the political arena and appointed Prime Minister in 2006, by none other then his Orange Revolution opponent, President Victor Yushchenko.
Since that time Yanukovych has been able to successfully consolidate power in Ukraine, becoming President in 2010, and changing the Ukrainian constitution several times to make the system of government less democratic, most notably changing it from a Parliamentary- Presidential model to a republic where the President retains maximum authority. He changes laws and the constitution to suit his immediate needs.The Ukrainian people tolerated the situation, as the opposition was divided and many citizens had become frustrated with the political process. However, Yanukovych’s sudden exit this past November from the EU Trade Agreement ignited fresh protests, as people saw their hopes and dreams for a just and democratic future suddenly fall away. When those protests were met with barbaric violence, the people concluded it was no longer acceptable for them to passively live in a state that showed no concern for their rights as citizens, but sought to subordinate them using physical force.
That type of approach has inevitably led to the current chaos and spilling of blood on the streets of Kyiv today. When the government was unable to physically remove the protestors from the Maidan Square, it resorted to its usual tactics of intimidation, targeting activist journalists and deputies who were individually assaulted and severely injured by unknown assailants. When this failed to quell the protests, the Yanukovych regime passed new laws to make it more convenient to use physical force. When they had tried force previously, there had been some US and EU representatives who had cried that people had the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. So, much like Stalin had done, Yanukovych changed some wording around so he could say that the police crushing the demonstrators were upholding the law. This essentially was a declaration of war.
These new “laws” strip away basic rights of freedom of speech and assembly; wearing a helmet is now punishable by a jail term, caravans of more then five cars require a police escort, writing on the internet about any public official or police officer in a negative light will now be slander and punishable by a jail sentence, (Since the state failed to investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators of violent assaults, many citizens took it upon themselves to publicize the identities of the perpetrators online) Purchasing a SIM card for a cell phone now requires a passport so all suspicious internet activity can be tracked. These and many more Orwellian statutes were packaged with one goal only, to crush the Euro-Maidan movement. And they were passed unconstitutionally. Here’s why: The new “laws” were brought to a vote without any prior notice, were never debated on, and were voted on by a show of hands rather than the standard electronic vote tabulation system. The hands were raised for about 3 seconds, and never accurately counted, as they did not have the required number of votes needed to pass the laws. Now these “laws” have been signed into effect by Yanukovych and are being used to justify aggressive police actions taking place now. The intention is to sow fear among the populace so they get off the streets and go home. This is not democracy, but the way a dictatorship operates.
The Berkut riot police are the Yanukovych governments well paid foot soldiers, and act in the manner of combating an enemy, rather then preserving the peace of the city. They provoke the demonstrators with disgusting acts of violence and torture. The war tactics being used to subjugate the people include; multiple Berkut will hit a person who is being carried away or are lying unconscious on the ground, often in the face with their metal shields, they lob Molotov cocktails and shoot rubber bullets indiscriminately at demonstrators, including snipers shooting live ammo causing several fatalities, they are kidnapping people out of hospitals, (as the Nazis once did) and throwing them in jail for “inciting mass riots” which under the new “law” has a 10 year prison term. Seized protestors are harshly beaten, and then ridiculed by being forced to strip and often left naked in a field or forest. Recently, a student was beaten, stripped, forced to sing the National Anthem on his knees in the snow, and then sodomized with a knife. Their terror tactics also include attacking medical workers and journalists, who even in traditional warfare have some type of immunity. The goal is to instill fear and therefore submission. Organizers and leaders of Maidan are now being hunted, and many have started to go into hiding. The Ukrainian people now realize that they are fighting against slavery to a dictator named Victor Yanukovych, that living under his rule is not an option.
The USA and EU have made statement after statement “showing support for the Euro-Maidan demonstrators” and “threatening sanctions if the violence continues”… but these verbal pronouncements have not put any tangible pressure on Yanukvoych. The West seems to still believe that Yanukovych is some sort of a “diplomatic” person that has a sense of consciousness beyond his personal ambitions. The Ukrainian people know that this has never been true, he is a bandit who rose to power through the criminal clans of the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. This was a very primitive environment, a “only the strong survive” type of existence where it was eat or be eaten. That is what Yanukovych knows. Do not be fooled by his well paid spin doctors, he knows no other way to think. The words “democracy” and “compromise”, these are not traits that would have ever come into play in the world he came from. He has no understanding of what they mean or why they are important to society. All he understands, and respects, is power and force. The EU and US do have power over him, but they are reacting passively. What they should be doing and what the Ukrainian people have been asking them to do, is freeze Yanukovych’s assets and the assets of his business partners. This will show them that what they value most, money, is subject to some sort of international rules in the civilized world, that there are basic social tenets of modern human principles, and if you violate those, if you kill people, your wealth is not entitled to the protection of the international democratic community. Essentially these oligarchs and corrupt businessmen in power have stolen money from the Ukrainian nation and keep it safe in western banks, while they continue to feed and leech off the Ukrainian republic. The recent outrage of this situation by the Ukrainian people was a direct threat to this scheme, and needed to be eliminated, hence the declaration of war. This war is happening at Europe’s doorstep and is being enabled by the EU, who persists on giving the regime access to their funding. The events will continue to escalate unless steps are taken now to support the people fighting on Maidan by putting direct pressure on Yanukovych and his illegal assets that are safeguarded in the European Union of democracies.
Having a democracy in Ukraine is in the geopolitical interest of the free world. If a third dictatorship is established in a country of 46 million people on Europe’s doorstep that will support the dictatorship style of rule and corruption, it will surely become a threat to the civilized world, as Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus will become fascist states where truth and justice will not exist and corruption and human rights will be continually violated. It will become a defacto Soviet Union that lies to its people and fosters hostility and fear about the West to retain power and control. On the other hand, a democratic Ukraine integrated with the EU community would set an example of hope that will surely have an affect on the nascent democratic movements in Belarus and Russia.
The USA has made it a mission statement to support democracy around the world, but there has been no action or even a statement from President Obama. As a Democrat who supported Obama’s campaign by going door to door, I am left embarrassed. There are some individual EU member states willing to act, but if Germany is saying sanctions are not on the table, we must have an answer why? Did they not learn about the dangers of fascism? Is fear of Putin and his gas too much of an influence to act? Is everyone simply afraid to step up to the bully of Eurasia? If yes, then please formulate a statement of declaration to that affect, so the Ukrainian people do not have false hope and can focus their strategy on fighting for their individual liberties and the democratic future of their state.
Let’s reiterate once again, this is a war by a regime who has repeatedly demonstrated criminal tendencies and is doing all it can to crush and enslave the citizens of Ukraine to perpetuate its criminal activities. Its torture of captured protestors is inhumane, the attacks on medics and the abduction of journalists violates Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention relating to Non-International Armed Conflict. The issue really shouldn’t even be about sanctions but about whether to send UN peacekeepers to Ukraine. This is not a diplomatic situation, but one where “brass tactics” are needed. Statements of concern only serve to make those stating them absolve themselves of accountability. Yanukovych will only respond to physical pressure, that is all he understands. Freezing of bank accounts can change the trajectory of this war, and save the country from becoming a totalitarian regime that would raise the spectre of a fascist trifecta that threatens the security of the western world. Is that clear???
If not, perhaps seeing the incidents firsthand will help personalize the situation, how many more civilians have to suffer before the west becomes motivated to act? These people have no choice, they either resist or become slaves. Look at their faces, see who they are.