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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Maidan and Norilsk uprising. Parallels..

The power must admit: there cannot be a million of extremists
29 January, 2014 - 17:52

Since the very beginning the Euromaidan followed the path of non-violent resistance. That was right. But now it is clear: people have run out of patience. In this situation it is impossible to act peacefully. The deceived people revolted. I compare the Maidan to the Norilsk uprising. I recall the way the events unfolded there in detail. In Norilsk people hoped for amnesty. Stalin even promised once to declare amnesty, which the world had never seen before. At that time I noted at once: why did he have to put so many people to jail to later grant a pardon of unheard-of scale? Unfortunately, today many Ukrainians who are fighting for their rights are waiting for new verdicts. And the leaders promise to release everyone and rehabilitate them. At that time people rose spontaneously, like today. Later the leaders were found who took the responsibility. It is good that the opposition has finally understood the need to hold responsibility for the events in the country and that it does not give away the Hrushevsky Street activists, having announced the street the area of the Maidan.

I have always been calling only to nonviolent resistance, peaceful struggle. A peaceful resistance does not threaten anyone with anything and does not meet force with force. But they were dispirited after recent events, when peaceful protesters were attacked by sadists (I cannot call them otherwise). Under these circumstances people don’t feel the bounds, throw stones, bring out guillotine dummies, threaten, and call to violence. This won’t lead to anything. People say that only force can be used against the power today. People who say this are right to a certain extent. But I don’t know whether the force they have is enough.

Both sides should make a compromise. The results of this compromise can be expected from today’s session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, in particular, dismissal of the Cabinet by the MPs. However, I don’t believe the power will meet the demands of the opposition and the people. Yanukovych is speaking not about the Cabinet’s dismissal, but only some reformatting. Saying this, he at that time appoints Kliuiev the head of the Presidential Administration. What is this? Kliuiev played first fiddle in Berkut police’s attack on people.

Who will become a compromise head of the Cabinet? It is hard to say. The fact that Azarov should have been dismissed long ago is beyond discussion. He should retire even due to his age. Yatseniuk’s candidature was mentioned. I will say the following thing: if Yatseniuk accepts Yanukovych’s offer, he will immediately turn into a “political corpse.” In this milieu and in this system he won’t be able to do anything. He will only finally spoil his reputation, which is far from being perfect now.

One thing is clear. The meeting should end. It is hard for people to stand there in such weather: winds, rains, terrible frost. Besides, it becomes apparent that the protesters have run out of patience. There have been no real results or any changes for the better. Seizing the premises of the Ministry of Justice is not a change.

I think Yanukovych, who has brought the country into a political crisis, must solve the conflict peacefully. The responsibility for the future of the country is completely in his hands, because he has the absolute power. The first step to ride out the crisis is going back to the Constitution of 2004.

The opposition should also decrease tension in its speeches. There is no doubt that they as well are responsible for the mutilated souls and bodies of people. When you call such meetings, you need to have a strategy of actions. And here the process has taken a half-spontaneous course. It seems to me, the opposition today does not have any clear plan of actions. I am afraid, for this reason there is a possibility of new victims.

It is sad that the dirty hand of Russia is felt in this situation. We cannot forget about the factor of our neighbor and his interests. It is hard to recall any moment in our history when Russia, if it had an opportunity to feather nest on Ukraine, did not do so. Therefore the most important thing is to prevent the Russian scenario from unfolding in the Maidan.

Understanding this, the power should make compromises and openly admit that there cannot be a million of extremists in one country. And a part of deceived people with categorical views (whose radical actions can be explained by the fact that the power which promised Europe has broken a trail to the Customs Union) cannot be called Nazis or fascists. An Armenian and a Belarusian were killed at the meeting. There is no Nazism. There is dignity of people and their struggle for their rights.

The only positive thing this whole terrible situation has is that the boundaries between the east and west of Ukraine have been erased. Everyone wants to live normally in a free Ukraine.

By Yevhen HRYTSIAK, one of the leaders of the revolt in the Norilsk camps in 1953
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