Ukraine: Everybody continue fighting infantilism

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

As confrontation takes extreme forms, Ukrainians should leave their illusions behind and not count on help from any side, be it the EU, Russia, the leadership or the opposition, writes Vadym Omelchenko.

Vadym Omelchenko is the president of the Gorshenin Institute.

Thank you Europe, at the moment of the highest tension in Ukraine, for the clear message that came from the meeting of the EU foreign ministers: sanctions against Ukrainian authorities are not the issue. The few voices of politicians who were saying the opposite drowned in the wave of explanations of why Europe is not going to do that. This is positive, as the introduction of external sanctions against the authorities may not be the goal of a revolution. In theory, it might be a kind of assistance or consequence, but absolutely not the goal. This means that it is time to grow up, to change goals, to search for ways and to assume responsibility.

Thank you Russia for contributing towards getting rid of Ukrainians’ illusions. The configuration of the recent arrangements and the terms of the loans leave no doubts. The big brother does not need poor family. Own pragmatic interest will always dominate these relations. If one looks beyond the coarse ideological façade, it will turn out that Ukraine is interested in Russia as an opportunity to make money under good conditions [read Gorshenin Institute paper ‘Some assessment of the Ukraine-Russia relations development in 2013’]. Even in the East of Ukraine, the euphoria for the salvation agreements and fraternal help will fade over time. The time to pay the bills will come fast. And this means, it is time to take your life in your own hands, grow up and learn to earn your living without hoping for the support of a rich family.

Thank you Ukrainian opposition. The opposition’s incapability to be united, its cautiousness next to cowardice and servility effectively kill active Ukrainian society’s hope for leaders; it stimulates self-organisation processes and promotes emergence of new formations and leaders capable of defending their constitutional rights on a whole new level.

Thank you Ukrainian leadership for accelerating with every step it takes the self-identification of more and more Ukrainian citizens. It makes no sense to expect concessions from the power, and this means, something should be undertaken. One should defend himself and his family from despotism, unfair courts and out-of-court reprisals.

Thank you those dead on the barricades, who have shown that Ukrainians can come in different forms. There are ones such as the man of Armenian origin who loved Ukraine and was shot by a sniper. But there are also ones like the sniper who killed him.

Hence, an infantile greenhorn is different from an adult person in their ability to assume responsibility, make decisions without entrusting his own destiny to anybody. We hope that the lessons that the Ukrainian people has learned will definitely rid it of the infantilism that had been impeding its development for years.

These lines are being written as the confrontation in Kyiv is going on and taking on extreme forms. A wave of out-of-court reprisals has swept over the last 24 hours. Anonymous persons kidnap, torture and kill activists in woods near Kyiv. At the same time, so-called “titushkis” – young criminal-looking sportsmen – have are reported to have been involved in violent attacks and provocations on the streets of Kyiv.

This is not about the opposition countering the power any more. These are elements of a civil war. Because a war starts not when trench combats are on but when a soldier starts taking revenge for a killed comrade following the eye for eye principle. The negotiations between the opposition and the power continue, and unless these are blind to developments and deaf to each other, they should focus the negotiation efforts on release of stress and prevention of a civil war the consequences of which may be fatal not only for Ukraine.

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