By Ukrainian writer Yuri Andrukhovych
January 25, 2014
Translated by Anna Mausi Shvets
In almost four years of power, Yanukovich’s regime took the country and its society to the breaking point. What’s worse – he locked himself into a dead end, where he needs to hold on to power indefinitely and with any means. Otherwise, he will be subject to severe criminal prosecution.
The scale of theft and usurpation exceeds all notions of human greed. This is the only explanation for why this regime, for the third month already, is ramping up violent “combined” escalation against peaceful protest: the attacks against police headquarters on Maidan match the individual persecution of opposition activists and simple protestors (surveillance, beatings, burning of automobiles and homes, home intrusions, arrests, trials by rote).
The key word is intimidation. Since it doesn’t work, and people are protesting in greater numbers, the government tightens repressions. It created the “legal basis” for this on January 16, when parliamentary representatives wholly dependent on the president, with all possible violations of agenda-setting procedure, voting procedures, and finally, the Constitution, had a hand vote (!) in the course of several minutes (!) to vote in a number of changes to the law, which genuinely create a nationwide dictatorship and martial law, without the latter being announced. For example, by writing and disseminating these lines, I am already subject to several criminal statutes for “libel”, “incitement” and so on.
Anyway, if we approve these laws, then consider everything not allowed by the authorities forbidden in Ukraine. And authorities allow just one thing – obeying. Not agreeing with these laws, on January 19, the Ukranian people stepped out in great numbers to defend their future.
Today in frames from TV news from Kiev, you can see protestors in different kinds of helmets and masks, sometimes with wooden bats in their hands. Don’t believe that these are some kind of “extremists”, “provocateurs” or “right radicals”. My friends and I also go to such events in that same or similar equipment. In this sense, the “extremists” are me, my wife, my daughter, our friends. We have no other choice: we are defending the lives and wellbeing of ourselves and our loved ones. We are being shot at by police special forces and our friends are being killed by their snipers. The amount of protestors, killed on the government block alone in the last two days reaches an estimated 5-7 people. The amount of people missing all around Kiev reaches tens of people. We can not stop the protests because that would mean that we agree to a country that is a life sentence in prison.
The young generation of Ukrainians, who had grown up and formed in postSoviet times, naturally don’t accept dictatorship. If dictatorship wins, Europe will have to deal with the possibility of a North Korea on its eastern border, and by different estimates, from 5 to 10 million refugees.
I don’t want to scare you. We are having a revolution of the young. The authorities are waging their undeclared war primarily against them. After nightfall, unknown groups of “people in plainclothes” are on the move, catching primarily young people, especially with MAIDAN-European Union insignia. They kidnap the protestors, drive them to forests, where they strip and torture in the bitter cold.
Somehow, more and more victims of such detentions are young artists – actors, painters, poets. One gets the impression that the country accepted some kind of “death squads”, whose mission is to destroy all the best.
Another characteristic detail: in hospitals, police forces ambush wounded protestors, kidnap them and take the (I repeat, wounded) people to questioning in an undisclosed direction. Going to the hospital, even for chance passerby grazed with a shard from a police plastic grenade, has become extremely dangerous. The doctors just shrug and give their patients to the “law enforcement”.
To summarize: in Ukraine, full crimes against humanity are being conducted, for which the current government is responsible.
If there are really extremists in this situation, then those are the country’s leadership.
Now, to answer two very difficult questions: I don’t know what will happen next, just as I don’t know what you can do for us.
Well, you can do the best you can to distribute this appeal. And also – sympathize with us. Think about us. We will win anyway, no matter how brutal they may be.
The Ukrainian people are already defending, with their own blood, the European values of a free and just society.
I hope very much that you will appreciate it.