Writing about Ukraine is not an easy thing for me. It really strikes a personal chord. When it comes to laying down text I have to choose my words very carefully. For that reason I decided to present the reader with the words of others, who to varying degrees, managed to do some decent to outstanding reporting on Ukraine lately. The reader should not assume that I endorse the words of any of these authors 100%, but he or she can be assured that I chose these articles because of their heightened objectivity, deeper analysis, and lack of sensationalism. Enjoy.
First a couple from Mark Ames:
Here Mark does a good job dispelling myths from both the Evromaidan and Putinist factions.
As it turns out though, Russian accusations of Western involvement come with a big kernel of truth. While many people supported Maidan for a number of reasons(most of them stupid or naive), one cannot truly call this a spontaneous, grass-roots movement when so much foreign money is involved.
Next we have an article which dispels the idea that Evromaidan was a movement against “Russian oligarchs.” Oligarchs, like all capitalists, frequently switch sides. These people have far more in common with each other than their respective fellow citizens. The Maidan leaders totally betrayed their anti-oligarch claims by offering gubernatorial posts to several oligarchs, but it’s clear that Russia will also handsomely reward whoever does their bidding in the Crimea or the East of the country. For their profits, they’ll give half of Ukraine to the nationalists.
I have a few bones to pick with this next article, specifically the claim that what Russia is doing in the Crimea is “legitimate.” While the details are extremely complex, what Russia is doing is actually something similar to what the US did so as to create South Vietnam. South Vietnam was supposedly created by the “will of the people,” which thereby justified American intervention to defend it. Prior to that, when the French tried to get back in after 1945, they spread rumors that the Vietminh planned to massacre Vietnamese Christians, and moved many of them to the south of the country where they could consolidate them in one area. Sound familiar? Anyway, judge for yourself.
Next is an article that can help bring you in touch with reality, in case you were unfortunate enough to run across Tim Snyder’s dishonest, fairy tale of an article about Evromaidan. The reader can look it up for his or herself, but if you want the synopsis of his article, it basically goes like this: An incredibly diverse group of hope-filled, sparkly-eyed young people took to the streets for democracy, justice, and liberty. Then the evil president started slaughtering them. Just when it seem all was lost, this diverse, multicultural gathering in which all ethnic groups of Ukraine were proportionally represented, linked arms and bent over. At this point, this diverse(did I mention it was diverse?) mass began to shit sparkling rainbows, which overwhelmed the elite Berkut riot police and literally swept them from the streets. That’s what happened and if you so much as dare mention far right-wing thugs and neo-Nazis in connection with Evromaidan, you’re clearly a dupe of the pro-Kremlin Eurasianist movement, and they are the real fascists!
Oops, sorry, Mr. Snyder. Fascism and Evromaidan do go hand in hand. The only problem with a lot of Russian criticism of Ukrainian fascism is that many of those same people subscribe to fascist beliefs themselves, including many ideas which they share in common with Ukraine’s nationalists. But that’s another article. In the mean time, you might want to browse through these.