Dispatch from Kiev: "The Price for Victory Was Very High"

Comments

1
Wow. Thanks for consistently posting these dispatches. They've really helped my understanding.
2
...While the movement is generally pro-West, there has been a growing sense of resentment toward opposition leaders and politicians in Europe and the US. People feel let down by empty words, and there is a sense that the movement was on its own throughout the ordeal. The phrase "we are deeply concerned" has become a big joke among people here...
This.

Stephen Cohen has had lots to say about this over the last few days. I haven't digested it all, but I think the following links are worth reading to get an outside-the-mass-media view (same sources I put up earlier):

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/02/20/me… (full transcript will be up in a couple of days)

http://www.thenation.com/print/article/1…

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/2/20/a_… (click "printer friendly" for full on-screen transcript)

3
Jesus I hope we don't have to read this guys shitty poetry much longer
4
@2, Yes that is the way the cookie (passed out by U.S. diplomat Victoria Nuland) crumbles. Baked in the hegemon's kitchen and addicting as hell.
5
Here's hoping left Ukrainians, right Ukrainians, Russophilic Ukrainians and Europhilic Ukrainians can work out a basis for living as Nukrainians, Unikrainians, whatever ... though history offers little ground for high hopes in this regard.
7
@6, your thoughts are dictated by your political philosophy. That's been evident in all your comments, so it's difficult to read what you say with any seriousness.
9
@8: "if you're fur it, i'm agin' it!" close?
10
What I don't understand is exactly why the regime collapsed so suddenly and completely. It looked like they were going full-on Tianmen against the protesters, killing like crazy, and then poof, they left town. Was it a case where they brought in hired thugs that went over the line and everybody who'd been sitting on the fence or reluctantly backing the regime was repulsed and sided with the opposition?
11
Great stuff, Brendan.

I'd been trying to parse reports of involvement in the opposition by the "right" and by "nationalists", and it wasn't clear to me if that meant something like Nazis or simply Ukrainians who were fed up with Russian imperialism.
12
@WFM: killing like crazy

The killing was supposed to break up the protests, but it didn't. And once the regime crossed that line, it was left with two choices - win back the country with overwhelming brutal force, or flee.
13
@12, yup.
14
@10

One thing that destroyed the regime is the use of social media and the internet. On Youtube there was footage of lightly armed protesters (shields, stones, sticks) being shot by police snipers. That footage generated more than 3 MILLION hits in about 12 hours. A day earlier there had been live-feed of barricades being ran over by armored vehicles. And I was watching on Twitter as hundreds of updates rolled in by the hour.

This did several things include leading to protests growing around the country, even in Yanukovych's strongholds. It also led to international protests and for the the call of international sanctions. This led to the EU sending ministers to broker a deal between Yanukovych and the opposition. But by that time Yanukovych had lost all credibility and the protesters were not going home until he left office. That is what happens when you use police snipers to kill your own people and 3 million people around the world are watching.

Things might have been different in China in 1989 if there had been live streaming, Facebook and Twitter. It is a lot harder for governments to kill their own people en masse these days.
15
@10 It appears the opposition made a deal with the Interior Ministry, they would get some sort of free passage, (I don't know if they got immunity) if they stopped attacking the protestors. They also refused to continue Yanukovych's orders in attacking the protestors.

The Interior Ministry and it appears the Military had on Friday Night/Saturday Morning abandoned Yanukovych, which left a vacuum, and why he fled early Saturday morning. I am guessing that the order to shoot the protestors came from Yanukovych, and it was most likely a small group of shooters..Yanukovych also appears to lose support from MPs from his own party, and there are rumors that many of the governors of his political party have fled to Russia.

The Accord signed on Friday that was brokered by a couple EU foreign ministers, was already less than the paper it was written on by the time the ink dried. Yanukovych sealed his fate by the attacking the protestors on Wed and Thurs. As much as Ukraine is in chaos, it looks like those in power were threatened by the rule of law, and knew they could be criminally charged for the shootings...
16
@3: what poetry?
17
@10, further to @14 & 15:
...On Monday 17 February, Russia announced it would release another $2 billion of its 17 December 2013 agreed loan of $15 billion to the Ukrainian government, which The Washington Post credited as a reason for the protests. Russian authorities had been pressuring the Ukrainian administration to take decisive action to crush protests; and it has been noted that the assault on Euromaidan protesters by police was ordered hours after the $2 billion from Russia was transferred...
Here. (Sources are footnoted in the article.)
18
@17 If you want to be taken seriously, don't cite Wikipedia, or any open edited sources. Wikipedia is great as a background source or as a portal to other references, but it shouldn't be used to support an argument, no matter if the information is valid, primary source, or the article is well documented.

Wikipedia is a dichtomy of information, both to be used to understand the complexities of the subject, but to be read with a huge abundance of skepticism.
19
Thanks for the reporting Brendan and Chris. Greatly appreciated.
And amazing, if saddened, congratulations to the Ukrainian's resisting imperialism in the streets -- and the state violence.
20
Oh for pete's sake, @18. This isn't a scholarly forum and I'm not propounding some thesis, I'm providing a jumping-off point for someone with a question, and Wikipedia at this moment, on this subject, is a better one than Google for someone with a casual inquiry. Everyone beyond high school understands Wikipedia's uses and weaknesses.
21
The timing of this thing is amazing as Sochi likely tied Putin's hands. If true this would be consistent with report of groups of demonstrators on the offensive over the last few days.
22
Thank you for posting these dispatches. It's very good to get information from somebody on the ground, who's been there from the beginning of the protests in November.
23
@16 what poetry?

"The price for victory was very high."

Jesus. How Lord Greystoke is that? If you want to write a dispatch, write a dispatch; don't pass along philosophy rap like it's from an actual partisan and then TRY TO FUCKING PRETEND ITS SOMETHING ELSE. get the fouck outta heah.