People’s Deputy Xenia Lyapina on clashes in Kiev.

January 23, 2014 Radio Svoboda
Translated by Lesya Covert

Comments on the dramatic events in Kyiv are given in interview with Radio Svoboda by Xenia Lyapina, the People’s Deputy (party “For Ukraine”, a faction of “Batkivschyna” parliamentary faction)


– I’m afraid it is virtually impossible to reach a peaceful resolution, more so due to the fact that Yanukovych does not seek such a resolution. In fact, from his side there was only a weak imitation of the negotiation process. The opposition, in its turn, participates in the negotiations only to demonstrate to Europe that we did try using all tools of the peaceful negotiation process. We have no illusions as to the possibility of achieving an agreement with Yanukovych.

– Do representatives of your party and other members of opposition coordinate their actions with the protestors fighting special forces in Hrushevskoho Street and the European Square? Does somebody talk to those people, try to direct them somehow? 

– Unfortunately, the situation here is quite complex. It is time for taking action exactly because all attempts of the peaceful protest activists were unsuccessful. For the members of the radical wing of Maidan, all those who sided with peaceful protest are not an authority. They do not want to listen to the opposition leaders calling to stop violence, they have no more faith in the peaceful protest methods. And it is hard to accuse them of anything, since the two months of peaceful protests returned no results. The situation was exacerbated by the adoption of new laws by the Verhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament). We do not consider them valid, since the parliamentary voting procedure violated all laws and the country’s Constitution. The government, however, considers them valid. All this has substantially worsened the legislative situation in Ukraine. It is naïve to count on peaceful forms of protest in a country with a crumbling legal system. Therefore, it’s to be expected that the radical elements of society will continue being active.

– What is your personal take on those guys? 

– I sincerely sympathize with them. However, I would not have called for such hot-headed actions, clearly without understanding the extent of such political responsibility. Their courageous preparedness to sacrifice themselves calls for my sincere sympathy. Perhaps they do not make far-sighted calculations, since they are not politicians, but maybe that is to their advantage. They are not afraid of anything, they are prepared to protect the freedom in their country with their own lives. That inspires admiration!

– You are saying that you do not have great hopes for the success of a negotiation process. Does it mean that violence is inevitable? Is there no other way? 

– My predictions are disturbing; I would not want them to come true. Violence will not be limited to its current state. The Hunters’ Association and the Association of Gun Owners reminded us that there are about 2 million registered firearms. However, corruption put a lot more firearms in people’s hands. I am convinced that the government does not understand to what extent the situation may continue escalating. Yanukovych remains certain that all these protests are just the actions of a few organizations sponsored by the West. It’s hard to imagine a greater delusion – people sacrifice their lives, take to barricades, while the ruler sits in his residence confident that someone would do that for some sort of money. But the president is fully embracing this illusion, he is unable to evaluate the processes, and, accordingly, underestimates the temperature of happenings.

– Does it mean that your country is at the brink of civil war?

– I would say that the country has almost crossed the point of no return. It was already confirmed by the prosecutor general’s office that two people died from firearms inflicted wounds. This line is so unsteady that it’s hard to say whether it has been crossed.

This entry was posted in English, Maidan Diary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.