Maidan has become the arena of a new stand-off, this time between the activists and the current government. Today Kiev authorities view their former allies who had fought to bring the current government to power as more of a burden. What could be the explanation for Kiev's sudden change of heart? What makes the oligarchs and Nazi in Ukrainian government clamp down on their once close allies? Radio VR is discussing it with Sergei Markov, the Director of the Institute for Political Studies in Moscow, Russia, and Johan Bäckman, Doctor of social sciences at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
The new Kiev authorities are now pressing the roughly four hundred people who have remained in a camp in the central Kiev square of Maidan, to move out and go home. Maidan was a scene of months-long heavy fighting between the so-called Maidan activists and the pro-Yanukovych forces that resulted in ousting the elected president and installing the ultra-nationalist government which is now in place.
After the activists refused to obey, the Ukrainian interior minister Arsen Avakov labeled the Maidan a secret Russian plot aimed at destabilizing the government now in place in Kiev. Kiev's mayor Vitaly Klichko, who had vowed to protect Maidan less than two months ago, has now invited the activists to consider their future.
Sergei Markov, the Director of the Institute for Political Studies in Moscow, Russia:
I think it was absolutely expected, it was clear. Maidan, which started as a peaceful demonstration, then moved to the revolutionary attempt to overthrow the democratically elected Ukrainian president. After this was done, Maidan became not a basis of the Ukrainian new government, but a burden for them and they decided to kick it off the shoulders.
Now the Maidan ask, if we fought against the oligarchs in power, why we have not less, but more oligarchs in power now? If we fought against corruption, why do we have such massive corruption? If we fought for democracy, why do we see much less democracy in Ukraine now, compared to what Ukraine had with Victor Yanukovych? The new leadership does not like these questions very much, and because of this the new Ukrainian leaders, not democratic, but anti-democratic, ultra-nationalist with neo-Nazis, decided to dismiss Maidan by force. I am sure that we will see them use terrorist methods for dissolving Maidan. First of all they will try to suppress the leaders of Maidan by threatening them and their families. Maybe some of the leaders of Maidan will be killed by the Ukrainian government, the Ukrainian junta, and if it will be not enough, they will dissolve the Maidan using police riot police.
Dr. Markov, what could be the reaction on the part of Maidan activists and on the part of those who are supporting Maidan? Do you see that there could be more inner fighting between various forces in Ukraine or do you think that this authoritarian ultra-nationalist government is going to suppress all kinds of dissent?
I think that now what we have in Maidan is already not so much political leaders who pretend to be in power, but more marginals who cannot find themselves in the present structure of powers. But these marginals also have political and social rights and they also have a right to protest.
And it is very strange that Maidan which staged attacks by neo-nazi militants, was not allowed to be dissolved in December, in January under the pressure of the United States and European Union countries, but now when peaceful Maidan will be dissolved, this will be supported by Washington and Brussels. It’s a very good reflection of the undemocratic approach of Washington and Brussels towards what is happening in Kiev. The message is very clear: if you are neo-Nazis in Kiev and if you are against Russia, nobody can use police against you, but if you are a peaceful demonstrator against ultra-nationalist junta in Kiev, you should be suppressed and probably killed. It's not the policy which will have a good future. This policy will crash both Washington and Brussels.
Is it going to crash Kiev?
No, I think the dissolving coup of Maidan will not crash Kiev because now Maidan doesn't represent clear political forces, but the policy which is the basis for dissolving Maidan, which is the policy of the undemocratic suppression of any political sentiment, which opposes Kiev to all the principles of democracy and human rights and rule of law, this policy will crash Kiev.
And now with the European prospective here is Johan Bäckman, doctor of social sciences and adjunct professor of sociology of law at the University of Helsinki, Finland:
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, we have to face the fact that the United States has been promoting and gearing backup and supporting extremist and neo-Nazi movements in Europe. We have to keep in mind that the United States has always given the maximum support for Estonian government and Latvian government, both of which are promoting the governmental level of pro-Nazi and neo-Nazi movements. They have neo-Nazi marches over the year; they have various incidents of the glorification of the SS and Nazi regime. The principles are clear: proliferation of Nazi propaganda in these countries, in Estonia and Latvia. I don't understand why the United States of America is blind to all of this. They are only talking about nationalists, but they have to make a difference between nationalists and the Nazi. These are different things. I mean Nazi ideology is aggressive, more aggressive than the nationalist ideology and the ideology of Nazis always has the component of incitement to genocide, to murdering nationalities or groups of people.
The Estonian and Latvian regimes of today have legalized apartheid policies against Russians, there are hundreds of thousands of Russians in the Baltic states without citizenship, despite the fact that they were born in Estonia or Latvia or that they have worked there for the whole life, despite the fact that there is constant intimidation and aggression against these people, against Russians, in the Baltic states. The US has also supported the Ukrainian revolution, and the priority for the US is the enlargement of NATO by any price. If there are aggressive national-socialist movements, they are ready to use these extremist movements in the interest of NATO's enlargement – it's not a problem for them. Of course, there is a lot of propaganda in this case, concerning the situation in Ukraine. In my opinion, we are talking about a national-socialist revolutionary junta who has gained power in Ukraine in February this year. We cannot speak about any kind of presidential elections in Ukraine, the results of these elections are illegitimate, these elections are not honest. The national-socialist revolution in February was anti-constitutional. Until now the only constitutional leader of Ukraine is Yanukovych - he is still the only legitimate president. There is another one, illegitimate president, called Poroshenko, who is one of the leaders of junta, but his position is very weak, because he is an illegal representative of power in Ukraine. We already saw that the illegitimate revolutionary government of Ukraine already signed an agreement with the EU about various aspects of economic integration and it's unbelievable, and the next step would be, probably, agreements with NATO. As a European, I don't like the fact that there are national-socialist revolutionary governments in our territory. Actually, we can also compare the situation in Estonia and Latvia with the Ukrainian national-socialist revolutionary government. In fact, in these countries apartheid policies have been legalized for many years, which means that Russian people who are loyal to Russian interests cannot have any position in this society, they are being discriminated by all means: they do not have a citizenship, they cannot find work, if they try to organize any kind of political movement, they are immediately attacked by the security services. I think that western intellectuals understand the situation. I'm also a representative of western intellectuals and academia, I hope. Many of my colleagues in western countries do agree with me. Naturally, I communicate with my colleagues from various European countries, and they say "why doesn't Russia react to the national-socialist revolutionary regime, the junta of Kiev and the aggression of Kiev against civilians of the Eastern Ukraine." That's the question we should pose to the Russian leaders, obviously. The situation is very complicated. This situation is still very critical, and the representatives of the Kiev junta - they are guilty of genocide, mass murdering of civilians in eastern Ukraine, including journalists.