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Ukraine’s civil society must defend the country

Ukraine’s civil society must defend the country
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

The protests on Maidan yesterday, as well as the outrage displayed outside the offices of Ukraine’s president, demonstrate that Ukrainian civil society is energetic and ready to defend the country.

It is not simply because this is civil society’s right in the situation that has developed in Ukraine after the presidential elections and which inevitably will continue after the parliamentary elections. It is its duty. Protest is one of the most important levers for the preservation of the state. Because if electoral victory is used not to create an effective strong power but to strengthen the positions of populists and swindlers in order to create a climate of chaos and distrust in society, only permanent protest can save the country.

We can see that the country’s problem does not consist simply of an inexperienced president. And by no means does it consist simply of his team, whose members often hold diametrically opposite views on the future of Ukraine. The country’s problem lies in inefficient institutions which often work not in the country’s interests but in the interests of the oligarchs and officials dating from before the past two “maidan” uprisings (2004, 2014 – Ed.). Zelensky did not appoint the current Ukrainian judges but the president’s weakness, inexperience and incompetence allow them to establish a regime of judicial arbitrariness in the country. Zelensky did not nominate the candidates to the Central Election Commission but their desire to join the new, still unclear, mainstream forces them to reach paradoxical decisions based on even more paradoxical facts. And now just try to imagine the chaos that will ensue in the country after the parliamentary elections. How many Ostap Benders (fictional con man in the satirical novel The Twelve ChairsEd.) with deputy badges, how many hastily discovered “new faces” from the nearest district will want to take advantage of new opportunities to improve their lives!

Only control and protest can prevent the country’s descent into unmanageability, chaos, and the revenge of the pro-Russian forces. At the same time, this control and protest may prevent the likelihood of another national uprising that may be disastrous for the state and lead to the loss of another region in the east of the country. It is important to understand that today we are not dealing with the Yanukovych regime, whose representatives had clear and precise ideas about the architecture of power and its orientation towards the Kremlin. We are dealing with weak leadership without any understanding of its own intentions, actions, plans. In essence, we are dealing with a vacuum. Everyone tries to fill this vacuum of a disoriented state as best he can. Just look at the precise actions of those seeking revenge – from the purchase of TV channels to the registration in elections.

And the duty of Ukrainian civil society is to fill this vacuum with Ukrainian content with the help of consolidation and permanent protest.

They will not pass.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
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