Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Violence against protesters in Eastern Ukraine damages Party of Regions' standing

President Yanukovych has given away almost nothing today.

Prime minister Azarov has gone...but he was already sitting on his suitcases, studying travel brochures, so to say. He was always going to be the token sacrifice in the event of pressure on the president. And he can remain acting PM for two more months..

Scrapping of the authoritarian laws passed by parliament nearly two weeks ago by the most shameful cheating will make little difference to to barbaric behaviour of law enforcement agencies. Even today there are reports that the injured are being plucked from hospital beds by law enforcement agencies. The whereabouts of many others is unknowm. One of the leaders of AvtoMaidan is still missing after a week.

EuroMaidan will not in any way be impressed or feel safer. 


Serhiy Vysotsky in a article considers Sunday's violent scattering of demonstrations outside State Oblast Administration buildings in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya by riot squads and large numbers of 'titushky' [young thugs armed with sticks and organised and paid by the authorities] significantly harms the prospects of Party of Regions in those Eastern Ukrainian cities. Until now a large proportion of the residents of these cities have been ambivalent to, or even critical of the EuroMaidan protests. 

Many dozens of people were injured, including six journalists in Dnipropetrovsk alone. Many people have been arrested after being chased for hundreds of meters then beaten. Videos showed totally innocent, terrified bystanders beaten and forced to seek shelter in apartment buildings where strangers let them in.

Active participation of titushky can be seen in this video: they wore yellow armbands for identification so that police and riot police goons would not attack them 'by mistake'. 

In these two cities the ruling elites are quite diversified and have never been purely pro government or pro opposition. They have always co-operated with whoever was prepared to defend their rights at the central level in the organs of power.

It is most probable that the five to ten thousand demonstrators in each of the two cities were tacitly supported by some fractions of these local elites whose assets have been systematically under attack by Donetskiites appointed by Yanukovych. The massive overreaction of law enforcement personnel will increase discontent amongst the locals and weaken Party of Regions' support in these two important cities in a big way. 

p.s. Pinchuk and his pals from YES appeal to Europeans and Russia to sort out the Ukraine's problems. I believe there is only one problem, as British PM allegedly noted when describing Yanukovych: "He's from a different civilisation." Katya Gorchinskaya describes this different civilisation in this excellent 'KyivPost' article. It really is as bad as that.. 

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