I am taking the liberty of sharing a blog post that I have received from a friend and associate who divides her time between Kiev and New York–and who recently returned from Ukraine.
Ms Shvachuk’s views are her own and her world view is bold and distinctive. She is from western Ukraine and her voice is part of a long tradition of independence and pro-European sentiment from that region of the country.
She makes a number of more general points that I believe bear underscoring. First, that there is a world wide trend toward individual citizens rising up against their governments’ to promote political change–frequently without any warning or hint of unrest previously.
The Arab Spring comes to mind immediately as a similar example from the Middle East. I discuss this trend in greater detail in my 2013 book The End of Authority.
Second, Ms Shvachuk also speaks to the divide between political elites and those they govern. The End of Authority addresses this phenomenon on a worldwide basis, and the TV show Pat Caddell, John LeBoutillier, and I do on Fox Fox News, Political Insiders, speaks to this divide every Sunday at 730pm.
Third, and probably most important, Ms Shvachuk’s essay is the product of someone recently drawn to politics and activism. Among her many activities, she runs a consulting company and is the author of the forthcoming book, Ukrainian Beauty. The passion and intensity of her work underscores how deeply affected she is and other young Ukrainians are by the protests now occurring in Kiev.
Ukraine: Be awakened or be forgotten
The world seems to be drowning in chaos. Whole countries have been swallowed by protests and war. Nations of great power are dazed and confused while violence is spreading like wildfire. We are in the period of the world’s greatest rebirth and it isn’t pretty.
Lets look at Ukraine, a place where the people are no longer willing to tolerate oppression. It is a bloody mess because people refuse to live as slaves. They no longer stand quiet while the old system of gangs and corruption robs them blind of their past, present and future. People are waking up to their power and are fighting for what they believe in.
All this talk in the news about the critical split of Ukraine is missing the point. The real fight is not between two different parts of Ukraine, but between the corrupt government and the people that do not want to be corrupted any longer.
So why is the country divided on this seemingly obvious issue? Why would anyone want to be oppressed and stand for the old immoral rules of the game? The answer is fear.
Ukraine is divided into those that are afraid to act against the government and those that are willing to put their life on the line to fight for their freedom.
The eastern block of Ukraine is portrayed as supportive of the current president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, and the country’s close ties with Russia “wholeheartedly.” However, what most people do not know is that these people still live in the oppression of the past, where propaganda is the rule of law.
Most are struggling financially. And when they are threatened to lose their jobs at any sign of protest, they opt to stay invisible and to give in to the orders of the regime. Others are so desperate to work, that they are willing to get paid tiny amounts, even by Ukrainian standards, to protest in support of violent and corrupt government.
Ukrainians in the east are even more desperate for a better life than those in the west. Yet they are the ones that speak up the least. They live in fear and ignorance. Some even think that those who protest against the government are extremist and crazy – or at least that’s what President Yanukovych tells them to think.
Some still cannot believe that there are Ukrainians are bold enough to stand up to the big, bad bully. It is like living in the world oblivious to any reality and any possibility that one’s life could be so much better if one could just take a leap of faith and be open to change. No human wants to keep on suffering, unless they see no other choice and are threatened with even harsher punishment if they push for change.