Dignity and Freedom Day UkraineNovember 22, 2015
Two years ago today, as the first 20 – 30 somethings were gathering at Maidan in Kyiv to protest the failure of the then president to sign the Association Agreement and DCFTA with the EU, this blog wrote “Perhaps those millions in favour of the agreement will turn out en masse with a policy of civil disobedience in numbers reminiscent of 2004/5 and panic the National Security Council and President Yanukovych into a different decision over the next week? Time will tell.”
Well time did indeed tell – and former President Yanukovych and the most corrupt and the closest of his criminal entourage fled Ukraine a few months and numerous deaths later.
Deliberately avoiding concentrating upon the illegal annexation of Crimea and naked direct and sponsored Kremlin aggression within the now occupied Donbas, or any other Kremlin inspired/sponsored/funded acts directed at crippling, undermining and subjugating Ukraine, the result of EuroMaidan domestically nevertheless certainly fall far short of the expectations of some.
Some with lofty expectations despite the fact that in electing Messrs Poroshenko and Yatseniuk, themselves products of an odious and thoroughly corrupt climate, chose not to see that clearly they were and are only ever going to be able to take the nation so far before those never indoctrinated in that odious and corrupt past are tasked to take the nation the rest of the way.
Messrs Poroshenko and Yatseniuk are quite aware that The Rubicon has been crossed politically and within society, there is no going back – but they are simply not keen and/or able to run from the new shoreline, creating a forcible and unwavering beachhead of transition, and gallop into the level economic playing fields and consolidated democratic meadows that lay ahead. Instead an oft perceived shuffling away from, or indeed marking time within, corrupt schemes past and present rightly haunts them.
Thus for the more careful of thinkers, the frustrations with Messrs Poroshenko and Yatseniuk are not that they have failed to deliver that which was never within them, but that they are yet to deliver what they are capable of delivering in a timely way even when accounting for their histories, the skeletons that lurk there, and the ingrained nefarious mindset of which they were a part for the decades they spent climbing the greasy – and corrupt to the core – political and business pole they conquered.
Nonetheless there has been some notable progress too, albeit almost all progress worthy of the name has been externally forced upon the generally feckless Ukrainian political class by those nations and international institutions that are keeping the Ukraine economically, diplomatically and politically afloat.
But the negatives and the positives – and there are both – that have resulted from what started 2 years ago today are not the point of this entry.
Perhaps the most poignant question for readers to ponder on Dignity and Freedom Day in Ukraine, is not necessarily what EuroMaidan has achieved thus far – or not – but what fate for Ukraine did EuroMaidan prevent?