July 24, 2015
By Aleksandr Sabiy
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
Have you driven lately on the Zhitomir road?
If not, let me tell you an interesting piece of news: there’s a Right Sector checkpoint there. It would seem that the Mukachevo situation has spilled into all of Ukraine and Kiev is not an exception. It may be it’s just an effort to frighten people, but if not, why is it there? Ukraine’s government also doesn’t seem to know what to do in the conflict that erupted with its former “comrades” (even though the Right Sector never considered the current authorities its ally).
Poroshenko held a Security and Defense Council meeting only two days after the first deaths had occurred. The SBU should have reacted within half an hour. However, it’s not the first time we’re seeing the authorities’ powerlessness–we’ve seen in in Crimea, in the South-East, and now in the East. The Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk government doesn’t seem to learn from history. Ukraine is losing the last remnants of its international image and domestic law and order. It doesn’t matter who started shooting first, likewise establishing the motives can wait too–in the meantime thousands of Ukrainians in Mukachevo are in danger. And the fire, I repeat, threatens to spread to other regions. In the space of a year the Right Sector increased its personnel and arsenal so that the fire can erupt anywhere, even downtown Kiev.
The former head of the National Bank of Ukraine Sergey Arbuzov expressed an interesting and valuable thought, since he is speaking as an opposition politician and these days the opinion of the opposition is not taken into consideration and is not broadcast:
“The Right Sector is not Ukraine’s main threat. The biggest threat is the helpless, unprofessional government. It’s the government which deployed the army to Transcarpathia and which is hysterically running around its Kiev offices, represents the greatest danger to the country and its people who, through no fault of their own, might come to harm in the escalating situation.”
I agree with that position–the authorities’ passivity impacts all of us. It’s not a conflict that can be resolved by the civil society alone. How would the Right Sector respond to national demands? They might well respond with grapeshot. So there’s only one way out: effective action by the government, starting with negotiations and if they fail, returning fire. But only as a last resort, after all peaceful means have been exhausted. That’s what a government possessing political will is capable of: to be able to speak without using force. We are not seeing that in our own government.