On February 22, I wrote a post called “Yanukovych Legally Still Is President of Ukraine.” To put it mildly, it kind of went viral. I don’t mean viral as in millions of views (I’ve never had that many views before!), but I had a substantial number of views on this post. Heck, I even made it to the front page of Google News the day I published it. So my first order of business is to thank everyone who shared it. You know who you are. Mark shared it on his blog (twice, I think). A commenter by the name of Rob shared my post on a few forums. Other hits came in through Facebook, so at least one person shared it on there. Again, thank you so much for sharing and reading. It really means a lot to me.
As a lot of events have happened since February 22, I thought I’d post an update with my thoughts on Ukraine. So here goes:
- I stand by what I said in the aforementioned post, i.e. that Yanukovych was illegally deposed. You can love him or hate him, but the fact remains that his ouster was not legal.
- Yanukovych was fairly elected in 2010. This fact caused controversy on Twitter about a week ago when I mentioned it. I was accused of being “ignorant” and worse. This is not an opinion, though—at least, it’s not my opinion. International observers said the election was free and fair. Again, if you don’t agree, that’s okay. Just don’t blame me for saying it. Take it up with the international observers.
- I wouldn’t support Yanukovych in a future election. Yes, it may be surprising, but I actually think it’s better for Ukraine if he goes. I just wish it had been done legally. For a fledgling democracy such as Ukraine, it is important to elect leaders and remove them in accordance with the law. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a constitution if one is going to ignore the rule of law on certain occasions?
- The protestors were not peaceful. A lot of people in the West try to paint them as martyrs murdered by a dictatorial regime. This is patently untrue. The news just broke today that those snipers so condemned by the international community were, in fact, acting on the protestors’ orders, not Viktor Yanukovych’s.
- The old government was corrupt, but the new government won’t be much better. That is the main reason why I am so disgusted with Ukrainian politics. It’s corrupt to the core. Do you really believe Tymoshenko or Yatsyenyuk will be any better for the country? Corruption runs so deep over there. It’s really depressing if you sit down and think about it.
- There are troubling anti-Semitic elements in the protest movement. The main culprit is the Svoboda [Freedom] party, led by Oleg Tyagnibok. Tyagnibok has a history of making anti-Semitic statements, such as: “They were not afraid and we should not be afraid. They took their automatic guns on their necks and went into the woods, and fought against the Moskali, Germans, Kikes and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state.”* What a lovely individual, right?
- There was Western involvement in the protests. As in, the EU and the US supported the protestors.
- I have deeply mixed feelings about the Russian incursion into Crimea. I don’t want there to be a war or anyone else dying. The main question for me is: does Crimea want to join Russia? Technically, if the Crimeans want to secede, it’s hypocritical for the West to condemn that because of our record on supporting Kosovo’s secession. Right now, what I’m most unsure of is whether there is a majority in Crimea in favor of leaving Ukraine and joining Russia.
That’s all I have for now. Honestly, I am just so annoyed about what’s going on over there and the shoddy coverage in our media. It frustrates me immensely.
*Original text: Вони не боялися, як і ми зараз не маємо боятися, вони взяли автомат на шию і пішли в ті ліси, вони готувалися і боролися з москалями, боролися з німцями, боролися з жидвою і з іншою нечистю, яка хотіла забрати в нас нашу українську державу. Found here. Aside from insulting Jews, he also insulted Russians—Moskali is an insulting word in Ukrainian that refers to Russian people.