Wednesday, February 19, 2014


NYTimes 18 FEB 2014

"With hundreds of riot police officers advancing from all sides after a day of deadly mayhem here in the Ukrainian capital, anti-government protesters mounted a final desperate and seemingly doomed act of defiance late on Tuesday evening, establishing a protective ring of fire around what remained of their all-but-conquered encampment on Independence Square.
Feeding the blazing defenses with blankets, tires, wood, sheets of plastic foam and anything else that might burn, the protesters hoped to prolong, for a while longer at least, a protest movement against President Viktor F. Yanukovych, a leader who was democratically elected in 2010 but is widely reviled here as corrupt and authoritarian."

Does allegiance to country include obedience to government?
Not at all.  Not morally, not ethically.  A person of conscience does not equate country with government.  Governments serve the people who are the country.  IMHO.  (Kneejerk response. It's an ancient idea that citizens exist solely to serve those who rule. Such thinking brings corruption and extraordinary injustice still today in much of the world.  Too much.)
Protesters at Independence Square on
the first day of the Orange Revolution
The heartbreaking violence in Kiev (pictured) and across the Ukraine in the last few months is specifically about that distinction.

The Euromaidan (Ukrainian: Євромайдан, literally "Eurosquare") protests started in NOV 2013 when the majority of Ukrainian citizens demanded stronger integration with the European Union. Demonstrations followed the president's refusal to sign an association agreement with the EU, which he insisted was disadvantageous for the nation. Euromaidan has come to describe a wave of ongoing demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine.  The protests have included many calls for the resignation of President Yanukovych and his government. In January 2014, the government enacted the Bondarenko-Oliynyk laws, also known as Anti-Protest Laws. Violence has escalated in frequency and severity since then.

20 FEB - The EU and the US are threatening targeted sanctions against Ukranian officials they hold responsible for the violence in Kiev that has killed at least 26 people and injured more than 200 since November. 
There's a truce announced this evening. We hope for progress and a end to the violence.
Thursday morning, another 20 have died as the truce crumbles.

21 FEB - In a statement, EU foreign ministers said targeted sanctions including asset freezes and visa bans would be introduced "as a matter of urgency".  Dozens of anti-government protesters died in Kiev on Thursday. Many were reportedly killed by snipers.  In all, 75 people - including policemen - have been killed since Tuesday.  In addition to those, Ukraine's health ministry also said that 571 were injured during three days of violence in the Ukrainian capital.
Protesters had captured 67 police, the interior ministry said. A number of them were later released by activists on the main protest camp in Independence Square - widely known as the Maidan.  The tense stand-off is continuing overnight, with the activists standing guard on the Maidan barricades for possible new police attacks.

24 FEB - President Yanukovych has fled the country ...
Our great hope for humanity; freedom from injustice, protection from the wicked who would put their own will above the good of others, a safe place to raise our children.  Stunned Ukrainian citizens view the opulence Yanukovych purchased with the country's meager wealth.

“It’s beautiful here,” Svetlana Gorbenkova, a real estate agent, said of Mr. Yanukovych’s privately owned residence. “It’s so peaceful. But why all this for just one person?” she asked. “This was all stolen from us. It’s obvious now how much he stole. Why didn’t he give anything to the people? When he was running for president, one of his slogans was ‘I will listen to every one of you.’ But he didn’t listen to any of us.”

27 FEB - As my father would have noted, the Ukrainian government appears to have been crooked as a dog's hind leg.  If they're as smart as they are corrupt, government officials will run for their lives.
6 MAR - Disturbingly, now Russia (Putin) is making a play for land and resources, much like earlier land grabs.  All ultra-high-risk.