Thousands march in Kyiv to warn Putin he will fail in Ukraine

Ukrainians will resist Russian invasion Ukraine

March of Unity in Kyiv, 12 February 2022. Credit: suspilne.media 

Russian Aggression

Article by: Bohdan Ben, Alya Shandra

Editor’s Note

On 12 January, a “March of Unity” gathered thousands in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv to warn Putin he will fail in Ukraine amid US warnings that a Russian invasion could take place next week. Oleksandr Ivanov, an organizer of the march from the Capitulation Resistance Movement, told Euromaidan Press that the aim of the march is to demonstrate Ukrainian unity in the face of the threat.

“We will fight for every part of our land. The occupiers will pay a big price in blood for their aggression,” Ivanov told.

The march united members of dozens of Ukrainian organizations and political parties. The organizers stress that in this worrying time Ukrainians have to put their differences aside, unite and act together against Russian aggression.

An existential threat looms over Ukraine: Russia has amassed a huge army on our borders and demands the surrender of Ukrainian sovereignty. In this troubled time, Ukrainians must abandon their differences, unite against the Russian threat. Now it doesn’t matter what political force everyone supports, what organizations or economic beliefs they belong to. Now it is important that we all stand together in defense of Ukraine,” says the announcement of the organizers, Capitulation Resistance Movement, Free People, Democratic Axe, and other organizations.

The march started in Shevchenko Park with the words of moderator Denys Kazanskyi.

“It is very cool that Ukraine is showing such unity today, and that people are marching here in Kyiv and other cities, in particular in Kharkiv. It is also cool that today Ukraine has much stronger international support than at the beginning of this conflict in 2014. We thank our international partners who help both with weapons and politically. Now it is important to take to the streets and show that there are millions of people in Ukraine who want to live in their free country, and want to live independently. All these years, Russian propaganda has been trying to pretend that we do not exist, that we are a fake country, that there are no Ukrainians. So, the more of us will be here, the stronger will be declaration of our real desires and aspirations!”

In the last several weeks, NATO allies have sent shipments of weapons to Ukraine, including Javelins and M141 Bunker Defeat Munition grenade launchers from the US, NLAW anti-tank weapons from the UK.

Then, after singing the Ukrainian anthem, the march started on Kyiv’s central streets. It ended on Maidan Nezaleznosti in Kyiv, the epicenter of the Euromaidan Revolution in 2014.

A broadcast from the march by the Democratic Axe party is below:

The march took part two days after a meeting in the Normandy Format in Berlin, where representatives of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany gathered to discuss a resolution of the war in eastern Ukraine between Russian proxy forces of the Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics” and the Ukrainian army based on the Minsk protocols, documents signed in 2015 to advance a peaceful resolution of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Had Ukraine crossed any of its “red lines,” the march participants would have started a termless protest, Ivanov said.

The Capitulation Resistance Movement, named this way because it opposes what it calls the “internal capitulation” of Ukraine, strongly opposes any concessions made to Russia during these talks.

“Russia wants to recognize its puppets and federalization of Ukraine by providing occupied parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts with an autonomous status. Organizers of the March of Unity for Ukraine warn that Ukrainians will resist both the external enemy, as well as internal capitulation. Therefore, Capitulation Resistance Movement is stressing that it would be better to abandon the Minsk accords and start preparing an international tribunal for Putin. Punish Putin, not Ukraine,” Ivanov told Euromaidan Press.

The capitulation of Ukraine would mean, according to the Capitulation Resistance Movement, the implementation of the Minsk protocols according to their Russian interpretation: legitimizing the puppet statelets in virtually their present form within the political field of Ukraine. The protocols themselves, which provide for this opportunity, are widely unpopular in Ukrainian society, with three-fourths of Ukrainians opposing them in their present form.

Ukraine and Russia have clashed over the interpretations of the Minsk protocols since they were signed in 2015. Ukraine has set forward red lines it cannot cross: namely, that elections in the now-occupied territories only be held after Ukraine regains control over the Russian-Ukrainian border in those regions, and that Ukraine remains a unitary state. Meanwhile, Russia pushes for a de-facto federalization of Ukraine and a “special status” of its puppet statelets in Ukraine.

The 10 February Normandy Format meeting ended with no results because Ukraine upheld its “red lines,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said. Namely, the main controversy at present is Russia’s insistence that Ukraine hold direct talks with representatives of its puppet “people’s republics” — a prospect Ukraine rejects, as it views Russia as a side of the conflict, and the “republics” of occupied Donbas as its proxies.

The rally participants also stressed that Ukrainians are ready and will resist the aggressor amid fears that Russia would launch an invasion following several months of building up troops and equipment on the Ukrainian border.

Andriy Yusof, board member of the Capitulation Resistance Movement explained this during the press brief:

“Nobody is going to run away, because we have nowhere to run… Today is not 2014 and not 2015. Today we have a completely different army, different support from our allies, and a stronger unity of Ukrainian society… Today’s action is mobilization and symbolic, but it is also a warning to the Ukrainian authorities not to make concessions to the aggressor, and a big ‘Hello’ to Putin and everyone else who thinks they will come here and someone will meet them here with flowers. Ukrainians clearly know, and Putin must understand this: we are not one people, we will not return to the Russian world. Our path to Europe, our path to NATO. Glory to Ukraine!”

https://twitter.com/andrew_levus/status/1492230257428115460

Some of the organizers said Russia is already on the edge of strategic defeat. It is important now not to succumb to Kremlin political demands or panic by staying firmly on the positions, both military and diplomatic:

Through saberrattling, Russia has achieved unprecedented arms supplies to Ukraine, strengthened international and financial support for Ukraine. The West is no longer afraid of Russian threats and is ready to impose hellish sanctions. If it is a bluff – Russia will suffer a strategic defeat. No one will be afraid of Russian ultimatums anymore. The policy of deterrence defeated the policy of appeasing the aggressor. And Russian doesn’t have any other levers of influence than intimidation. If Russia moves forward, it would suffer not only political but also military defeat and fall apart altogether,” Oleksandr Ivanov wrote.

During the press brief, organizers also announced similar events in other cities worldwide.

The Capitulation Resistance Movement emerged in 2019 after the election of President Zelenskyy, amid fears that Ukraine would make unacceptable compromises with Russia regarding the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine, where a trench war against Russian hybrid forces was into its sixth year.

With Zelenskyy’s accession to Ukrainian presidency, peace talks between Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France swerved towards discussing the so-called “Steinmeier’s formula,” by which the Russian proxy statelets would receive a “special status” after elections are held there. Effectively, this would mean Ukraine’s capitulation, the protest participants said, stating that it would legitimize the Russian puppet states inside Ukraine’s political field. The Capitulation resistance movement

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