Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Violent clearance of Maidan will only escalate crisis to greater heights

Serhiy Vysotsky in Liga.net explains why most 'Regionals' should fear the destruction  of EuroMaidan

Here are his thoughts:

A violent scenario will provoke a corresponding  guerilla response, the first victims of which will be PoR politicians, the security forces and mid-order state officials

Its still difficult to comprehend what happened on Hrushevsky Street.

At its peak there were up to 30,000 people on that street on Sunday, up to five thousand of whom were actively involved in the clashes. Moreover, even if right-wing activist organizations/provocateurs where at the leading edge, then they were clearly not in the majority. The bulk were ordinary people who had just had a 'belly-full' of the current regime. If this was indeed provocation then its aim was not the clearance of Maidan, because this did not actually occur.

Some blame can be attached to the right-wing radicals or to AvtoMaydan activists for urging people to picket the Verkhovna Rada, but it is primarily the blind authorities who are to blame for the unfolding street battles.

Following the adoption of a package of repressive laws on January 16 it became clear to demonstrators that  whether you picket a house of burn it down you'll get the same sentence - two years, so why hold back?

After last Sunday's EuroMaidan on January 19, the thousands of people who attended understood it was last opportunity to defend violated rights and freedoms. The passivity of opposition leaders did not correspond to the mood of those that had gathered or activists who knew the new laws threaten them to up to 15 years in prison.

When people feel that they have nothing to lose except the opportunity to be beaten and convicted, peaceful protest ends. This poses a big challenge to politicians and to the state because this violent mass of people who are ready to go to take extreme measures will not accept compromise.

The  Klyuyev-Portnov-Lukash government arbitration commission is judged by protesters to be a cynical challenge. Andriy Klyuyev initiated violent attacks on the EuroMaidan late November. Olena Lukash stated that the police have the right to use force to the protesters, Andrei Portnov is the guy who oversaw the shameful January 16 laws.

Yanukovych will not make concessions, and the arbitration commission will regarded as a stalling tactic giving extra time for supplementary troops to be assembled in Kyiv. Therefore, the only chance for a political settlement exists only in Parliament.

The pro-government majority deputies, as well as judges and law enforcement officers, should now understand that if the mass protest is severely suppressed by means of military weaponry and people killed, they - the middle tier of power will be the first victims of the resulting guerilla warfare. Inevitably retaliatory terror in response to violent suppression will take place.

Many many thousands of people support the protester on Hrushevsky Street. The scale of the reaction to repression by the authorities in Kiev is difficult to imagine - it could be massive.

A small possibility for some political compromise still exists, and the personal political future of many 'Rgionals' still has some  perspective. But when the first man in the street dies from a bullet the only question will be the personal physical security of parliamentary supporters of the government and its officials - and Ukraine may lose its statehood.

All that stands between crisis resolution and a scenario of full civil conflict is the wisdom of members of the Party of Regions faction and the sponsors of the party, as well as on the degree of international pressure on them.

What Vysotsky is proposing at is if the crisis deepens, revenge will be taken against PoR officials, judges and officials across the country.

Though in general coverage of the crisis in the Western press has been good, the sadistic behaviour of Berkut special forces has IMO not really sufficiently illuminated. e.g .as in this sickening video

As in previous weeks many journalists were again targetted and shot with rubber bullets,  and also beaten. Just on Sunday and Monday, there were more than 20 seriously injured.

Taras Berezovets, a political analyst I rate, says: "An entirely new generation has grown up [in Ukraine] that does not know the "soviet" mentality. Politicians lag a long way behind . People are willing to participate in an armed confrontation. In the eyes of these people there is no fear. Attempts of dispersal will fail..."

Demonstrators have nothing to lose. Their life-chances have been constantly blocked and crushed for years, while those few  in charge have bled the country dry and disgustingly flaunted the wealth they have stolen. The country is now almost bankrupt....The hatred and contempt demonstrators have for the ruling authorities resulting from years of humiliation and injustice is massive..hence the violence.

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