Euromaidan protests on 1 December 2013 gathered from 500 thousand to 1 million protesters. Image: social media
On the second anniversary of the “March of Millions,” the first nation-wide mass Euromaidan protests, a group of Ukrainian civic activists and “young politicians” have released a statement that reiterates the demands of the protest movement dubbed the “Revolution of Dignity.” In it, they demand to start a genuine battle against corruption, to implement real reforms, and to ensure the transparency of the government so to not lead people to another revolution, hinting that Ukrainian society is losing patience with demands of Euromaidan being unfulfilled.
In addition, they are requested to finally bring those responsible of violence and killings during Euromaidan to justice. Two years later, not a single perpetrator of the beating of the students that sparked nation-wide outrage and brought millions to the streets has been arrested. The families of protesters shot by snipers during February 2014 are also awaiting justice.
The statement has been made public by civic activists and “young politicians,” including MPs from Petro Poroshenko Bloc Mustafa Nayem, Serhiy Leshchenko and is being avidly shared in social media. One week before, these parliamentarians together with 13 colleagues initiated the creation of an anti-corruption platform inside the Bloc.
Mustafa Nayem, the journalist whose fb post laid the beginning of the Euromaidan revolution, wrote: “This appeal has many authors. But I am sure that the majority, if not all, of Ukrainian citizens will sign it. Because this is not for Europe, and not for some loud pretentious words and slogans. It’s for our future,” in the preamble of the appeal and invited everyone that agrees to share it from their name.
“Two years ago Ukraine made a historical choice. People came to the streets to demand justice and protection of their rights,” say the authors of the appeal and point out that during this time the citizens have achieved a lot, but Ukrainian people “have paid and continue to pay a great price.”.
They admit that they could have hardly imagine that after having revolutionary victims “authorities and businessmen who are close to power will continue to plunder the country, but now hiding it behind vyshyvankas [national traditional embriodered blouses], Euromaidan or the Anti-Terrorist Operation”; that those who were involved in building a dictatorship will continue working in their positions, that “not society, but again a narrow circle of the same oligarchs who exhausted the country under the previous regime will be the main partner of the government.”
Activists and politicians have a number of demands to the President, Prime Minister, ministers and MPs.
“We do not want a new revolution, which you are unknowingly pushing us towards. We are ready to take responsibility for the future of our country. Thus, we do not ask, we demand:
- To start a real fight against corruption. To focus on echelones of power and to break the mutual cover-up by appointing an effective General Prosecutor; to complete lustration, and to reform the civil service according to European standards.
- To restore justice. Bring the people who looted the country and led to violence and murder on the Maidan to justice.
- To achieve the rule of law. To intensively and decisively carry out the judicial reform, in which important steps were made, but in which society does not feel confidence in success.
- To ensure transparency in government. To make appointments to public positions openly, to stop the practice of backstage agreements and assigning positions according to political quotas in favor of gray cardinals.
- To articulate a clear plan. How can we we overcome the economic and humanitarian crisis together, how we are going to to return Crimea and the occupied territories,”the statement says.
“You still have a choice of how to make history: with real reformers who sacrificed personal interests for the future of the country, or with those who led the country to collapse because of corruption and poor management,” it notes.
The authors emphasize that people see and understand everything and it is misleading to think that there is still plenty of time.
“The requests of society that were proclaimed during the Revolution of Dignity will not disappear. Today, these requirements unite the absolute majority of Ukrainian people. And every day of delay kills your chances to return the people’s support,” the statement says.