An Illusion of Compromise

2014/01/29 • Analysis & Opinion

The West, in publications like the Guardian and in statements by various top officials, continues to show little understanding of the real issues and the insignificance of Yanukoych’s recent dilatory, window-dressing “compromises.” Firstly, the PM has been replaced by a man even closer to the current regime, which has been slowly drawing all its most loyal insiders closer to the putative president for the last two weeks (including Andriy Kluyev who is believed to be behind the violent crackdowns in December).Secondly, even if it resigns, the current Cabinet can continue to operate in an “acting” capacity for another 60 days. Thirdly, Yanukovych has the powers to appoint and dismiss any future PM at will. Does anyone see a real compromise in any of this? More importantly, and to the point, in any normal democracy, the government would have resigned in early December, when hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians from across the country flooded the streets of Kyiv in protest against this violent regime. But Yanukovych kept going on foreign junkets, ignoring the situation entirely. On Dec. 8, there were reportedly more than 2 million people in the center of Kyiv. Even that made no difference. Does Europe understand how unlawful this regime is just from this fact alone? It gets better, though. On January 16, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s legislature had only 119 MPs present in a 450-seat chamber, not enough to officially open a session, let alone pass legislation. But it “passed” a number of “bills”, including measures restricting all human and civil rights and a State Budget increasing police budgets enormously, without debate, without hearings, without even a proper vote. By evening Yanukovych had signed them into “law.” By any democratic standards, Ukraine has been taken over by a criminal putsch, which is when a part of the government usurps all powers into its hands. Putschists cannot and should not be negotiated with. Ukraine needs a clean sweep from top to bottom, from the criminal inner circles of Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of the Regions henchmen and henchwomen, all the way through the completely corrupted law enforcement system, run by Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko.

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