З years after Maidan
Ukraine marks the 3rd anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity. Throughout that period the country has gone through the change of power, the annexation of the Crimea, the beginning of the war in Donbass. But what else has change in Ukraine in the meantime?
Who’s been made liable for killing the ‘Heavenly Hundred’?
For 3 years, the Ukrainian community has been wondering: when will those, who ordered to open fire, will be made liable for killing people during Maidan along with those, who executed that order? For quite long, the law-enforcers have had no answer to this question. However, Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, made an unexpected statement during his visit to the Hague, on November 21. In his words, 35 people have been already sentenced for the crimes committed against the Maidan activists and the case of 152 more people are currently at bar, whereas 190 individuals are under pretrial investigation. However, none of those, who issued the order to open fire, are among the aforementioned individuals.
“Yes, the killers are in the docks. However, those, who put weapons into their hands, who ordered to kill the civilians, are hiding in Moscow, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General said.
Did Maidan help to open the door to Europe?
President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, refused to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, and the youngpeople with frustratedEuropean expectations hit the Maidan. That’s how the Revolution of Dignity began. It was later, after severe beating of the protesters, that the Ukrainian people put forward broader demands to the leadership. Hundreds of thousands of people, who went out to the Maidan, demanded resignation of President Yanukovych, elimination of corruption andcarrying out the reforms…
Maidan has triumphed. Other people have come to power, butwhat has happened to the ‘European demands’?
“The Association Agreement with the EU was signed, which also includes a free trade zone. The Agreement has been in full effect since January 1, 2016. Although, it still needs to be ratified by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but we hope that this issue will be closed within the next few months, said Vadim Truhan,Chairman of Board of the ‘European Movement of Ukraine’ public association.
In 2010, as far back as during Yanukovych’s presidency, the EU handed to Ukraine the Visa Liberalization Action Plan. 6 years have passed since that time and 3 years – since the Revolution of Dignity, but Ukrainians still can’t travel to Europe visa-free. Why?
“Ukraine has complied with all the commitments that it assumed under the Visa Liberalization Action Plan. However, some unexpected circumstances have intervened – the EU has faced the migration crisis. So, we have to wait until introduction of the rules temporarily suspending visa-free travel arrangements and parallel introduction of visa-free regime for the Ukrainian citizens.’
Ukraine expects it to happen any time soon, but no one can tell with certainty, when exactly it is going to happen.
Where are the Maidan leaders now?
All of them are actually in power or somewhere around there.
ArseniyYatsenyuk keeps influencing the Ukrainian politics even after his resignation from the Premier’s post: he is a leader of the Popular Front party, that has its MPs in the VerhovnayaRada (Ukrainian Parliament).
Vitali Klitschko is the Mayor of Kyiv.
Oleg Tyagnibok, a leader of the Freedom party, is the only person not awarded with any ‘prize’- neither the governmental post, nor the MP seat in Verkhovnaya Rada. He is a mere party leader now.
These are Maidan’s top 3 high-profile leaders. And what about others?
A wave, raised by Mustafa Nayyem, Ukraine’s top journalist, calling on the people to ‘take tea flasks and go to Maidan’, has driven him to an MP seat.
Petro Poroshenko has become country’s President and still remains the ‘chocolate king’. He hasn’t finally sold his factories either in Ukraine or Russia.
Alexander Turchinov has been appointed the Secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine and enjoys broader powers.
Andrey Porubiy has become the Chairman of Ukraine’s VerkhovnayaRada.
Yuri Lutsenko – the Prosecutor General.
‘People are all adrift and frustrated’
And what about ordinary Ukrainians?
Vyacheslav Savelyev, a businessman from the frontline Izum town, believes that authorities have passed good, pro-European laws, but there are no signs of execution of these laws, no visible movement towards Europe.
“People are all adrift and frustrated…We’vealways found it hard to work, but nowthere’s just a vacuum-no money. E-declarations have proved that people have all the money stored in sacks. There is no development in the civil society, everything isscrewed in the harshest possible way. I’ve tried to gatherpeople in order to clean the parks, to restore order in the city, but the government’s people are immediately intruded in any public organization and break it from inside. A united community isn’t beneficial for them.
Solomia, a post office employee, Lviv:
“People have become stronger, they’ve started uniting. The living standard are certainly fair to middling. There is no problem finding a job, but salaries aren’t high. Information Technologies is the only sphere were everything is fine.
YevgeniyaVirlich, a literary manager from Kherson, says that Maidan has made the Ukrainians more open and honest, eager to help each other, they’ve been showing more interest in the history of their country. At the same time, everyone could clearly see that the country’s leadership hasn’t been radically changed-there are still many executives from Yanukovych’s government on the administrative positions.
“It’s very hardin everyday terms: a rapidincrease in US dollar rates, devaluation of the national currency, price hike. Public utilities services are a big problem, because they are very expensive. However, these are not the consequences of Maidan, but rather of what happened afterwards: the hostilities that led to material problems. Maybe I’m just an optimist, but it seems to me that if we are able to support the army in this time, then things are not that bad with us.