By Ivan Oberemko
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
The man in the photo is Volodymyr Mykolayenko. This picture was taken on February 18, 2014. The fire in the background is from the burning headquarters of the Party of Regions. After this, Volodymyr survived a night on Maidan, throwing tires into the forward barricades. The days he spent on the Kyiv Maidan were the only days he missed of the Kherson Maidan.
Today Mykolayenko became the official Mayor of Kherson. And for me, personally, it is still the only real, tangible result of Euromaidan which can be considered heavenly justice. Does [Petro] Poroshenko becoming President signify a victory? Not for me. If Yulia [Tymoshenko] had become the President, orOleh or Vitaliy [Klitschko]–I would have grimaced more. Is Chernovetsky’s people taking positions in Kyiv City Council the result of Euromaidan? No; it is the result of exhaustion, not aspiration. Mykolayenko becoming the mayor of Kherson–this is a real result which one is not ashamed of; we can point it out to people and we can say–here we are. Finally! Let’s continue in this manner; or we can do better; but now all is measured from here, from these kinds of people; not from what we had before.
Mykolayenko got approximately 43% of the real vote in the [local] elections. Approximately, because 7% of the vote was stolen from him by: (a) carousel voting (b) cynical shifting of ballots from his pile into another, at a number of sites. But to no avail. 36% in the final standings; and a gap of 20% above his nearest competitor.
While campaigning, Mykolayenko got to work by using public transport, despite a packed schedule and the availability of a “company car”; because that was what he did before, and so he’s going to do it in the future. For him it is not a problem to walk alone without guards in the markets or the night-time streets of Kherson; or to sit in the Crystal football stadium among regular Khersonians. A three-room Soviet-style apartment is not too small for he and his wife. He doesn’t need a yacht, plane or gold baguette; for him it is not a problem to speak Ukrainian, although his native language is Russian. He is just a good person. An average Ukrainian. Among us there were always more good people than bad, and one of us just became the main man in Kherson.
Friends, Glory to Ukraine. Everything is possible.
Source: Ivan Oberemko FB