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A Step Backwards in Ukraine - Are these the last weeks for the Yanukovych regime?
nationalreview.com ^ | January 29, 2014 | George Weigel

Posted on 01/29/2014 7:43:16 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe

During the mid afternoon of January 29, reports from Kiev indicated that an impasse had been reached on the burning question of an amnesty for Maidan civil-reform protesters who had been arrested throughout Ukraine. Earlier in the day, it seemed that more than 50 members of President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions in parliament had been peeled away from their caucus and were prepared to support, against the president’s wishes, an unconditional amnesty that would leave the Maidan protests intact by not compelling protesters to leave the government buildings they had occupied not only in Kiev but, in recent days, all over Ukraine. Then, it was reported by sources inside the parliament, Yanukovych blew a gasket, met with his party members, and threatened to disband parliament and declare martial law if an unconditional amnesty were passed. Some of the defectors from the Yanukovych party line wilted, and thus the reported impasse ensued.

Finally, according to the BBC, late at night on January 29 the parliament passed a conditional amnesty law requiring protesters to leave all government buildings 15 days after the president signs the law and it is published in official journals. Certain protest sites were, it seems, exempted from the de-occupation provisions of the law.

Given the frustrations this decision seems likely to ignite among the Maidan protesters, January 30 promises to be another dramatic day on the streets of Kiev and elsewhere.

In light of these developments, an eyewitness report from Kiev by Mychailo Wynnickyj of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one of Ukraine’s most highly respected institutions of higher learning, is worth citing at length:

I spent a couple of hours on Maidan; walked up to the front lines on Hrushevskoho Street, and strolled around the freshly occupied “Ukrainian House” on European Square; prayed in the tent chapel; spent time trying to keep warm near burning barrels with other protesters. My purpose was to get a sense of the “social mood” — the impression that one gets from TV and Internet often doesn’t reflect reality. What I saw can be characterized as follows: determined people, working together building barricades, handing out hot drinks and food, talking quietly about the geographic spread of the revolution beyond Kiev. . . .

Frankly, I was surprised at the very small numbers of radicals . . . in the city center. According to many media reports, I should have seen a great many more young men dressed in helmets, chanting nationalist slogans, walking around with baseball bats. Of course, some such fighters were in evidence. . . . But the several thousand others demonstrating their discontent with Ukraine’s regime a mere 100 meters from the Interior Ministry troops, were “normal” citizens — the same people I had gained immense respect for during the peaceful phase of Ukraine’s revolution in December. . . .

This has made me think about a phenomenon that Clausewitz called “the fog of war.” Napoleon is noted to have once said, “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” In the context of the past two months in Ukraine, and given that information spreads much faster today than in the days of Bonaparte or Clausewitz, I have no doubt that the ongoing revolution in Ukraine is first and foremost a conflict in which informational messages are more potent weapons than Molotov cocktails, stun grenades, or even massive numbers of picketing demonstrators. . . .

In its final days (and the coming weeks are its final days), the Yanukovych regime will try to misinform and cloud the realities on the ground as much as possible. As the wave of attacks by demonstrators on the oblast [provincial government] buildings shows, the regime has lost its legitimacy, and has run out of means (manpower) with which to maintain its authority through force. It will therefore try to maintain authority by repackaging the current conflict as one involving “extremists,” terrorists,” “nationalists,” etc. These are the cries of a regime in agony, and should not be believed.

Ukraine’s revolution is not over yet. It is clear that we are witnessing the final days of the Yanukovych regime, but the actual format of the climax of their winter’s events and their denouement is unknown. . . . I should note that the video footage of Mykhailo Havryliuk — who was stripped naked and abused by Berkut riot police [last] week — has served to galvanize the Maidan demonstrators, and has spread the protests well beyond Kiev. Images of Havryliuk’s dignified behavior under extreme stress, and his simple modesty after having been rescued (during and after the press conference), have “gone viral” in Ukraine. They demonstrate the values of the Maidan better than any slogan, and I would argue that (in addition to the multiple deaths and injuries resulting from police brutality) they have served as a catalyst for regional rebellions across the country. His message needed no packaging, nor was there anyone available among the protesters to package it. That, I guess, is both the strength and weakness of Maidan.

God help us!

Wynnyckyj’s description of the impact of the Havryliuk’s video reinforces the analysis of the Ukraine civic-reform movement and the Ukrainian revolution given to Vatican Radio this past weekend by Bishop Borys Gudziak, the Greek Catholic leader who is president of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. Bishop Gudziak reminded his listeners that, while the Maidan movement began as a “Euromaidan,” protesting the Yanukoych regime’s withdrawal from a European Union–accession agreement (under intense pressure from Moscow), it had evolved over the past two months into a “Maidan of dignity”: a mass movement demanding elementary decencies and honesty in public life, an end to rampant economic and political corruption, and the rule of law, not its simulacrum.

That, and not some unquenchable thirst for the fleshpots of Western Europe, is what has led grandmothers to bring ice cubes to Independence Square in Kiev, to pack into sandbags that reinforce the demonstrators’ position. That is what has led pensioners, not richly endowed with resources, to bring food and drink to the protesters. That is what has led, with rare exceptions, to the extraordinary discipline and remarkable capacity for spontaneous self-governance shown by the occupiers of Independence Square and other chief Maidan sites. That is why there are prayer tents at Maidan sites.

It is a remarkable thing to watch a civil society being born, and under the most difficult circumstances. In the long march to democratic normality that is the inevitable lot of the Maidan movement, the moral commitments to decency, honesty, and legality that have sustained the revolution thus far are going to be sorely tested. Their defense is as essential as the defense of elementary civil liberties. For those moral commitments are the only sure foundation of civil liberties and authentic democracy.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: catholic

1 posted on 01/29/2014 7:43:17 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Sorry, but the following is obligatory on these threads:

SOROS!!!

2 posted on 01/29/2014 7:48:36 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Tailgunner Joe

“if an unconditional amnesty were passed”

Dejavu?


3 posted on 01/29/2014 7:51:27 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: 1rudeboy

I finally found out who started the Soros supports right-wing revolt in Ukraine meme. It was Alex Jones. Leave it to the tin-foiler Alex Jones fruitcakes to shill for Neo-Soviet Russia. As usual.


4 posted on 01/29/2014 7:55:24 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Help me out here - should American patriots be in support of these Ukrainian protests, in opposition to them or indifferent to them?


5 posted on 01/29/2014 7:58:17 PM PST by freedom462
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Well, you have that, and Russian state-owned media—that conveniently finds the “outside” influence.


6 posted on 01/29/2014 7:58:55 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Tailgunner Joe

“right-wing revolt in Ukraine”

It’s a hell of a lot more complicated than that. The opposition includes both Svoboda and Femen.


7 posted on 01/29/2014 7:59:43 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: Viennacon

The brave Ukrainian patriots fighting their tyrannical oppressive government are heroes and should be an example to all of us. Too bad we Americans are not so zealous about their defending our attacks on our freedom by our own government.


8 posted on 01/29/2014 8:00:04 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: freedom462

Here’s the deal: there are Ukrainians who don’t like Russians, and there are Russians who don’t like Ukrainians. There’s a little bit of history, there.


9 posted on 01/29/2014 8:01:49 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: freedom462

Probably best to steer clear of it, like the whole Syria debacle.


10 posted on 01/29/2014 8:02:48 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: freedom462

We should support them, and we should follow their example.


11 posted on 01/29/2014 8:02:55 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Viennacon

And let the Russians take over, right? You guys are so predictable.


12 posted on 01/29/2014 8:04:25 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

My understanding was that the Soviet Russian gov’t, actually, the Communist Russia gov’t in general from the start of the Russian Revolution, treated the Ukrainian people pretty badly. And by pretty badly, I mean just absolutely, abysmally horrifically. Which probably has something to do with the tensions there today.


13 posted on 01/29/2014 8:05:06 PM PST by freedom462
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To: 1rudeboy

You actually think Putin is going to march troops over the border? No. He’s not. He’s not going to initiate a regional war while the Olympics are going on.

I expect some agreement will be reached with the government and the leader of the opposition, and this will settle eventually. Unless other factors come into play.


14 posted on 01/29/2014 8:06:28 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: freedom462

Yes. Precisely why one should ignore our FR neo-Soviets.


15 posted on 01/29/2014 8:06:50 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Viennacon
I mentioned it on another thread. This might be the first time in history that the Russians do not invade another country during the Olympics.
16 posted on 01/29/2014 8:08:47 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

What a coincidence, they want they Russian side to win in Syria too. Gee it’s almost as if they are on Russia’s side, all the time, every time, no matter what. Alex Jones also told them that the Syrian people gassed themselves so they could blame it on Assad, and Obama would intervene. Except Obama didn’t intervene. Instead Obama did exactly what his comrade KGB Putin told him to do. So much for that Alex Jones’ tinfoil false-flag conspiracy theory.


17 posted on 01/29/2014 8:09:54 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Sorry, you are on the side of people who CUT THE HEADS OF CATHOLICS on videotape! And ate people’s organs?! That’s who the opposition are in Syria. That’s AL-QAEDA. I’m not sure what could be more anti-American than arming Al-Qaeda.


18 posted on 01/29/2014 8:12:30 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: Viennacon
I'm on America's side. You're not. Assad helped insurgents kill our soldiers in Iraq, but you don't care, you want him to get away with it. You don't give a damn about our soldiers, you care more about foreigners who have no loyalty to America. You don't care how many of our soldiers Russia, Iran and Syria killed in Iraq, probably because you were as big a fan of Saddam Hussein's Baath socialism as you are of Assad's. Are you even an American? You sure don't sound like one to me.
19 posted on 01/29/2014 8:18:18 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Funny isn’t it? Our liberal media still champion anti-government people everywhere else but hate them here—here, in what to them is the Worst Country On Earth.


20 posted on 01/29/2014 8:20:35 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Except George Weigel is a conservative Catholic who promotes Christian heritage and culture. Which is probably why you don’t like him, considering your vehement hostility towards Christianity.


21 posted on 01/29/2014 8:24:52 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

“I’m on America’s side.”

By supporting Al Qaeda... John McCain’s platform summed up right there.


22 posted on 01/29/2014 8:29:42 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: Viennacon
I support Al-Qaeda killing Assad, and you support Al-Qaeda killing US soldiers in Iraq.

McCain is a war hero compared to your mancrush Putin, who never fought in any war but loyally served the secret police who oppressed his own people.

You show our soldiers who Assad maimed and killed in Iraq as much respect as you show McCain. Did you serve? Are you even an American? I strongly doubt it.

23 posted on 01/29/2014 8:36:32 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Except George Weigel is a conservative Catholic who promotes Christian heritage and culture. Which is probably why you don’t like him, considering your vehement hostility towards Christianity.

Where in the world did that come from? I actually thought we were friends.

I admit I didn't read the article but rather reacted to the thread title. I've been waiting for an excuse to point out liberal hypocrisy on "anti-government" movements (foreign vs. domestic) for a long time, saw your thread title, and just foolishly assumed it was liberal and used it as an excuse to vent. I apologize for my mistake.

Protestants are anti-Catholic. Catholics are anti-Protestant. Eastern Orthodox are anti-both. And everyone is anti-moslem and anti-mormon. Why is my arguing against what I sincerely believe to be a false religion (and from the Right, never from the Left) so much worse than anyone else defending his religion and challenging others' here?

I admit I'm not a big fan of civilizational or cultural religion of any kind. I've always been too big a fundie for that. It's either true or to heck with it.

24 posted on 01/29/2014 8:39:58 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

A birth conspiracy? Really? Are you secretly Ukrainian perhaps?

I don’t support Al Qaeda at all, in any capacity. You admittedly do. Perhaps you might want to reflect on 9/11. I know that was just civilians, but they were pretty important too... and while I respect McShame’s war record, the man is a despicable SOB, and I think 90% of Freepers would agree with that.

I just hope you’re consistent, so when Golden Dawn occupy offices in Greece or Jobbik occupy offices in Hungary and try to overthrow the government, you send cash to them too.

And with that, I’ll leave you to argue with yourself.


25 posted on 01/29/2014 8:45:02 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: Viennacon
The more muslim terrorists kill each other, the better. You want me to believe that Assad, the ayatollah, and hizballah are the "good muslims." I'm not buying it.

Your buddy Alex Jones has some pretty interesting theories about 9/11, you should check them out. snicker.

26 posted on 01/29/2014 8:53:57 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: 1rudeboy

It’d be much better to let the EU take over, Last time they ran Ukraine it was awesome I hear.


27 posted on 01/29/2014 10:36:11 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

“I support Al-Qaeda killing Assad,,, “

LOL,, off the rails there. So McLame supports Al Qeida. And its all fine with you. Amazing and funny.


28 posted on 01/29/2014 10:39:53 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: freedom462

Ukraine is raising it voice. Yanukovich is a twice convicted felon and a Russian toady. He needs to go. Ukraine needs to reduce corruption clean up its justice system and improve other socio-political issues as well.

The key here is that Ukrainian nationalism is on the rise. Eastern or western Ukraine doesn’t matter the people self identify as Ukrainians. The don’t like the Russians much and for good reason. They are suspicious of Euro influence too. They want more trade with the EU not to join up


29 posted on 01/30/2014 2:42:52 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Jimmy Valentine
The key here is that Ukrainian nationalism is on the rise. Eastern or western Ukraine doesn’t matter the people self identify as Ukrainians. The don’t like the Russians much and for good reason. They are suspicious of Euro influence too. They want more trade with the EU not to join u

East and West matter a great deal. The "Ukraine" is effectively two separate countries. The Western Ukraine is entirely Ukrainian speaking predominantly Catholic with close cultural ties to Poland. The eastern Ukraine is mostly Eastern Orthodox with many people who speak better Russian than Ukrainian. They have always been culturally more oriented towards Russia (Kiev was historically Russian).

As long as you have this situation, there will always be a tug of war between Europe-oriented Ukrainians in the west and Russia-oriented Ukrainians in the east.

Incidentally, those Ukrainians who think that they'll get a better deal or more freedom from EU "soft power" than the more open and brutal hard power of Putin are in for a surprise. The former is more insidious (and in many ways harder to resist) than the latter.

30 posted on 01/30/2014 10:51:12 AM PST by ek_hornbeck
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To: ek_hornbeck
With respect, you are reciting a meme that does not exist to the extent you think. There are still Ukrainians alive who remember the Holodomor and Russian depredations during and after the Great Patriotic War.

Yes eastern Ukraine is more Russo oriented but they have no desire to join up again. As to religion, western Ukraine has many Polish descendants, but the predominent religion of the country is eastern orthodox church as initiated by the Byzantines for Prince Vladimir. That is why the statue of Svetoi Mikhail stands on Kreschatik street.

31 posted on 01/30/2014 12:53:04 PM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Jimmy Valentine
As to religion, western Ukraine has many Polish descendants,

Had. The Soviets kicked them out and most moved to the parts of Poland gained from the Germans.

32 posted on 01/30/2014 12:53:56 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
The Soviets kicked them out and most moved to the parts of Poland gained from the Germans.

Not before the Ukrainian Nazis nationalists murdered thousands of Polish peasants in their villages as part of an ethnic 'cleansing' operation. The descendants of this scum make up Ukraine's Svoboda militants who today are trying to destabilize the elected government of Ukraine.

33 posted on 01/30/2014 4:33:55 PM PST by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: mac_truck

Yes, I have brought up the name Stepan Bandera several times on the Ukraine threads.


34 posted on 01/30/2014 4:38:21 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

What’s interesting is that Stephan Bandera was actually being held in a German prison camp in 1944 when the Ukrainian nationalist paramilitary carried out the Polish massacres. His counterpart Mykola Lebed led the nationalist faction in his absence and carried out these atrocities.


35 posted on 01/30/2014 4:46:31 PM PST by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Yanukovych

Another one Rides the Bus
I Love Rocky Road
The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota
Bohemian Polka
Canadian Idiot
Cavity Search
Dare to Be Stupid

Oh wait...We're not talking about Wierd Al are we.

36 posted on 01/30/2014 4:56:24 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month.)
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To: DesertRhino

So the CIA has duped al qaeda jihadists into attacking America’s shiite enemies aligned with Iran, and you think that’s a bad thing? The reason you feel that way is because your loyalty is not to the USA, but to Russia. You have no problem supporting shiite jihadists if they are Russia’s allies, but when America turns the tables on Russia gives them a dose of their own medicine, then Putinistas like you whine and cry foul. You hate the CIA but you have no problem at all with the KGB. According to your anti-American Neo-Soviet narrative, Chris Stevens deserved to die because he was a bad guy arming Russia’s enemies.


37 posted on 01/30/2014 7:18:35 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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