Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday Revolution in Kiev

The day started with expectations for a political solution to the crisis, and ended with the victory of the revolution!
This morning, President Yanukovich leaves Kiev for Kharkiv and is reportedly stopped by the border guards from flying to Russia. Former premier Yulia Tymoshenko takes the opposite route: is released from detention in Kharkiv, flies to Kiev, and addresses thousands of Ukrainians at Independence Square, now called Maidan (“The Square”), the epicenter of the Ukrainian revolution. She ends her speech by declaring, “Glory to Ukraine!”

Meanwhile, the people march toward the presidential office, found no guards there, and occupy the building, the seat of power; doing so very orderly. This revolution will go down as having one of the most orderly finishes, barring any counterattack by Yanukovich’s supporters, seemingly unlikely so late in the game.

The Rada, Ukrainian parliament, makes it formal: it impeaches Yanukovich and calls early presidential election.

The victorious people then pay visit to the presidential residence, built by Yanukovich few years ago, and where he spent the night on Friday. The visitors see a huge presidential chalet, inside a huge compound, housing other mansions and, yes, a private zoo. The surrealism of it all will remain with us for years to come.

On Sunday, we will have a new Ukraine: “Glory to Ukraine!”

Above photo: The Maidan, 22 February 2014; the day revolution triumphed. (The New Republic)

Below Photos: Yanukovych's private collection of antique and modern cars as well as motorbikes and a scene from his private zoo at the presidential compound he built during his presidency. (Twitter)


Anonymous said...

Action! That is what is needed. God knows what will be found in Khameini's and Mojtaba's palaces and mansions.

Anonymous said...

Yanukovich and Tymoshenko are equally corrupt. Difference is one is a puppet of Russia and the other of Europe. And accordingly in her very first statements, Tymoshenko assured going the way of the EU. Just like in the case of Egypt, the new-old regime is again in place.

So this nowadays a revolution? Obviously, the modern day elites have learned from the past and developed their cunning in manipulating the masses. Well, in the end all people get the governments they deserve.

Anonymous said...

In a few years they will begging to get out of the EU. See the recession in Greece, Italy, Spain...

Anonymous said...

So we should all shout glory to Ukraine just because it is on its path to join the EU rather than the Russian Customs Union ? losing the obvious industrial advantages it traditionally enjoyed by being historically close to the Russians and end up begging the IMF or Central Bank for more generous loans, become just another food basket and temple of cheap labor at the expense of their local production capabilities just like ANY country recently joining the ranks of western financial and banking institution at a time when numerous member states have shown their willingness to depart for those very reasons ? quite odd a declaration indeed... same as Anon 6:38, Putin and his oligarchs were no better in handling Ukraine as a second-hand vassal state, but at least they could count on established facts of technological cooperation and in-place infrastructure specially in high-end fields the EU would never grant them access to, such as the much-coveted aerospace sectors that make this country one of the few holders of such know-how.

Diversifying their relationship with the world rather than opting for a well-expected total and unconditional re-alignment from one global pole of influence to another with no second thought would have been the "glorious" way forward... the political element is so overwhelming here it gets nauseating.

From one corrupt puppet to the other at its head, from one utter economic dependency to another, colliding with a new class of European oligarchs freshly disembarking from total submission to Russian oligarchs : "glory to Ukraine !!!!"

The "Gas Princess" Tymoshenko and the millions and millions of personal enrichment generated by the abuse of State funds in Gas contact schemes (IRI agha zadehs ring a bell here ?), I mean what kind of future could its people expect from such a shady individual turned icon of democracy in the west, in all classical fashion of artificially generated grandeur just because she seemingly stands firm against Great Satan Russia's oppression ?

In addition, she pretends not willing to antagonize Russia and find balance within its relation between the former and the EU, but at the same time claims she wants her country to join no other alliance than NATO, making it a rear-base in a dozens-million strong nation with critical Russian industrial infrastructure right at the doorstep of Russia... as if Polland wasn't enough, before you know it Georgia will re-initiate its own ambition in that regard and the global encirclement plan against the Russian Federation will fall in place. What I ask is : on what basis exactly an external observer in the world would actually trumpet it as a "victory" rather than simply observe what it is : a country taking a very significant step in drastically switching sides in the already-tense geopolitical chessboard here ? why the urge for such vocal enthusiasm on a country which on a side note, has absolutely nothing to do with anything Iranian to begin with ?

The author seems to forget that Tymoshenko has barely half Ukrainians supporting her as we speak, currently naturally more vocal than their silent pro-Russia counterparts, she will be the symbol of a clear and lasting divide in this Nation for years and years to come, it is NOT a Revolution to properly speak of, Institutions haven't been overthrown and are divided as well with Eastern Ukraine remaining pro-Russia for what it's worth , and there is absolutely no overwhelming majority backing her policies or her persona. So far, this is continued violence from hardliner, far-right parties and noise, noise, noise amplified by western media. Thus there is basically nothing to celebrate unless you are a direct ideological party to them distancing themselves from Russia to the advantage of the west.

Nader Uskowi said...

What I saw at Maidan were thousands and thousands of Ukrainian people rising up against a dictator who in his time as premier and then as president enriched himself at the expense of the Ukrainian people (please see above photos of his private collections, including a private zoo, built in "presidential" compound during his presidency.) He was a disgrace to his nation and indeed humanity.

I am not siding with Tymoshenko or anyone else, just with the Ukrainian people. May its people find a better governing system than what they have experienced since independence.

Your repulsive attempt to portray all protestors, who lost 70 of their comrades in Kiev protests, as far-right hardliners will not take away anything from the people's victory over a corrupt dictator.

You might say that whoever follows, including Tymoshenko, might be as corrupt or undemocratic. That could well be true. Those of us who lived the revolution in Iran saw that; corrupt non-democratic figures coming to power in the name of replacing a corrupt and non-democratic Shah.

The takeaway from today’s events is that ordinary people of Ukraine triumphed over a corrupt dictator. Could they bring structural and institutional reforms to their political system in short order? Probably not, but that does not lessen the importance of what they did today. And, yes, let's hope today’s events and the sacrifices paid by people could bring some needed reforms and we will have a glorious Ukraine.

Anonymous said...

My claims are merely a reflection of what I feel are the main actors of violent riots and acts that occurred during what indeed was a mostly peaceful protest initially, before Maidan was turned into a full-blown battleground with people in military gear spearheading the killing of policemen by the dozens and standing in flash-points to this day, not fulfilling the EU-brokered agreement on its key points asking them to fully withdraw from their positions to heal the rift between people and bring back stability. In that regard, Tymyshenko's call for continued "protests" is in this context as unacceptable as it is irresponsible to say the very least, and is quite expectedly primarily thought-out as a strategy at decisively consolidating her position in "her" portion of supportive Ukraine as soon as she assumes her place of power within the political class, a first of many moves in a string of unilateral steps towards making "her" half of the country "her" Ukraine.

And FYI, I am not taking anything away from the genuinely pro-EU Ukrainian people that have indeed lost tens of their brethren during the past weeks, and focused my ENTIRE post on expressing my deep concerns of both the internal and external implication of the come to power of a corrupt INDIVIDUAL as Tymushenko at the head of the state, putting my emphasis on her leadership rather that the people I said I feared being hijacked in the process and getting caught in a game of shifting alliances not in their favor for the midterm, be my guest in quoting me wrong. And if could please take the time to read my post properly and in its entirety this once before rushing at badmouthing my alleged shortcuts, I'll be eternally grateful.

And considering the above, I have to say Mr. Uskowi, that I in turn find your hasty and factually wrong assertion of my claims bypassing every single points I made the effort at detailing to consolidate its contents, a stunningly disappointing shortcoming for a man of your stature, considering my respect for your blog and work here in general, that I showed here once more in my mere approach in initiating debate on your posts, the purpose of your blog, I assumed.

So I suddenly become repulsive because I do not share your passionate enthusiasm for the West gaining ground on the geopolitical map through yet another corrupt surrogate ? I personally feel that what lies beneath such sympathy is pro-western bias on global issues that you consistently, in the end, portray as the side of the "Good" over the bad, anti-US, pro-Russia/China tyrants and despots, a dichotomy against which I personally have nothing against intellectually, even if I, for obvious historical reasons stretching to our times, totally disagree with. But what I cannot stand would be a clear lack of franchise and sincerity in its expression on this particular issue. Celebration here is for the victory of one class of oligarchs, pro-EU, over the other, Pro-Russia. You know, it, I know it, Russia knows it, the EU knows it, the US, and specially Iran-hating reps such as McCain, personal friends with Tymushenko, know it too as well.

So please, let's stop burying our heads in the sand wishing for the good on Earth, there is no miracle waiting ahead for Ukraine other than increased multi-polar meddling, sorry to be a showstopper but the near future , sadly, probably won't prove me wrong, this is basically all I am saying, sir.

Nader Uskowi said...

The subject of this post, and indeed today's events in Kiev, was not that the West gained over Russia, but a peaceful revolution by the people of Ukraine could oust a corrupt dictator. Is this that hard to see?

Meh said...

Sir, you could not have put any more clearer than this, i agree with you that it will not be far before they understand as the Persian saying goes ., One can not pee on a hard place and expect no to get wet.
God help them in Ukraine. it is funny how these days Russia is becoming the west and U.S is being looked at as the east.

Anonymous said...

What the West gained over Russia is all what this ouster is about, no matter how noble you want to portray it, and it was not done by the "People" to properly speak of, but rather an active fringe of it, with roughly half the population standing passively behind it. And what is the relationship to Iran ? since for the various aforementioned reasons you once again failed or conveniently refused to address, this is obviously not a Revolution in the league of what Iran once underwent or what is sweeping the Arab world to this day for that matter, but rather the successful ouster of a corrupt leader by one of its main, foreign-backed (are you going to question this as well ?) competitors for a seat at the top of the country, going NATO/EU instead of Customs Union/Russia ? What is so "repulsive" or difficult to understand ? how is Ukraine different today than it was yesterday, apart from realigning from one master to the other ? we know what kind of people are Tymushenko and her circles, she has already been in power and she fared no better than the "outgoing" president and his government in any field, your comparison to what "could become that we do not know and should wait for with hope" is hence not valid, nor is the parallel with post-revolution Iran with the Mullahs of which the People knew nothing yet when they first came to power.

What astonishes me the most in turn is how you manage to call what happened at Maidan a "peaceful" phenomenon in any way , short of the initial moments of course ? even the pro-EU protesters themselves wouldn't agree. Do you want me to drop links from various, highly trustworthy western news outlets themselves showing how peaceful the zone was until yesterday ? you attempted parallels with real Revolutions, successful or not, in Iran or the Arab world or elsewhere where an uprising has been referred to by history so far are ludicrous I'm afraid, plain and simple. What happened/happens in Ukraine is the probable splintering of the country in two pieces, not a Revolution.

And God forbid you admit the abusive nature of your personal attack towards my allegedly "repulsive" initiatives in the first place, instead going even further by using irony to paint me as a stubborn whiner not willing to see and accept your simple truth as absolute. Well I have bad news, I am not impressed nor convinced a bit by what it looks like, no matter how hard you try to belittle my position or make it look like off-topic to other readers, just like other commentators who posted here before me with similar arguments.

Nader Uskowi said...

You are entitled to your opinion, and welcomed to post your comments here.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Uskowi, and so are you, both as an individual granted with free speech and the very owner of this blog I post on as a guest. I made my points clear for anyone to read including yourself and I am glad to do so on a regular basis. I simply wanted to rectify your perception on my position towards the issue morally, which is certainly not devised at discrediting what half of the Ukrainian people represent, as I said time and again, but rather put greater schemes surrounding these events in perspective for anyone interested, which sadly go way beyond the sole quest for liberty of any Ukrainian as we speak, in my opinion.


Meh said...

Anonymous February 22, 2014 at 11:39 PM

As soon as the price of gas goes up the cry's for mercy will be heard on the moon

reader said...

I hope Nader is right in his assessment of the situation in Kiev but I am not so sure. I certainly did not find the comment expressed by Anon at 9:08 PM as repulsive. I hope people of Ukraine achieve the freedom they deserve without further bloodshed and inter-ethnic conflict which I believe could potentially break up the country into orthodox Christian east and Catholic west. However what I found repulsive was the visits to protest camp by the “Bomb Bomb Iran” senator, John McCann and US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, and many other right-wing western politicians handing out snack and alleged financial support.
We mustn’t forget that, when in power, Tymoshenko was as corrupt as Yanukovich.

Anonymous said...

yep another drain on EU besides having all these beggar nations from Eatern Europe. They had socialism without social justice and now they are going to have capitalism without capital, all heading to wsetern europe for thieving and prostituation. it cannot get better than that!

Anonymous said...

This is what Al Jazeera, not exactly an example of sympathy to Russia or Russian interests, has to say on the matter. The article makes some interesting point in underlining the significant and persisting degree of presence of right-wing ultra nationalists in Kiev that will be a force to be reckoned with in the future in any scenario regarding political alignments. Read neo-nazis when it comes to Svoboda of which party militants have made a habit in destroying any monument honoring WWII veterans in their fight against Nazism all along the crisis in Maidan and even years before in flare-ups of violence, making such historical items a target of choice anytime they have a shot a them. I wonder how many are still standing as we speak. Anyway, for anyone interested :

And as "reader" said... I mean John McCain of all people, as a regular visiting friend ? as an Iranian, this could be enough for me to make an opinion of the kind of opportunistic , NATO-bent freak that she might become one day provided with enough power and margin for action. No wonder she will actively contribute in polarizing the country between blocs of tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

Annon at 11:50 PM

Do not fake yourself with your regards, because your words about "....individual granted with free speech...." not sound.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:20,

Say what you will, but I still I like the idea of Mr. Uskowi being granted with free speech like anyone else in this world, including even you ;-) Now whether I agree or not with his opinions on a given issue is irrelevant to that regard, and are always interesting to me as an alternative to mine, the very basis of mutually-respectful discussion. Your personal "vision" of me in turn, I really couldn't care less to be honnest, so next time I suggest you don't waste your time nor embarrass yourself making such useless comments while not contributing to the discussion in any way whatsoever.

Best and sound Regards !