June 17, 2015
Translated from Polish by J.Hawk
“I am already starting to think about Yanukovych No. 2, and the EU will be once again responsible for that revival,” says Ukrainian writer Yuriy Andrukhovych in an interview with Onet. “It turns out that no effort of ours leads to the desired goal. It will cause another wave of disappointment and the return of pro-Russian politicians into power,” predicts the writer who is often referred to as the “Ambassador of Free Ukraine.”
Ukraine is now the object of geopolitical negotiations, an element of the West’s strategy concerning Russia. In theory, the Minsk 2 agreement provides for a ceasefire. What does the situation look like in a country where a war is being waged while theoretically there’s peace? Andrukhovych refers to it as an a “ragged peace.” We have a ceasefire of the sort which brings us daily news of wounded and even dead on the Ukrainian side. For example, just last night three Ukrainian soldiers were killed,” says the author of “Muscoviada. A Horror Story.”
The writer emphasizes that Ukraine is in a strange situation in that it’s alone in spite of having many allies: “It’s absurd that in the eyes of the international community Ukraine has to explain why it is fighting against some terrorist groups on its own sovereign territory. In Ukraine there is a sense of aloneness and of lack of understanding of our problem by every party.”
In his book “It’s not dead yet and it will not die”, Andrukhovych reminisces about Maidan’s beginnings when Yanukovych decided to disperse the protesting youths by force. Andrukhovych then told Polish journalist Pawel Smolenski “We will not allow this animal beat our children.” According to the writer, it’s the parents’ anger that gave birth to the Maidan.
When asked how these parents feel these days, how Ukrainians feel, Andrukhovych answers that “the society is still aroused and outraged, but it at the same time very demanding toward those who have come to power. Ukrainians are very skeptical toward the current authorities, but their criticism is exaggerated. In principle, I don’t like representatives of any government, but I also think that the scepticism is not wholly justified.”
The writer also says that there is a certain paradox in Ukraine. “On the one hand we are experiencing a huge wave of patriotism, which is understandable in an armed conflict, but at the same time a near-total absence of trust toward the authorities. It’s a uniquely Ukrainian phenomenon, because usually patriotism leads to an increase of support for the government.”
Are Ukraine’s rulers afraid of another Maidan? “Of course they are worried, but I believe that any talk of a new Maidan is an exaggeration or simply idle threats. Maidan doesn’t simply happen, it’s not simply the case of rebels coming out into the streets. It’s a complex phenomenon which requires a very specific situation. The situation has not risen to that level yet, and I would not want it to rise.”
Andrukhovych is called the ambassador of free Ukraine. His letter, in which he wrote in early 2014 that “Death squads are operating in Ukraine” has been published by media around the world. His books are published and even win awards in the West, thanks to which his voice is heard and listened to there. How does he perceive his role? I don’t see myself as an alternative ambassador, but rather an intermediary. I know Western societies which means I can better explain what is happening in Ukraine. He emphasizes his ability to relate information which is not included in news reports. “The dimension of human experiences and gestures is often missed by our Western partners–they view the conflict as a geopolitical game in which Russia and US fight over spheres of influence.”
Andrykhovych also talks about Ukraine’s future, and about the vicious circle of revolutions into which the country might fall. “I am already afraid of that, I’m beginning to think of Yanukovych No. 2, and once again the EU will be responsible for that revival, just as it didn’t want to open itself to us after the Orange Revolution, we were given no prospects for entry and now the situation is repeating itself.”
“Once again we are made to feel that it doesn’t depend on us. Our partners only want to either harass or not harass Putin. It turns out that no effort of ours leads to the goal. It will lead to another wave of disappointment and the return of pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. If Europe wants that, that’s how it might end,” Andrukhovych concludes bitterly.
J.Hawk’s Comment: What a piece of work this guy is! Everything is always the EU fault, as if it was the EU’s responsibility to govern Ukraine. No word of criticism of the current Ukrainian authorities–I guess the end justifies the means, as long as they are ostensibly “pro-Western” that is sufficient to warrant his de-facto unconditional support.
Interesting point about war and distrust of the authorities–I guess that’s as close someone like Andrukhovych will ever come to openly admitting Kiev regime needs the war to stay in power but, dammit, something is going wrong because the sheeple just aren’t rallying around the flag like they are supposed to!
And, finally, one wonders just about what it is that the pro-Western orientation is supposed to do for Ukraine. For Andrukhovych it appears to be a goal in itself, no matter what level of suffering it causes to ordinary people of Ukraine. Because what’s left unsaid in his fear of Yanukovych No. 2 is that once good relations with Russia are restored, people of Ukraine will once again know peace and prosperity.
BUT WE CAN’T HAVE THAT, CAN WE?
Ahem, now, what was I saying? Oh yes. I think we can put Strelkov’s and Rozhin’s fantasies about NATO arming Ukraine, or even NATO troops in Ukraine, to rest. We are down to a sphere of influence agreement that will probably amount to a partition of Ukraine, and not even along the current “line of separation.” If people like Andrukhovych are all but throwing in the towel (conveniently blaming the EU rather than themselves), people who are not trolls but well-informed and well-connected political actors, you can be sure that the game is pretty close to being over. With Putin’s/Surkov’s/Starikov’s strategy actually looking far better than most people were giving it credit at the time.