Ukraine Patriots Take Charge

February 24, 2014
Re-printed from the National Review comes a significant article about the regime change in the Ukraine.  I have highlighted specific dialogue that may have application to our issues in the United States.  This article is quite amazing.  ALL highlights and bold are mine.

February 23, 2014 6:30 PM

Ukraine, Changed Forever on Live TV

A journalist exposes the complicity of the media in covering up the regime’s crimes.

 Every revolution has moments where the hinge of history seems to
swing wide and everything is different and the old regime is
delegitimized. In Ukraine’s revolution, the moment that’s likely to be
immortalized is when protestors charged police barricades in Kiev’s
Independence Square (“Maidan”) last Thursday, reportedly capturing a
number of police troops, only to have dozens of protesters then gunned
down by snipers. Even a face-saving compromise brokered the next day by
Western diplomats couldn’t save President Viktor Yanukovych. His
security forces withdrew their support, leaving him unguarded. At 2 a.m.
last Saturday, helicopters ferried him and his stooges away from his
Michael Jackson–style presidential palace to the Russophone eastern
sector of Ukraine. He remains in hiding.

But for many Ukrainians, there was another moment when they
realized the ground was shifting beneath them. It came last Friday
evening, during one of the most popular talk shows on Inter, the
most-watched Ukrainian network. Lidia Pankiv, a 24-year-old television
journalist, was invited on by host Andriy Danylevych to discuss the need
for reconciliation following the agreement signed by Yanukovych and
dissidents earlier that day. While reporting on the Maidan protests,
Pankiv had helped persuade the Berkut riot police not to use further
violence against the activists, and she had disclosed that one of the
Berkut officers was now her fiancé. But reconciliation was not what
Pankiv wished to discuss. As relayed by journalist Halya Coynash, Pankiv
had a different message:

You probably want to hear a story
from me about how with my bare hands I restrained a whole Berkut unit,
and how one of the Berkut officers fell in love with me and I fell in
love with him. But I’m going to tell you another story. About how with
my bare hands I dragged the bodies of those killed the day before
yesterday. And about how two of my friends died yesterday. . . . I hate
Zakharchenko, Klyuev, Lukash, Medvedchuk, Azarov. I hate Yanukovych and
all those who carry out their criminal orders. I came here today only
because I found out that this is a live broadcast. I want to say that I
also despise Inter because for three months it deceived viewers and
spread enmity among citizens of this country.
And now you are calling
for peace and unity. Yes, you have the right to try to clear your
conscience, but I think you should run this program on your knees. I’ve
brought these photos here for you, so that you see my dead friends in
your dreams and understand that you also took part in that. And now, I’m
sorry, I don’t have time. I’m going to Maidan. Glory to Ukraine.

Danylevych immediately tried to return to the night’s topic of
reconciliation. But he was stopped by guest Konstantin Reutsky, a
human-rights activist from Luhansk. Reutsky agreed with Pankiv, saying
that Inter journalists had “lied and distorted information about Maidan
over the last three months.” Danylevych tried to interrupt Reutsky, who
went on to say that the protestors had tried for months to avoid
“But what happened yesterday is a point of no return,”
Reutsky continued. “After that you can no longer say, ‘Sorry, we got
carried away, let’s turn the page and start afresh without offense.’
What happened yesterday is impossible to forget.” Danylevych, after
shouting down Reutsky’s further attempt to discuss the crimes committed
by the government, changed the topic. But a chief media mouthpiece of
the regime
, owned by the president’s oligarch backers, had been exposed.

Hours later, the president fled his palace.

After the broadcast, several Inter journalists approached
Reutsky and thanked him for speaking out. Earlier that day, 16
journalists at the network had issued an open letter disagreeing with
Inter’s coverage of the protests.

Reporter Halya Coynash points
to the Yanukovych regime’s record of media control and censorship: “It
proved unnervingly easy within a matter of months of Yanukovych’s [2010]
election to remove most critical analysis, negative reports about those
in power, and inconvenient information from television.”
Whatever new
government is formed, that sorry record must not be repeated in a new

As someone who reported from Eastern Europe during the
fall of Communist regimes there, I recognized a recurring pattern in the
collapse a quarter century later of the regime in Kiev. Regimes can
stay in power in an age of mass media only if they have enough murderers
willing to gun down people in the street.
Snipers were willing to kill
their fellow countrymen in the streets around the Maidan last Thursday,
but their superiors reached a breaking point when the shots didn’t
achieve the desired level of fear. “The shooting stopped when the
security chiefs realized the game was over — not because they didn’t
have enough Kalashnikovs, but because they proved ineffective: For one
person killed, many more came out on the Maidan,”
Maria Semykoz, a
Ukrainian economist from Lvov, told me by e-mail.

Now that the
regime is gone, Ukraine will face wrenching change. Even if Russia
doesn’t attempt to stir up separatist sentiment in Ukraine’s Russophone
regions, it has in the past shown it can play economic hardball. In
recent years, it has limited imports from Ukraine, creating huge lines
at customs posts on the border. At times during winter, Russia has cut
off critical natural-gas shipments to Ukraine. The sway Russia holds is
probably the main reason Yanukovych abandoned a trade treaty with the
European Union last November in favor of a deal signed in December with
Vladimir Putin. The financial assistance Putin promised in that deal
would no doubt be withheld if the government in Kiev turned decidedly
toward Europe and the West.

Ukraine’s immediate problem is that
it is on the edge of economic collapse. To become a normal nation
anchored in the global trading system, Ukraine will have to endure
decisive and deep economic reforms, including state spending cuts,
privatization, and the implementation of a tax system that is simpler
and less loophole-ridden.

“The problem is, the people will
likely hate the politicians brave and honest enough to implement those
reforms,” Semykoz tells me. “We need now a generation of political
kamikazes, who, like the protestors on the Maidan are ready to risk
their future by doing the right thing today.”
It’s not clear whether any
such leaders are ready to step forward in Ukraine.

But, for
now, there is cause to celebrate. The ghosts of Ukraine’s Soviet past
have not been banished, but they are fading. It’s not a coincidence that
Ukrainians are now tearing down dozens of Lenin monuments, though the
statues remained standing at the time of Ukrainian independence in 1991
and even during the Orange Revolution of 2004. For the first time since
independence, Ukrainians seem to be getting serious about putting
individual rights and freedoms at the center of their political system.
Here’s hoping that the U.S. and Europe, both of which have largely
avoided engagement with Ukraine in recent months, will now step forward
to help the Ukrainian people succeed in their aspirations.

                               Video of government sniper attack against civilian protestors. 

Those poor protesters had nothing but fire and stones with which to
fight their oppressive government, and against heavy odds, they did a
masterful job. As Americans we must defend to the death our 2nd amendment rights, so we can protect our blessed land.

On a more serious note,

I wonder if Barry and his merry band of commie criminals looked
at the square in Kiev and had the brains to feel even a moment of fear?

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