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Klitschko to attend 1st “All Ukrainian Madian” in Kharkiv – Important?

January 11, 2014

It appears that UDAR Party leader, Mr Klitschko will be attending the very first All Ukrainian Maidan (AUM) meeting being held in Kharkiv this weekend.

For those who are unaware, the All Ukrainian Maidan entity – after a difficult and troubled birth, not to mention several different names – is attempting to act as a central node for regional Euromaidan supporting protests and entity for communication with the government.

The composition of AUM “management” includes a single, and almost unknown, politician from each opposition party, together with civic and civil society leaders.

Fair enough.  In the absence of a realistic opposition political strategy going forward, a realistic plan to at least coordinate regional like-minded movements provides some form of inclusiveness, solidarity and feeling of worth for those in the provinces.

But is Mr Klitschko’s personal attendance that important considering the eventual decision – after a few false starts – to deliberately put almost invisible and hardly known party politicians on the AUM management committee?

As the event organiser states, Mr Klitshcko attends as an official observer at the invitation of the AUM.  He can make a speech and can participate in any final resolution the AUM may reach.  Not really a very big deal in the grand scheme of things – or is it?

The first question that must be asked is whether Arseniy Yatseniuk and Oleh Tyanhbok were invited or not – and if not, why not?  If they are attending, why are they not mentioned by the event organiser?

Perhaps they were invited but decided not to go – however you would expect them to attend such a meeting if they had – for reasons I will now highlight.

It has to be said that whether the AUM will actually amount to anything – or not – remains to be seen.

However  if it does manage to coordinate the regions, and if the Euromaidan demonstrations manage to sustain any notable longevity and numerical turnout (even if only a few thousand) between now and the presidential elections in March 2015, then there is every reason for Messrs Klitschko, Yatseniuk and Tyahnybok to support it, as it keeps some form of visible pressure on the authorities.

But –

Far more importantly tactically, in the zero sum world of Ukrainian politics, if one of the opposition leaders can take control of (or establish a controlling influence over) the AUM and the hundreds/thousands of supporters regionally – it will deliver them an active mechanism for mobilising the public at the expense of the other opposition candidates as well as the current authorities.

So is it important that Mr Klitschko appears to be the only opposition leader attending the very first meeting of the AUM at their invitation?  Quite possibly far more important than it appears!

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