Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The people will decide

It’s hard to keep up with events in Ukraine.  The nature of politics in Wales is that we get accustomed to the idea that change happens only slowly and that that is the norm.  Yet events elsewhere sometimes develop a different sort of momentum, with the situation changing almost hourly.
I don’t know what the 'final' outcome will be in Ukraine, and neither does anyone else.  The only thing which is clear is that power, for a while at least, has been reclaimed by the people from the institutions and politicians which previously exercised it.  It’s a useful reminder of where power really lies; something we tend to forget.
There’s been a lot of comment about the supposed differences between the Ukrainian speaking west and the Russian speaking east.  I don’t pretend to know enough about the country to judge how accurate those comments are, so I’ll restrict myself to saying that things are rarely as simple and straightforward as that anywhere else, and I’d be surprised if they were in Ukraine either.
It’s entirely predictable though that outsiders would already be telling the Ukrainians that they “can’t” split the country into two.  It’s the sort of “advice” we’ve heard recently a lot closer to home.  It's equally predictable that some within the country see present borders as permanent and unchallengeable and are dismissive of 'separatism'. But borders and countries are a human construct; and history shows them all to be 'temporary' over the long term; it's just that some turn out to be less temporary than others.
Whether a split would be the best outcome for the country I really don’t know; what I do know though is that telling people who have just demonstrated very clearly where power lies what they can and can’t do is missing the point.  Working out 'what the people want' will certainly not be easy in the current situation there and may take some time; but trying to obstruct it is unlikely to be productive. The future size and shape of Ukraine(s) will now be determined by the people(s) who live there.  The rest of the world needs to be ready to offer help to them to build that future, not tell them what it must be. 


Anonymous said...

As with Belgium and Wales, Ukraine needs to split along linguistic and cultural lines.

The EU needs to recognise that language is a divisive issue. One common working language for the EU, encompassing all matters political and legal.

Anonymous said...

Well it would be nice to think that the Ukrainian people would be left to work things out for themselves but it's unlikely to happen.

After all the current coup was engineered by outsiders ready to use neo-Nazis as their shock troops, backed by Western leaders and a media ready to condemn any attempt at restoring order.

No doubt the governmemt were corrupt, as are most of the opposition, but they were democratically elected.

What annoys me is how our view of things has been manipulated by the likes of the BBC. Treating Yanukovich as if he were Ceausescu rather than someone voted into power. No mention of the thugs of Right Sector with their Nazi symbols and ideology. An emphasis on Putin's meddling when the real meddling was from the likes of McCain and the US embassy.

This was a classic CIA coup just like the one currently being attempted in Venezuela.

Hopefully there will be free elections, although you have to wonder with the new Justice minister a member of the Jobbik, BNP aligned Svoboda party and moves to ban the party of the regions and the communists - who between them gained 43% of the vote at the last election.