Lately, every travel I take upon offers me a meeting with a political protest or pride parade. Last Sunday (March 9, 2014) I witnessed the Berliner Euromaidan – a procession of Ukrainians against the alleged dislocation of Russian armed forces in Crimea. I say alleged, mainly because the Kremlin insists that the soldiers, not bearing any marks on the streets of the Ukrainian peninsula, are not theirs.
There is so much said, written, reported, analyzed and commented on already… There are so many questions I have… I won’t lie by saying that I am a bit lost in the haze of information concerning Crimea. On one hand Russia has a fully functional Black Sea base on the territory of Ukraine and on the other there are troops in Russian uniforms (without the necessary identification signs) patrolling the streets of a sovereign country and taking ground at Crimean airports. On one hand Euromaidan happened because of Ukrainians having enough of being ruled by corrupted politicians and on the other a vast and very well-organized protest campaign approach in social media, press, TV and offline is observed…
Bulgarians are three months shy of having their first anniversary of being on the street protesting for these very reasons. They never showed this kind of organized media outreach and ability. I’ve never noticed this about Turkey when Gezi park was boiling up. I certainly do not see it in Venezuela, either. No, I am not implying anything. I am just in awe of all these websites, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages speaking in one voice. I am impressed by the protest in Berlin I witnessed. And I respect their will.
“Brother, do not shoot a brother!” one of the posters was saying… Our recent history has so many examples of people not listening to this appeal – Bosnia and Kosovo, before them Rwanda, Sudan and so many others. I even saw how Bulgarian orthodox christians and muslims part ways, because the communist government decided not to allow Turkish names to be used by the latter. Fortunately, we never had our Rwanda, Sudan, Bosnia or Kosovo. I hope Ukrainians and Russians never will either.
You and I, we’ll probably never learn in-depth the actions and the reasons behind them. Much of what is said sounds plausible. It does look like Russian soldiers are trying to cut off Crimea (not protect the Russian-speaking Ukrainians). I am still waiting to see a proof of threat to their wellbeing. The truth is that Russia never forgot the Soviet Union’s imperial desires. I guess the time USSR made Russians think that everyone is against them, that everyone is out to get them. Russia took so many burdens on its shoulders after the fall of the Soviet state. One of these burdens is the false self-perception of being a world power. Yes, the Soviet Union was one once. Russia is not. At least not at the moment. And treating a neighboring country (one they share so much common history with) in such a way, certainly will not bring the old glory back. But this is a topic of another blog post, or maybe a few…
I hope this crisis will be resolved in the best possible and bloodless way. And while we are all waiting, here are a few photos from the Berliner Euromaidan – Ukrainians protesting in Berlin.
Copyright © 2014 Borislav Kiprin. All Rights Reserved.