This is fantastic. Do read it. It explains the spirit of the Maidan so very well: http://euromaidanpr.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/what-the-world-does-not-understand-about-being-ukrainian/
I’d especially like to stress this sentence: “They (Ukrainian Freedom Fighters) did not hate Poles or Germans or Soviets; they hated their governments’ desires to occupy and control the lands that belonged to Ukrainians.“.
It is true, back then as well as today. Being a German, when you go to England, there’s a golden rule: “Don’t mention the war!” When you go to Ukraine, you can freely talk about the war. Because the Ukrainians know the difference between a people and it’s government. That’s why you have so many nationalities and ethnicitiess on Maidan. That’s why the Ukrainian Far Right and the Kyiv Jewish Community can stand peacefully united in their struggle to overcome the Yanukovych regime. That’s why, even if a small percentage of the demonstrators have thrown Molotov cocktails after being provoked by the government’s Stalinist anti-humanitarian games long enough, there is a spirit of peace hanging over Maidan. Ukrainians do fully accept that Ukrainians and Russians are brethren, what they protest against is simply the fact that Kremlin under the disguise of alleged “brotherly help” is actually trying to subjugate them.
My dear Facebook friends. The situation in Ukraine has the potential to set off a Third World War. By now I am convinced of this. Europe cannot stay away from this and close her eyes. It will fall back on us for sure. Of course we should not engage in warmongering either. What we should do is freeze the black money of all criminal elements from Ukraine (and everyplace else in the world) in our bank accounts. We should at least temporarily waive the visa requirements for simple “politically not exposed” Ukrainians – and it is rubbish to expect reforms from the Ukrainian government before allowing visa-free entry to the EU. This way we punish the people for the misdoings of their government. This would be OK if Ukraine were a true democracy. But it is wrong in a Ukrainian reality where the people and their hostile regime are two totally separate entities. We should associate Ukraine with the EU simply to give Ukraine space to breathe and develop in peace without further Russian attempts at subjugation. We may think about giving certain NATO guarantees to Ukraine to keep Russia away, but we should certainly not allow Ukraine full NATO membership including having NATO troops on Ukrainian territory. That would be too much of an aggression towards Russia.
All of this revolution is about love, freedom, peace and prosperity. These are core European values. We must defend them – peacefully, but with wisdom and determination. By looking away, we make ourselves vehicles of the Kremlin’s quest to conquer the West. We will regret this, very deeply, and maybe even in a not-so-distant future.