January 12, 2015
Translated from Russian by J. Hawk
Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada in its current form is a leftover from the internal occupation regime, and has not incorporated the changes that were demanded by the Maidan, believes Deputy Dmitry Yarosh. He spoke about this on Gromadske TV.
Discussing the reasons why he became a deputy, Yarosh notes “I did not want to go to the Rada—the organization gave me an order. I am a soldier of the revolution and I follow orders. I knew that it will be difficult for me there, because it is such a snakepit.”
Even though one can find normal, decent people there, especially the new faces which were elected at the same time as I, but overall the current composition of the Rada makes it is impossible to resolve problems.”
“Of course, one can approach the Rada Speaker and say “Promise, otherwise I’ll knock you out,” but that’s not civilized and against the rules of the current Rada.”
“I believe that the current Rada is a leftover of the regime of internal occupation that we have had for the last 23 years. And when one sees what is going on in the Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers, I don’t see any transformations in these institutions, they have not become defenders of the people, or even wanted to do something,” says the founder of the Right Sector.
He also talked about his work as a deputy. “It is changing—one can see that—they are afraid of the people, afraid of the Right Sector, but keep doing what they’ve been doing. Unfortunately, the Rada did not undergo the revolutionary transformation demanded by the Maidan.”
“I knew that they expected me to go to the Rada and kick someone’s ass, make a spectacle, but I don’t play by the rules, I don’t do what’s expected of me. For me being in the Rada, especially right next to open enemies of Ukraine, is a cause of discomfort.”
“And I always carry a grenade with me—if need be I’ll throw it. They have no right to search people’s deputies. They ask—do you have weapons? And I reply, no, and go on, but in fact I have been carrying one for a long time, for about a year.”
This is an expanded transcript of the infamous “bring a grenade to work day” interview, and here Yarosh makes it even more clear he does not consider the current Ukrainian institutions, not only the Rada but also the Cabinet of Ministers which is filled with “Western partner”—approved officials, including a US citizen, as permanent, or as desirable. He goes so far as to rank them on a par with the previous Ukrainian government, which was overthrown in a violent coup, which suggests the fate Yarosh has in mind for the current one.
The main question that is difficult to answer is the extent to which Yarosh is an independent actor. Considering that he is, in fact, the leader of the Right Sector, an organization he founded and run since its inception, it is unlikely he is taking orders from Kolomoisky or any other oligarch. After all, it is difficult to imagine Yarosh being replaced as the head of the Right Sector any time soon. So it would seem that Yarosh is already positioning himself to take the lead of the next uprising against the state, in the name of the people whose Maidan dreams were “betrayed”.