Since it’s in Croatian and I liked it so much I decided to translate it and post it here.
I’m sure the author will be perfectly fine with that. Actually, both the author and I will be thankful if the mods can let this wall of text remain posted, because maybe it contains just right tiny piece of info that can change someone’s mind. Also, I spend two hours mangling it in English
I apologize for my hilariously amateur translation, complete with mixed orthography from at least four languages and I hope you’ll be able to understand the gist.
So, here goes:
Ukrainian story: Our revolution has just begun
Everything started with peaceful protests of Ukrainian students, disappointed with unexpected political decision of Viktor Yanukovich, who was the president then, in November 2013, and who completely stopped reforms desired for long time and the process of coming closer to the values of European Union. Infamous Ukrainian special militia force Berkut was sent on these youth. Berkut had reputation of targeted breaches of human rights, beatings, deliberate inflicting of serious injuries, deliberate crippling and even murdering. Video recordings - in which Berkut members are breaking young boys’ and girls’ bones, intentionally hit them in the heads while they lay on the asphalt already covered in blood – pulled out many others in the streets: war veterans, Chernobyl containment workers, radicals, more students, professors, artists, doctors, businessmen. In the Independence square on December 08th 2013 a million people gathered united in Million march that has declared the Revolution of Dignity.
Ukrainians, Russians, Belarussians, Poles, Crimean Tatars, Hungarians, Slovaks, Georgians, Armenians, Greeks, Jews and numerous others members of Ukrainian nation from whole Ukraine demanded early presidential and parliamentary elections. Maybe everything started with support to Ukraine coming closer to European Union, but the revolution has transformed into struggle for dignity of each Ukrainian citizen, the struggle for basic human rights, the struggle for life without corruption and organized crime in the top of the power structures. The government and the people seemed to have lived in two different worlds, they couldn’t understand each other, and it is clear today why there was no understanding – Yanukovich has stolen from state treasury, in the last three years, few dozen billion US dollars. His son became multimillionaire in one year.
Ukrainians had started the revolution peacefully, better self-organized with each day. Their excellent self-organization shouldn’t surprise anyone because both the greatest Ukrainian intellectuals and the popular people like Ruslana and Klitchko (proven neonazis as haters of Ukraine like to accent) took part in the protest. For more than two months, through sing and dance at -25 Celsius, citizens of Kyiv and the rest of Ukraine protested at the main city Independence square (Maidan), asking for resignation of criminal government that remained deaf, hoping for protests to soon fade out. In the meantime, Ukrainians had survived few militia clearings, so called sturms, that were ineffective. They survived threats, abductions, beatings, tortures and first murder following the torture. It was especially regrettable because these were all the consequences of the actions of Ukrainian Ministry of interior. Criminally organized state against the people, barbarian government against noble nation, mildly put.
The turning point was when so called Dictatorship laws (according to which it should’ve been possible to be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for taking part in protests) were accepted by Ukrainian parliament, through breach of procedure. Another turning point was at the beginning of January (2014), after first larger clash between relatively radical youth within EuroMaidan and members of Berkut. Two young men were killed by sniper in Hrushevsky street. One was shot through the heart and the other was hit by four bullets in the neck. That was the message of the government – what will happen if protestors don’t remove themselves out the streets. The public was additionally horrified when the minister of interior said that these two bodies were dragged in from unknown area with intention of creating the tensions. A lie uttered so cold-bloodedly. In the next days it became clear there was no return, people were horribly frightened of future with such government. Soon pro-Ukrainian military movement called Pravy Sektor (The Right Sector) was formed. It gathered radical organisations of Ukraine. Radicals became the most desirable friends under Ukrainian government. At the same time People’s EuroMaidan Self-defence was organized, that started protecting Kyiv residents from militia harassment, from abductions of the wounded from hospitals, from burning the cars that delivered tyres, firewood, medicine, food, books and any other necessities to Maidan. There was state of war in Kyiv, that Yanukovich didn’t want to declare.
After few unsuccessful peaceful attempts to negotiate and get the dates for early presidential and parliamentary elections, one of leaders of the Revolution, Vitali Klitschko, has called for general mobilization. In the next few days tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens from all parts of Ukraine arrived to Kyiv and they were ready for armed fight against the power, but they had no weapons. In just two days they defended themselves with bricks, tyres, Molotov cocktails, home-made catapults, bats, wooden and metal shields, few rare old guns, with song and with mixture of Celtic and Cossack spirit. They defended themselves from attack of well armed special militia forces, special anti-terrorist units, Ukrainian Security agency and unidentified members of sniper division – it’s speculated that one was not from Ukraine. The word “terror” doesn’t describe it. Mass slaughter of youth, teachers, businesspeople, doctors, lawyers and anyone else in Kyiv streets took more than 80 lives. More than thousand people were wounded, many were crippled for life. Truly horrible were gunshot wounds through heart or neck. Snipers left no chance for doctors to save lives of the wounded. So was the Heavenly Company created, numbering 95 people today, and since many are still in critical condition that number might even grow further.
Ukraine has no time for mourning or celebrating. Situated in the east end of Europe rich with energy resources, this largest European country was known in the 9th century as the Rus’ (Latin: Ruthenia). Always at the geopolitical crossroad. In 10th century the people accepted Christian values, spread them further throughout East Europe for more than three century. Then they were enslaved by Mongols and fought so hard to regain the independence. Ukrainians are great artists and anarchists, individualists. Exceptionally brave but peaceful folk. Probably the most peaceful Slavic nation and that is the reason why many don’t know of them. They assimilate others through their rich culture and tolerance towards the newcomers. Maidan was never intolerant of other nations, but it was at the same time the national revolution. Maidan used to face propaganda directed against it, media disinformation and similar occurrences, today Maidan becomes national pride of whole Ukraine.
Ukraine was never divided linguistically. Ukrainians consider their bilingualism an advantage, compared to neighbouring Russia. Tomorrow, whole Ukraine will speak English too. Ukrainian values system is not based on strict conservation, but on absorbing new values, including linguistic ones. As early as in 17th century, numerous inhabitants of Ukraine spoke three or more languages and they never saw foreign language as a kind of threat. The threat appeared with neighbouring countries attempting to destroy Ukrainian language. World’s first democratic constitution was written in Old Ukrainian and Latin at the beginning of the 18th century by Ukrainian hetman Pilip Orlik.
In the last few days pro-Russian protests can be seen in streets of Crimean and larger south-eastern cities, but it’s a little harder to notice that it’s a group of Russian citizens touring Ukrainian cities, organized, but failing to instigate an uprising like the one in Kyiv. A woman in tears begs for Russian help and claims she’s Odessa resident and the next day she and her co-worker are already doing the same in Kharkiv. The West doesn’t even realize, nor the extent of manipulations in Ukraine neither how deeply united Ukraine is. Tensions in Ukrainian political scene are not representing disuniting of Ukraine, they represent pluralism and freedom cherished by Ukrainian folk since ever. These are the reasons why Ukraine is not Russia, never was and probably never will be. We are talking about two completely different mentalities here, one individual Ukrainian and the other collective Russian. That’s why Ukraine will never split in half without military intervention of some foreign nation.
The situation in Crimea wasn’t expected but Ukrainians are not worried with it. Uniformed soldiers of one of the best armies in the world literally took stroll through Crimea, without their insignia, occupied Crimean parliament, heavily armed they declared their new chairman of the parliament, hung Russian flags on flagpoles and hoped for haste reaction of Ukrainian army. Waldimir Putin hoped for Abkhazian scenario, but as always he didn’t count in Ukrainian political wisdom. Ukrainians know there’s only 4% pro-Russian radicals living in Crimea. Mixed marriages, diverse dependence on Ukraine – water and electricity supply included, as well as the wish for normal life in tourist centre of Ukraine, these are the reasons why Kyiv knows that sooner or later Crimea will be back completely into Ukraine, with national pro-Ukrainian charge that wasn’t that present before.
It’s completely irrelevant but still, interesting fact that ethnic Russian and Ukrainian politician Nikita Hrushchov had assigned Crimea to Ukraine because Crimea has no water and Russian settlers didn’t know how to organize revitalisation and normalization of the life on their own. Crimea wasn’t just presented to Ukraine because Ukraine has pretty eyes or out of some brotherly reasons as many are writing. Also, another fact that keeps being silently ignored is that at the same time few beautiful regions were taken away from Ukraine and given to Russia. Green Ukraine in the Far East is also long forgotten. But what matters is that Crimea is really not entirely Russian, its inhabitants were Greeks, Goths, Ukrainians, Tatars and numerous other nations. For Crimea Russian and Ukrainian forces would fought together, just as they fought together for many other Eurasian countries that are today parts of Russia.
Putin is doing a mistake again when he doesn’t see what Ukraine has to offer to him. Partnership of equals. Partnership where Russia will become an example of the most desirable values of the western civilization, not values pushed on by force. It were Ukrainians that introduced European style into Russian empire, it were Ukrainian scientists that sent Gagarin into space. We can only hope that the government in Moscow will create a friendship with Kyiv the way friendship among Russian and Ukrainian people is being created lately, with no pretensions, hypocrisy... honestly. In the streets of larger Russian cities with each day protests are sprouting: No to the war! Hands off Ukraine! Ukraine is brotherly country! and such.
Ukrainians never thought of Europe as the better life, but as the chance for the better life. They have no illusions, they don’t expect anyone will give them anything. It is important to them that they have a chance to succeed. They had no such chance until today. Ukrainians will just become one very positive surprise for and of Europe, many are not aware of that. The Revolution has just begun!
Slava Ukraini! Geroyam Slava!
Slava Nebesnii Sotni! (in Ukrainian)
Slava Ukrajini! Herojima slava!
Slava Nebeskoj satniji! (in Croatian, because the article was written in Croatian)
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!
Glory to the Heavenly Company! (in English, because I want you to understand too)
Edit: again, I keep noticing lost letters... sorry...
Edited by Helen of Annoy, 07 March 2014 - 09:01 PM.