Maidan activist: Poroshenko’s inertia is beyond reason



2014/11/04 • Op-ed

Article by: Volodymyr Parasiuk

The Russian army has entered the territory of Ukraine once again. Our president and leadership of the majority bloc have been following the example of our European friends, expressing empty gestures of indignation and outrage.

Our entire country is expecting decisive steps to be taken regarding the conflict in the East, but instead all we get are games of grandiose politics and speculation on how best to divide the political appointments.

It is apparent that our president is unaware of which country he leads. How does he justify himself? Our soldiers are taken prisoner, and there is no reaction. “Humanitarian” convoys from Russia keep entering the country, and there is no reaction. The terrorists hold elections, and the Russian army no longer tries to hide its presence in Ukrainian territory. To this day we still do not have a clearly stated position or a concrete plan of action.

If it seems that I am criticizing the president, it is because I am criticizing the president. His inertia is beyond reason. The President of Ukraine cannot be and has no right to be so indecisive, because every day now for nearly a year people have been fighting and dying not only for this country but for their own dignity, as well as for a better life.

Trips throughout the world and populist speeches have little value now compared with the need to defend ourselves against Russia’s aggression. So many promises made to the Ukrainian nation have gone unfulfilled. You have fooled people and are placating them again with meaningless promises, but the fact remains that while everyone is preoccupied with events in the East, all you are doing is posturing for a better deal for yourself. It seems to me that you are using this war to your political advantage, because people are asking fewer questions and because war can become a distraction from any number of mistakes and sins; there is no concerted attention paid at such a time to bureaucratic decisions and questionable schemes. However, one thing is certain, dear senior politicians: the way things were will never be like that again. While you are preoccupied with forming a new coalition, our young soldiers in the East are freezing and dying.

And now a word to Yatseniuk and Avakov. In all likelihood you are fine gentlemen, but your reputation throughout Ukraine is a total disgrace. And so it all repeats again, the extortion of high positions, and a self-absorbed bureaucracy and military. Just don’t forget that Maidan 3 is not an impossibility.

Translated by: Jeffrey Stephaniuk

  • Evelyn Myketa Livingston

    A foolish and destructive diatribe! Its easy to criticize but where is the solution?

  • disqus60

    Give him time. Ukraine needs modern weapons and redefined military structure, which I am sure they are working on. Time is what is needed. Ukrainian military cannot subdue the Russian military at this point, better to prepare and fight when the Russian attack- politically, clandestinely, and conventionally militarily.

    • sandy miller

      The soldiers don’t have time. They’re dying and freezing. They’re dying to maintain territory. Poroschenko and Yat need to clarify their strategy to them. Otherwise, they will revolt and who could blame them when they have so many things they need and aren’t getting them. Ukrainian communities around the world need to raise money to give the soldiers what they need immediately if the Ukrainian government doesn’t have the money. Make the oligarch’s contribute hugely. What the hell are the oligarch’s doing. Poroshenko just contributed 160,000 he needs to do more so do all of them. I wanna see a huge contribution effort from all the wealthy in Ukraine.

      • Paul Z

        A big part of the “strategy” for Poroshenko was counting on the US/EU to send him weapons to at least put Ukraine on a relatively even footing with Russia. He was also counting on the US and UK who had signed the Budapest Memorandum guaranteeing the integrity of Ukrainian territory.

  • 2mek99

    Maidan activist are probably as danger for Ukraine as Putin. You need to think.
    To win the war you need three things: money, money, money. Another rule – do not start the war you can not win.
    Ukraine has no chance to win war against Russia. Probably majority Ukrainians do not want further war. Wait for sanctions to work, reform you economy.

    • Paul Z

      Ukraine did not start this war with Russia. The Midget of Moscow did.

      • BillBlue

        On this occasion I think you have misunderstood what 2mek99 is saying. He/she was not suggesting Ukraine started the war in the East but simply replying to the implied threat which the author of the article has made.

  • Michel Cloarec

    Sad and trist article to read. But in democratic system, the critics are necessary.
    I hope it is what it looks like ?

  • Kruton

    Death to the Bolshevik savages!Obliterate the Putlerite zombies!

  • Corny Scopius

    The rules of diplomacy and inviting support from all ends of the world may seem too passive or slow to you, but it is also a crucial work for the interests of Ukraine. The reward just don’t come in as fast as conquering a checkpoint. So try to be patient with your president. To threaten him or foster disaccord does not benefit you or Poroshenko, keep in mind it primarily serves the enemy. The Russian aggressor has the profit from such conflicts.

  • DemocracyJA

    This is not a quick fix. Stamina is the word, no matter what happens right now. Another Maidan revolution and Ukraine is down the drain. No more EU. Russia is cracking up, the more fascist they become the poorer they get, mentally AND pecuniary. The Russia society of today has become so fucked up it’s now turning against them. Fast!

  • Jens A

    I understand the frustrations, the anger and the bitterness. But there is no way that NATO will go at war with Russia and there is no way that the EU will make boycots that will hurt European economy big time. Poroshenko did try to attack the terrorists and just before they were beaten, the Russian army entered. There is no way that Ukraine can beat the Russian army as things are now. I truly wish it was not like that, but it is.

    EU sanctions does work. Slow and not as you hope, but they do work. Look at the rate of the Ruble and the break down of Russian economy. Putin got power on the promise of wealth and stability and the lack of that could of course remove him from power.

    If you attack full scale, Putin will counterattack full scale with his soldiers on “holiday” and all the nonsense he normally uses in his lies. That will only give him a grand victory and play the nationalistic card in Russian public.

    I am sure that many if not most of the Russians have sympathy for Ukraine. There is hardly a Russian without some family ties to Ukraine. And the number of body bags of dead Russian soldiers flowing back to Russia will increasingly make this conflict unpopular. But you need to behave better than the terrorists and you need to fight corruption to keep the support from the EU and in the end also from the Russian public.

    I truly hope that you win and your victory will be the end of Putin and Putinism!

  • BillBlue

    I can fully understand your grievance, your humility at what is happening to your Country, your frustration and your deep down feeling of injustice but right now it is too late for NATO to intervene without starting a world-wide conflagration which could have been averted had the leaders in the West been as strong as historically we expect our leaders to be but, unfortunately, they were weak-kneed at the outset. Once Putin recognised this he dared more. That, together with Goebbels’s like propaganda, have placed Putin, in the eyes of the Russian masses, onto a pinnacle and that only leaves two ways of overcoming him. The first will cause WW3 and end with the total destruction of Russia to the extent that Germany was destroyed in WW2 but then that evil man will almost certainly play the nuclear trick which could cause the destruction of the whole world. What, I believe, your President is working towards is the second and, in the long term, safer option. To make Putin lose face in the eyes of the Russian people.

    This can be achieved by so badly damaging the Russian economy the ordinary people will start groaning under the load and then rise up to create, hopefully, a Russian Maiden but that will take a long time to achieve. In the short term we should remember your President did attack the insurgents to the delight of the whole world and was on the very point of success when Putin sent in the Russian Army. At that point the total weakness of the Western leaders was once more revealed in a very stark manner and it is at that point your President still finds himself. Ukraine, on its own, cannot defeat Russia in a war so you must immediately forget that option and that only leaves you and your President with the option of dethroning Putin by collapsing his economy and, at that stage, I can see no reason why the Eastern part of your Country and the Crimea should not be returned to their rightful home which would be a fully democratic Ukraine. Please, please, be patient.

  • Andre Maurer

    The author’s biography is in no small part to blame for the problems which Ukraine now faces: “Volodymyr Parasiuk is a Euromaidan activist. In the evening of February 2014 he went up on the main Euromaidan stage and declared Maidan’s ultimatum that Yanukovych should resign immediately else they would undertake an armed assault of the President’s Administration. The following morning Yanukovych fled Ukraine.”

    When you act in undemocratic ways towards others, others will act in the same way towards you!

    • Gojiro

      “When you act in undemocratic ways towards others, others will act in the same way towards you!”

      Well Ukrainians had been murdered on the Maidan by Russians, so calling for an armed revolt is completely understandable against a murderous dictator.

      Yanukovych had already made arrangements to flee to Russia to escape criminal prosecution. His bags were packed before this threat was made. Putin had already started the takeover in Crimea and was firming up his plans for raids into Donbas.

      • Andre Maurer

        They could have just voted Yanukovich out office in the early presidential elections in June 2014. There would be a new president, and Crimea and Donbas would still be Ukrainian.

        • Igor Z

          You sound convincing. But I wonder… If Putin has the gall to do what he doing now, why wouldn’t they ever give up Yanuks regime. Not to mention all the “dictator laws” that would remain.

          • Andre Maurer

            Well, probably for the same reason Putin doesn’t invade Finland. He has no excuse to do it. The febuary Coup d’état gave him the perfect opening that he wanted.
            Regarding the “dictator” laws, Yani already agreed to remove them in the meeting with the Maidan activists and EU reps from Poland and Germany,

          • Igor Z

            Comparing Finland and Ukraine in relation to Russia is absolutely pointless. You have no argument there. If more Russians lived in Finland, it would be as vulnerable as the Baltic states.

            What’s done is done. Maidan happened as it should have. You can’t go back in time with your comments. It does not give Putin the excuse to terrorize Ukraine for his own political gains. The man is a dictator and he will do anything and everything to maintain his power.

          • Andre Maurer

            What’s done is done. Crimea is now Russian and possibly Donbas as well. You can’t go back in time.

          • Igor Z

            You can’t undue Maidan. You can win in Donbas… It may even be possible to get Crimea back. If Crimea never returns to Ukraine than “brotherlyness” will never return to Russia. I think many Ukrainians will be able to live with that over time. Crimea was annexed because: it’s an isolated penninsyla, had Russian military base, Putin had a contingency plan for its anexation ready to go.

            Donbas is a completely different situation. The best Russia has been able to do is destroy some cities. It does not control the whole region. Most likely it will be Ukraine that will rebuild, not Russia.

            Putin won’t be alive for long in the larger scope. There may be a complete political shift coming to Russia that will undue much of the injustice.

          • Andre Maurer

            A complete political shift in Russia? Maybe, but for that to happen, we would have to wait for a good portion of the population to die off and be replaced with new voters. This as, as you surely know, President Putin enjoys very high levels of support among the population.
            About Donbas, don’t worry, President Putin doesn’t want to occupy or annex it. Its all about keeping a long term frozen conflict there which will make membership to NATO and EU much more problematic.

        • Jim U

          There was a snowballs chance in hades that Putin would allow Yanukovych to lose the elections. Putin tried twice to put Yanukovych in the office of president the first time he was caught cheating the second time he won and the rest is history.

          • Andre Maurer

            Read your history book. Putin tried and failed to install Yanukovich as president in 2004. That ended in failure. Such gross tactics don’t work anymore. No, Putin needed a perfect opening to intervene in Ukraine. And the Maidan people provided him that with their coup against a democratically elected president.

        • Gojiro

          Ukrainians were being so undemocratic and unreasonable! They should know they are just Serfs and submit to being slaughtered by Putin and Yanukovych!

          Yes, yes just let a murderous thug retain power to kill, jail, and torture more Ukrainians!

          How unreasonable of Ukraine’s citizens to stand up for their dignity and demand justice. They need to learn their place and let Great Leader Putin use his fatherly wisdom and kindness to kill and cull the “bad” Ukrainians! Besides Ukraine is not a real Nation is it? #SNARK

          Yanukovych is a vicious thug and dictator. He and his cronies looted 400 billion from Ukraine. He jailed political opponents, used the law in a reckless manner to take over businesses and loot them, and engaged in schemes involving bribery and payoffs which hobbled Ukraine’s economy.

          Donbas and Crimea will once again be free of Russian invaders and Putin will be embalmed and placed in a glass sarcophagus next to Lenin.

          His legacy will be the Federalization and breakup of Russia with the East being ruled by China. Because the Kremlin is run by little men who are greedy barbarous and cruel.

          Ukraine will be Free, Prosperous, and Independent because the Ukrainian Tree of Liberty is being watered with the blood of Tyrants.



    • tribalogical

      Writing that in ALL CAPS must mean it’s true! Psh…

      I actually think he’s a first-class leader… calm and measured in the face of a fairly intense crisis, from day one…

      He has presided over or been involved with TWO elections, both of which empowered the country further, enabling changes to the very course of the country… Reducing and eliminating corruption is an essential first step, and he has pushed hard to enact legislation to do that. I lived for a few years in Ukraine, during Yanukovich’s presidency, and I can tell you that job one is getting control of the pervasive and endemic corruption. It’s the primary thing holding that country back…

      His arguments to the world have been valid, but the world fears World War 3, and with good reason, considering the madness of Putin and his propaganda.

      So, he is making do with what he has. A difficult situation both economically and militarily. I admire his efforts, and the results so far. Considering the overall situation, Ukraine could not have found a better man to lead the country toward a long-term and positive future…

      • gmab

        Poroshenko is doing a great job. Many world leaders have expressed deep respect for him & how he’s facing major challenges. He does have the maturity & calm state of mind. He’s not emotional like Yatsenyuk (who does an excellent job as PM) and knows the reality he’s facing. The country relies on the younger generation to keep the dream alive & stick together thru the tough times to come. The first major comment from a Maidan MP is “they’re not paid enough”- very bad timing to say this to the World when most of us saw the Maidan folk as strong, persevering & committed to the long road ahead for freedom, dignity & prosperity. I hope they can stick with it for the duration cause it won’t be smooth sailing all the time.

  • Bill Pannell

    Volodymyr Parasiuk I admire you very much but the army needs to be completely organized and equipped. Wars are won this way. New generals and honest patriots must be found to lead..

  • gmab

    Please be patient & mature about the horrible mess your country is in. It’s not Ukraine’s fault Putin is destroying you bit by bit. But, it takes perserverance and strong will to continue forward with all the bumps in the road. Poroshenko has done more for Ukraine in the past 6 months than anyone else I could think of. Now with the EU, US & G7 countries also involved, progress will seem slow but the income may certainly be better than just going to war with a Country you cannot win with.
    This is the hard part now- please be patient & focus on what has been done so far, not what hasn’t happened yet. Ukraine is on the right course still considering Putin is frustrating everyone.

  • Dave Gookin Sr

    Ukraine can not win this Russian war. Not if they go it alone.

  • Harm Broers

    I can sense the overall frustration but at the same time I believe that the present president is doing his very best! What may come difficult for Ukraine is to acknowledge that the occupied territory is lost, if not forever, it’s lost right now. Instead of negotiating with the criminals there Ukraine will be better off to seal off the area as soon as ever possible. By doing just that and asking friendly countries for strictly defensive armour the crisis can be stopped. Ukraine needs to focus on itself as a country and a nation. Stick together and do your best and yes start a campaign were you ask the civilized world for support. Ukrainian expats in all countries can start with that. Nobody wants a WW3 and nobody wants Ukrainian loosing their lives at the front. Remember each live saved is a winner for all of us. Ukraine is Europe and neads to become a worthy member in the european family of countries. There is no other way. Greetings from Sweden

  • Valera Sceptical

    I am confused.

  • Valera Sceptical

    Oops, did not finish my thoughts. Have been reading major US, Germany and British media for a while about tragedy in Ukraine. After tabulating the number of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine on separate dates – as reported – I counted somewhere between 135 and 150 thousand Russian troops on Ukraine’s territory. Where are they? All in Donetsk? Luhansk?
    Kind off hard to hide this huge number of military guys. I am confused.

    • Thomas Alan

      What are you sources? I will count them for you. Then we can compare numbers.

  • Roshan George

    Volodymyr Parasiuk ,please go yourself a brain maybe you don’t realise this but Ukraine can’t win a war with Russia not alone and Ukraine is very much alone right now. Ukraine needs to reform and become independent of big brother EU and Russia, young maidan activists like yourself can help with that by getting yourselves some jobs and by mobilising young people in the Ukraine to engage in productive works Stop talking of revolution nonsense if you haven’t yet figured out revolutions don’t make nations prosperous its hard work and dedication of an entire generation and your generation is the chosen one for this so get to work and shut up ,the europeans dispise you ukrainians and aren’t gonna put up a damn cent to help you

  • Demi Boone

    So have you picked up a gun and headed to the East? On to Odessa……….