Lance & Megan's Blog

What Ukraine wants


Things in Ukraine have been changing hourly for the past week or so.  It has been a real emotional roller coaster here.  So to begin, I will take a look at the bigger picture and then get into specifics.  At least from my point of view.

It is hard, sometimes, to listen to commentary about the Ukrainian situation from outside Ukraine.  Most big news organizations portray this unrest in terms of people mad about not being aligned with EU.  Sure that is what started this whole movement, however it was never really about being with EU in the first place. It was more about getting away from Russia.  Being a part of the EU trade circle will not all be pie and diamonds.  It has the potential to be really rough for the country.  However, most Ukrainians see it as better than Russia.

That all said. The current movement does not have much to do with the EU at all.  It is a movement towards freedom from oppression.  A friend of mine did an interview with a US news station and summed that all up quite well.

To really understand why this unrest got to the place it did, you have to look at the demographics of Ukraine as well as the history of the people in power.  The country is mostly split into two major demographics. The ethnic Ukrainian Ukrainian and ethnic Russian Ukrainian. The ethnic Russian population of course has stronger ties to Russia.  This is where the currently former President comes from.  Not only that, he was in prison twice and basically a mobster.  When the Soviet Union fell, a lot of mobsters and corrupt officials became leaders of the country since they had the money.  The region where he came from is strongly influenced by fear, manipulation and corruption.  So you can now see, his presidency has been very much that of fear, manipulation and corruption.  In his side of the country, this has worked well for years but not in Western and Central Ukraine where it is predominantly ethnic Ukrainian.

Ukrainians are fighters.  In the past few hundred years they have had about 80 years of freedom  and only a little over 20 of that being since the Soviet Union fell.  This entire time, they have fought against the oppressor. So a new oppression in the form of a president who was acting more like a dictator/mobster did not do him any favors.  (Just google “Yanukovych palace” and judge for yourself if this president was on his way to joining the dictators club.) He was bold enough to use his tried and true tactics on the nation of Ukraine (such as imprisoning the opposition, putting friends and family in important positions, stealing money from Ukrainians etc.) and it totally backfired. Character has a funny way of coming out no matter who you are and this was the case with the president.  He eventually saw violence as the answer… big mistake.  So now you see a nation taking charge of it’s future and fighting for freedom.  Side note, this is the first time in recent times, people have actually died for freedom.

So, the former president seems to be running things, the protesters want to make sure change happens before they back down and true leadership for the country is uncertain.  The nation really needs prayer during this time. Not every Ukrainian is happy with what is happening.  A lot of the Ethnic Russian population sees this as a loss. Whatever happens, Ukraine is and will be different.  Most Ukrainians want change in a big way, just ask Lenin. His statues are coming down all over the place.  It is the Ukrainian symbolic gesture that screams “we are done with the old and rooted corruption, we want something better for our nation!”  They proved this with their lives.

posted under cultural, Ukraine

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