The analysis below was prepared by the Institute of World Policy (Kyiv, Ukraine), www.iwp.org.ua.
RUSSIA IN UKRAINE: 10 FACTS
1. The intervention is based on lies. Russia has invaded Ukraine under a false pretext that there were victims among Russian population in the Crimea. There is no single proof that any Russian was killed in the Crimea or in South-Eastern Ukraine.
2. Ukrainians do not want to join Russia. There is no single region in Ukraine where the majority of the population is willing to join Russia. Even in the Crimea the number of those who would like to see the peninsula as a part of the Russian Federation amounts to 41% of the population. Only 33% of locals in the Donetsk region would like to join Russia.
3. Ukrainians are not separatists. 80% in the South and 76% in the East of Ukraine refuse the idea of establishing an independent state on the basis of the South-Eastern Ukraine. Let us recall: The Constitution of Ukraine allows to make changes regarding the territory of Ukraine only through a NATIONAL, not local, referendum.
4. How are Russia’s interests being infringed?The interim government of Ukraine has NOT APPROVED ANY SINGLE decision that discriminates Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population: Parliament’s decision to repeal the law on regional languages has not come into force. NATO integration is NOT mentioned in the program of the new government.
5. The EU enjoys a stronger support. The majority of Ukraine’s population (55%) supported signing of the Association Agreement. Moreover, almost half of those (47%), who voted for the most popular in the South-East of Ukraine Party of Regions, supported the signing of this Agreement.
6. How many Russians are there in Ukraine? Putin has claimed that there are 17 million of Russians in Ukraine. In fact, 17% of the Ukrainian population are Russians; it amounts to about 8 million people. The percentage is lower than in Latvia (where are 27% of the population are Russians) and Estonia (almost 26%).
7. Who are fascists and Russophobes? Four ministers of the new government were born in Russia. The new head of the Dnipropetrovsk administration, Igor Kolomoisky, is the Head of the European Jewish Council.
8. Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine are not necessarily pro-Russian. The daily language for nearly half (45%) of the Euromaidan participants is Russian!
9. Ukrainians are against federalization. Most residents of Ukraine are against a federal structure of the country. 53% in the East and 63% in the South do not support this idea.
10. Ukrainians are patriots. 95% of Ukrainians consider Ukraine as their motherland. None of the military units of the Ukrainian Navy has surrendered to the Russian invaders or has sworn to the self-proclaimed “government of the Crimea”.
Sociological data comes from Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, Levada-Centre, Razumkov Centre, Russian Public Opinion Research Centre, DW-Trend, etc.
РОССИЯ В УКРАИНЕ: 10 ФАКТОВ
1. Интервенция на лжи. Россия вторглась в Украину под вымышленным предлогом – жертвы среди русского населения в Крыму. Ни одного убитого русского ни в Крыму, ни в Юго-Восточной Украине не обнаружено.
2. Украинцы в Россию не хотят. Ни в одном регионе Украины нет большинства, желающего присоединиться к России. Даже в Крыму количество видеть полуостров в составе РФ составляет 41% населения, на Донбассе к России хотят только 33%.
3. Украинцы – не сепаратисты. 80% Юга и 76% Востока Украины против независимого государства на основе Юго-Восточной Украины. Напомним: Конституция Украины позволяет изменить территорию страны только через ОБЩЕНАЦИОНАЛЬНЫЙ референдум.
4. Где ущемление интересов России? Переходное правительство не утвердило НИ ОДНОГО решения, дискриминирующего русскоязычное население Украины: решение парламента об отмене закона о региональных языках не вступило в силу. Интеграции в НАТО в программе нового правительства НЕТ.
5. ЕС поддерживают больше. Большинство украинцев (55%) поддерживали подписание Соглашения об ассоциации. Более того, подписание этого Соглашения поддержала почти половина (47%) избирателей самой популярной на Юго-Востоке Украины Партии регионов.
6. Сколько русских в Украине? Путин заявлял о 17 млн. русских в Украине. На самом деле русских в стране 17% – это около 8 млн. человек. В процентном соотношении это меньше, чем в Латвии – 27% русских или в Эстонии – почти 26%.
7. Кто фашисты и русофобы? Четыре министра нового правительства родились в России. Новый глава Днепропетровской администрации – Игорь Коломойский, глава Европейского еврейского совета.
8. Русскоязычные в Украине – не значит пророссийские. Почти половина – 45% – участников Евромайдана в быту говорят на русском языке!
9. Украинцы против федерализации. Большинство жителей Украины против федеративного устройства страны. На Востоке не воспринимают эту идею 53% и 63% на Юге.
10. Украинцы – патриоты. 95% украинцев считают Украину своей Родиной. Ни одна из воинских частей ВМС Украины не сдалась российским оккупантам и не присягнула самопровозглашенному «правительству Крыма».
Институт мировой политики, www.iwp.org.ua
Социология: ДИФ, Центр Разумкова, КМИС, Левада-Центр, ВЦИОМ, DW-Trend и др.
What is happening now in Ukraine is not a full victory yet. However, it is the end of Ukraine post-sovietica and the birth of a truly independent Ukraine.
In 1991 Ukraine became officially independent but remainded deeply post-Soviet inside. The ex-Soviet nomenklatura kept the power. These people were neither reform-minded nor patriotic and only cared about personal enrichment. In their turn, the population tolerated the situation because Ukraine seemed safer and more peaceful than other post-Soviet states and because they also believed they would be better off financially in independent Ukraine. As a result, for the last 23 years Ukraine stewed in a murky post-Sovietness which basically stalled the institution and nation-building processes (without completion of which no democracy and market economy can be built).
It took exactly this time for a new nationally minded patriotic generation to grow up. Unlike their predecessors 23 years ago they knew they wanted their Ukraine to be independent and free – not only geopolitically but also internally. They wanted to leave the post-Soviet heritage of corruption, legal opacity, unprofessionalism, selective justice and repressions behind in order to start building a democratic European Ukraine. They were ready to die for it and some did.
The battle against post-Sovietness is present at all levels, starting with the «elite» which was brought up under the conditions of «decaying socialism» and ending with symbols such as Lenin statues and squares. The latter were demolished or severely damaged in over 40 Ukrainian cities and towns. As a matter of fact, Ukraine’s post-Soviet legacy is vividly illustrated by the fact that up until now there were 176 Lenin statues against 46 Ukraine’s national leader Taras Shevchenko statues in Kyiv region alone.
The Euromaidan also contributed to the consolidation of the Ukrainian nation. It is true that in Ukraine’s East and South 43% of the population didn’t support Euromaidan. However, about one fifth of the Maidan population is represented by the Southern and Eastern Ukrainians. Thus, Euromaidan and the end of the Yanukovych regime is a common achievement for all Ukrainians, the first of the kind in the history of independent Ukraine. It is also a common grief. Noone will ever be entitled to claim that the glorious slogan «Slava Ukraini!» – «Heroiam Slava!» is an ultranationalist greeting. Not only has it united Ukrainians from the very start of the Euromaidan, but also from now on it will bear a very specific reference to Maidan’s heroes. Called «the Heaven 100», the people who died in defence of their rights and freedoms came from all parts of Ukraine: from its Western, Central, Eastern and Southern parts alike.
Likewise, the Euromaidan has proved that language is not a dividing issue in Ukraine, bringing together both Ukrainian and Russian speakers.
This is just the beginning, of course. A lot of work is still ahead. In the first place, those responsible for the deaths, beating and torture of the innocent civilians have the face the strictest punishment, starting with Viktor Yanukovych. This will not only be the triumph of justice but also serve as a warning and a precedent for the future Ukrainian political leaders. Drastic measures should also be taken to sustain Ukrainian shattered economy.
Ukraine’s political future is uncertain, too. The actions of the opposition leaders during the Euromaidan have not added to their popularity among the voters at best. Besides, the majority of incumbent politicians enjoy limited trust among the population (level of trust towards politicians in Ukraine is one of the lowest in Europe). It will take time for new strong ideology-based parties to establish themselves. Besides, Ukraine’s ‘big politics’ has to resist the temptation of putting personal ambitions above the welfare of the state. Even the Euromaidan saw the appearance of numerous internal groups with their own vision of its aims and means.
It is important that a qualitative generation change takes place not only in the top tiers of power but also locally. Otherwise we will have a deja vu of 90-ies when inert and passive civil servants resisted any potential change.
Last but not least, Russian imperialistic ambitions are here to stay. Kremlin will not stop trying to weaken the Ukrainian statehood.
It is important to remember that no change will take place instantly and to have no false expectations from the future political process. However, in contrast to the Orange revolution, I don’t think this could be the case now. The Euromaidan didn’t have a single leader, let alone a political one, from the very beginning. Each of us knew that the success depended on him or her personally. This new skill of taking individual responsibility for the future of the country was one of the Euromaidan lessons to Ukrainians. The next skill to be developed is to make it a routine daily practice.
This entry’s data partially comes from the policy study ‘How to Get Rid of Post-Sovietness’, published by the Institute of World Policy (Kyiv, Ukraine) in 2012.
The Euromaidan statistical data comes from the opinion polls conducted by ‘Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation’.
The views expressed in this entry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute of World Policy.
After three weeks of the negotiations between the government and the opposition virtually no progress towards meeting Euromaidan’s demands has been made.
Meanwhile, the key question at the negotiation table is currently the changes to the Constitution which would limit the presidential authority and lay the foundation for the democracy restoration in the country. However, the Ukrainian political process over the years of independence was so entangled and misty that a vicious circle of illegimate decisions has been created. Breaking this circle is a real challenge now.
In a nutshell, there have been two editions of the Ukrainian Constitution, adopted in 1996 and 2004.
The Constitution of 1996, adopted under Ukraine’s second President Leonid Kuchma, five years after Ukraine got independent, proclaimed a presidential-parliamentary republic and endowed the President with expansive authority.
The Constitution of 2004 was adopted between the second and the third tour of the presidential elections in Ukraine, thus allowing a peaceful resolution of the Orange revolution. Its key innovation was transfer of much of the presidential authority to the prime minister. However, the Constitution was adopted with numerous procedural violations, one of the most cited being the changes to the final document made after the Constitutional Court returned its verdict on the text’s legitimacy.
The ruling of the Constitutional Court of 2010 proclaimed that the Constitution of 2004 was illegitimate owing to the voting procedure violations. Hence, the Constitution of 1996 came into force. This instance also lacks in legitimacy. For one thing, it bypassed the Verkhovna Rada which is the primary body in the constitutional process. For another, the Court’s ruling did not contain a direct assignment to the restoration of the Constitution of 1996.
Currently, any solution out of the deadlock is not flawless. There is no constitutional majority for a new version of the Constition in the parliament. Moreover, a new project would have to be approved at a referendum, while the current law on the referendum was ardently criticised by both Ukrainian and international lawyers and experts as conflicting with the Constitution and the European democratic standards.
In effect, only Constitution of 1996 was adopted according to the juridically correct procedure. However, as American scholar Paul D’Anieri observed, while there were no procedural violations de jure, de facto President Leonid Kuchma forced the parliament to pass his version of the Constitution under the threat of dissolution. Thus, what juridically was the start of the constitutional process, in reality was the triumph of the power politics. The latter has flourished in Ukraine up until now.
Meanwhile, no protester detained by the police has been rehabilitated, noone responsible for brutal dispersal of Euromaidan and further aggression towards demonstrators punished, no early parliamentary or presidential elections envisaged. Some observers comment that the negotiations on such a time-consuming issue as the Constitutional process are just a means for Ukraine’s authorities to play for time until the presidential elections in 2015.
Be these elections early or (most likely) not, it is important that they take place in accordance with the democratic standards. Otherwise, the events of 2004 and Euromaidan will have even more things in common.
The views expressed in this entry are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute of World Policy.
While many in the West celebrate the negotiation process between the government and the opposition in Ukraine, it is important to realise that virtually no compromise has been attempted by the authorities so far. Below I am providing a brief summary of the key ‘concessions’ made by President Yanukovych and explain what they really mean.
1. An offer to the opposition to join and even head the government.
This is a smart tactical step which pursues numerous goals. Reported by the Presidential Administration minutes after the negotiation round was over, it created a storm of indignation among the protesters who felt that even contemplating such an offer meant the opposition’s pursuit of power and betrayal at the expense of people’s expectations and sacrifice. As a result, the opposition leaders had to explain away to the people rather then present and discuss the negotiation results with them.
While it may sound as a division of power attempt to the West, it’s worth remembering that in Ukraine President can appoint and dismiss any minister (except Prime Minister) at any time. The ruling Party of the Regions has a Speaker and a strong majority in the Parliament. The Ukrainian economy is in dire straits and Russian loans, promised to resigned Mykola Azarov, will hardly come if the opposition takes the Cabinet of Ministers (well, under Azarov it was hardly guaranteed, too). In fact, a year ahead of the presidential elections, it would just play into Yanukovych’s hands to blame the opposition for any problems or undelivered promises. So, if Arseniy Yatseniuk by any chance decided to take Yanukovych’s offer, it would be totally suicidal for his political career.
2. Repeal of the ‘dictatorship laws’.
Opposition MP Lesya Orobets provided an excellent analysis of this step here http://euro-revolution.org/news/novini-gromadskogo-sektoru/mp-olesya-orobets-we-have-to-judge-yanukovych-by-his-real-actions. In addition, Yanukovych has not signed the law passed in the Parliament on Tuesday (January 28) yet (the condition upon which the law comes in force) and going on sick leave is a likely trick never to do this. According to one of the sources, he openly declared that he wasn’t going to sign it during the PR faction meeting on Wednesday.
3. The law on the amnesty of the detained protesters.
This law was indeed passed on Wednesday (January 29) after hours-long session in the Verkhovna Rada. Importantly, four bills were registered in the Parliament, two of which envisaged the liberation of the detained protesters unconditionally. While there were enough votes to pass one of them (according to ‘The Insider’, an indepenent online media, 52 Party of the Regions MPs were ready to vote for it), President Yanukovych himself arrived at the Parliament and summoned a faction meeting. After this, a bill prepared by the Representative of the President in the Verkhovna Rada Yuriy Miroshnychenko was voted in. It foresees the liberation of the detained protesters only after all streets and administrative building are freed by the demonstrants. These conditions are unacceptable to the protesters since they mean giving up effective leverage on the authorities and no guarantess against further detainments, abductions and torture. In effect, the President himself intruded in the Parliament’s work so that no consensus between his party and the opposition could be reached. Speaker of the Parliament Volodymyr Rybak conceded yesterday that Yanukovych had threatened his deputies with the Parliament’s dismissal.
All these steps are taken by Yanukovych to placate the West with seemingly democratic solutions. In fact, these are all imitations aimed at blaming the opposition leaders for derailing the negotiations. Meanwhile, detainments, crack-downs on the protesters in the region and repressions persevere.
Yanukovych’s supporters like to stress that Yanukovych was democratically elected. True, and this was the last thing connected to him which had anything to do with democracy.
Dear EU leaders,
For the first time in the history of the EU a peaceful demonstration for the European choice of a country has been brutally dispersed. It happened in Ukraine on November 30, 2013. This only spurred hundreds of thousands to join Maidan. That day it stopped being merely about the EU – it started being about Ukraine people’s rights and freedoms.
For over two months now the Ukrainian people have been making pleas to the EU to help and stand up for the values the EU claims to be built on. During this time seven innocent people have been killed. Dozens abducted, detained and tortured. Hundreds injured, including journalists and doctors who are purposefully attacked by the police.
However, so far the EU only «condemns» and is «deeply concerned». On January 23 German Chancellor Angela Merkel excluded sanctions for the time being.
The EU-Ukaine Association Agreement was being negotiated during five painful years. On top of the legislation which Ukraine and the EU were going to share under the Agreement, the Ukraine and the EU claimed to share the same values.
Dear EU leaders, Ukrainian people are dying for these values. Are you sure you’re ready to support them by actions, not words? Watch out: history knows precendents when you shied away from your noble declarations.
In 1932, Poland received letters from Ukrainians who begged to inform the world about the atrocious famine on its territory. Poland kept silent, because an non-agression treaty between Poland and the USSR had been signed. As a result of the famine, at least 3,3 mln of Ukrainians died on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR.
The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which continued to fight the Soviet occupation years after the World War II was over, failed to receive any support from Europeans, too.
Some EU Member States have offered Ukraine a helping hand. Lithuania was the only one who said the EU foreign service should draft a list of potential sanctions at a meeting of the bloc’s Political and Security Committee in Brussels on 23 January. It also offered to accept injured people for treatment, since in Ukrainian hospitals the police and the allied mafia lie in wait for them. On January 24 Polish Sejm stressed the possibility of imposing personal sanctions against Ukrainian officials responsible for the bloodshed. Europe, are you ready to stand by Warsaw, Vilnius and Kyiv?
As of now you can:
- mediate the negotiations between the authorities and the opposition leaders. The precendent is set by Javier Solana and Alexander Kwasniewski during the Orange revolution;
- introduce the visa bans and freeze assets in the European banks of those authorities and oligarchs who are responsible for violating human rights and freedoms in Ukraine;
- put pressure so that those responsible for crimes against humanity, including torture of peaceful activists, bear responsibility in accordance with the international norms.
Europe, Ukraine is on the brink of a civil war. Act now, otherwise you’ll have a lot more trouble to sort out on your own borders. And, above all, your alleged loyalty to “European” values will be infinitely compromised – as a result, even less soft power amid almost no hard one.