VICTORY. WE WON’T STAND FOR THE PRICE? (Dedicated to the events of May 2 in Odessa)

VICTORY. WE WON’T STAND FOR THE PRICE? (Dedicated to the events of May 2 in Odessa)
22/05/2014
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Modern German Philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote in his book “The Divided West”: “The mentalities split, and the distance is defined not by the differences in basic political values, but by the attitude to the great efforts of mankind to reach the state of civilization.”

This statement by a Frankfurt Philosophy School theoretician excellently fits the current Ukrainian social and political situation.


Separation between us is not just for the political reasons (like supporting Eurointegration or, on the contrary, joining Russia) and not limited to them; this is rather a matter of attitude to using this or that method of achieving your goal. By saying this, I mean applying force to the opponent, and the theoretical possibility of delegating some of the state’s functions to average citizens under the conditions of peace time. I want to specify that by saying “opponents” I mean our fellow citizens, not the ones who work for a foreign government.


Two events occurred in Odessa on May 2, and the first of them - the so called “victory” of the supporters of Ukraine over separatist was marked with a terrible tragedy: dozens of people died as a result of disorders,and, mostly, fire.


According to the Ministry of Interior, 42 people died, 125 injured and hospitalized; among them are 21 policemen and 13 servicemen of the National Guard.


The upturn felt by the supporters of Unanimous Ukraine lately is, of course, important. A principal breakthrough happened after several months of terror and authority’s helplessness, when people, administrative buildings and even whole settlements were taken hostage. Ukraine finally received the international community’s support, unmistakably voiced at the UN Security Council extraordinary session. Heads of the world’s leading states condemned Russia’s policy for destabilizing the situation in Ukraine and approved Ukrainian Government’s actions, de-facto giving them a blank cheque for continuing the anti-terrorist operation. Today the State slowly, but with minimum victims restores control over the important objects. Hope emerged that the life will go to normal again.
The events of may 2, when the fight resulted in the separatist forces were smashed and had to withdraw, with their camp destroyed, were considered as victory inspiring many Ukrainians who want the unrest to stop. This victory, however, costed over 4 dozens of human lives.


We all have to understand very well in order to prevent similar tragedies in the future that the “state of civilization”, reached by “the great efforts of mankind” involves not just science and technical progress, but, first of all, the cognitive shift, making the very thought of violence against one’s political opponents impossible.


“The state of civilization” won’t let anyone celebrate while the bodies of those who died are still warm.


“The state of civilization” won’t let us wish a victory for such a price in a peaceful time.


Yes, we repelled the attack on our city and our Ukraine, but we all have to be terrified by the numbers of people who died in the incident. And we can’t celebrate when many families grieve. This is a blood-based triumph that has another side, and this side is a terrible crime.


A crime committed by those who should defend the public order. By those, who were obliged to prevent the fight, but stood idly. By those, who provoked such outcome by purpose and brought up people against one another.


The authorities and the security agencies distanced themselves from solving current problems almost everywhere, putting this duty on average citizens.


Consequences of this catastrophe are unpredictable. The euphoria will pass, with lots of corpses behind and coming radicalisation of people and civil war ahead.


But, having answered the question “who’s responsible?”, we have to answer another question, which is - “what shall we do?” Otherwise this situation will be repeated over and over again and the civil war will become more and more real each day.


What shall we do? Demand bringing the officials of all levels guilty of crime of omission to justice. Demand concrete actions for stabilizing the situation from Kyiv and local authorities. Demand that the officials not to hide behind people's rightful authority, calling upon them to unite and stand against the common threat instead of making responsible and competent decisions themselves, the decisions that are to be made by the state officials.


Demand from the authorities to either control the situation or appoint people who can do it for the main state positions.


And all of us, both the “defeaters” and “defeated”, have to remember that the latest history gives us examples of states being torn apart because of their lack of will to make arrangements.


We, the Ukrainians, have to learn the civilized methods of defending our rights, and the main thing is to learn how to talk to each other, hear each other, understand and forgive.


This has nothing to do with the people who are “here today and gone tomorrow”, such as military coordinators working for a foreign state, the criminals who are guilty of the bloodshed. Law enforcement officers have to deal with them, and they must be brought to trial for all they’ve done.



Ms. Irina Cherkasova

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