Live From Ukraine: A Subdued Victory
Though today was a day of victories for many citizens of the ardently pro-Western city of L’viv, it’s clear things still haven’t completely returned to normal.
Activists still man check points on roads leading into the city and the streets are patrolled by baby-faced boys wielding wooden planks, their squadrons filling in for a police force that chose abdication over following orders from the central government.
What should have been an all-out celebration in L’viv this evening – after all, Yanukovych was ousted and Tymeshenko freed earlier today – was tinged with a palpable shade of sorrow and sobriety over those killed in the last few days. Of those martyred in Kiev, thirteen were from this seat of Ukrainian nationalism.
The tears of those lighting candles in remembrance mingled with the steady trickle of rain. Cries of “Glory to the Heroes” were at once jubilant and memorial. Speeches were watched with grave solemnity and hymns were sung.
In fact, most L’viv Maidan activists seemed to have taken the night off. Though their ranks had swelled to several thousands in recent months, only a couple of hundred showed up on this historic night, and dispersed by midnight.
“The terror is passing away now”, Roman, 31, a lawyer from L’viv says. And for him, the recent developments don’t constitute a total victory. “I don’t have many hopes for Tymeshenko. I think of all the people who gave their lives, but for what? The same people to come back into power? After recent events, we shouldn’t have any of the old order. The people now should have control, ” he says.
Slightly more ecstatic, and perhaps a bit buzzed, 39-year-old Taras makes his way through the crowd shaking hands with fellow protestors. An engineer, who identifies as part of Pravy Sektor, he says he visited Kiev three times to take part in Maidan protests.
“I have a wife and three kids. I had a lot to lose. Despite that, I still fought,” he says, grinning widely. But was this the outcome he’d hoped for? “The protestors had no arms. But if they did, they would have destroyed the special forces.”
Clad in skateboard helmets, ski goggles and makeshift body armour, Andrei, 34, and Ostap, 24, stand across the street keeping watch. They’re official Maidan security, charged with protecting the demonstrations from pro-government provocateurs.
“Today was a victory,” Andrei says, “but the people will only leave after the authorities have completely changed. Also, Kiev was a success, but we’re still waiting for the governments in the east to change.”
“There’s a lingering fear that leaders in the east want to divide the country in two,” he adds, suggesting this could also partially account for the lack of victory dances.
In a cafe nearby, Orisya and Haly, both 20, sip a tea and discuss their hopes for the future of their country. “They can split the country in two, the east can leave. I don’t care,” Orisya says, “I just want an independent Ukraine.”
“Today was my birthday. And this was the best birthday present, this victory,” she continues.
More in line with the ambivalence of the demonstrators outside, Haly disagrees. “It’s not a victory. Nobody will be held responsible. The people responsible for the murders will not be punished. The president will not be punished.”
“We’re in a deep hole”, she says, “And this is only one step out of it.”
Follow Kevin Cullen’s journey through Ukraine @kevinpcullen
8 thoughts on “Live From Ukraine: A Subdued Victory”
A lot has happened since the above article was written. There have been tons of alarmist and apocalyptic comments on various news websites.
But my own feeling (and obviously hope) is that cool heads will prevail. We have enough information available nowadays to be able to see each other’s points of view.
Here’s something inspirational, for example, that you wouldn’t have expected to see at the height of the Cold War – editorial independence from an English-language Russian TV station:
Hmmm – now it seems people are questioning her motives, her background and indeed the motives of the (Kremlin-backed) Russian TV station in allowing a dissident point of view.
Still, whatever her own background, what she said in the above clip was heartfelt and seemed genuine enough. It was good to hear a dissident voice where you least expected it.
An even more dramatic development at Russia Today…
instead of ‘not taking sides’, maybe that should read: ‘still trying my best to be as unbiased and objective as possible’
Brits….as usual http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116857/british-sanctions-russia-would-be-bad-londons-economy
I WARN ALL THE NATO COUNTRIES OF DIRE CONSEQUENCES IN CASE THEY RESORT TO WAR RHOTERIC OR WAR AGAINST RUSSIA OR AGAINST THE ETHINIC RUSSIANS LIVING IN UKRAINE ,DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY CONTINUE TO HELP THE ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT IN UKRAINE AND IN CASE THEY GIVE RECOGNITION TO THE ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT IN UKRAINE.I ESPECIALLY WARN THE COUNTRIES NORTH AND WEST OF UKRAIN TO DESIST FROM ANY WRONG DOING IN THE UKRAINE.
Is that From Russia With Love?
PUTIN IS IN UKRANIA
Putin is going to take out the NPP of Ukraine !
All the Fuel is from Russia,and Putin will be a fool, if he allows the U-235 ,to be used for further enrichment – and to be launched on Russia ! RUSSIAN URANIUM ON RUSSIANS ?
Basically,the Russians will remove every gram of U-235 and Pu, from the plant – which means the fuel rods and the SNF – and to either destroy or contaminate the tailing ponds,so that the DU and SNF,cannot be salvaged !
The real target is the Commercial reactors !
Putin is going to take out the UKRANIAN NPP, on the pretext of accidental bombing, and a terror threat !
With 100,000 refugees in Moldova and Poland,any TERROR Group,can sneak into UKR.They could be from anywhere – Chechens ….
Hence,Putin has the EXCUSE to seize the Nuclear assets,and then strip them off the Fuel – Fuel Rods,SNF and Tailings
Ultimately,the NPP will be used by UKR leaders,to make Nukes,and use them as a defense !
Using Russian Reactors and fuel,to Nuke Russia – ain’t something,that Putin will not allow !
UKR leaders have said that they want a Nuke
Half of UKR power comes from Nuke Power – and the fuel is almost entirely Russian !
PUTIN WILL TAKE BACK ALL THE ENRICHED URANIUM FUEL RODS and the SNF !
He will ensure that no U235 or PU, can be salvaged from the SNF ,and no PU is irradiated in the Power plants.
BUT THEN AFTER HE EXITS UKRAINE – THE US WILL SUPPLY THE FUEL ! WHICH MEANS THAT UKR WILL HAVE U235,AND WILL GENERATE PU – AND SO,CAN START ENRICHMENT FACILITIES,TO HIT WEAPONS GRADE URANIUM – U-235
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION ?
THE ONLY SOLUTION FOR PUTIN – IS TO TAKE OUT ALL THE NUKE POWER PLANTS – ID.EST., TAKE THE FUEL ,AND CRIPPLE THE NPP !
WHICH IS Y,PUTIN RUSHED IN,AFTER THE NUKE DESIRES, OF THE UKRANIAN LEADER !
THE 1ST TAKE OUT WAS CHERNOBYL – WHEREIN THE RUSSIANS TOOK HOSTAGES !
The hostages are to secure the plant blueprint,storage sites and controls,and will be let off – after the plant is mapped !
Russians are taking care of Cherno !
That is Y the Russians,did not TRIP the Grid !
The PWR use Grid power, to Cool the reactor and the ponds.If there is no power – then the DG sets will run out of diesel !
UKR buys power from Belarus !
One call from Vlad – and Belarus will cut the power !
No need to do a cyber hack,or bomb the grid ! dindooohindoo