Russians comment on Ukrainian events

By Slava Tsukerman

Ukrainian President Victor F. Yanukovych finally agreed to early Presidential elections and a reduction in presidential powers, which seemingly stopped bloodshed in Ukraine.

Here is one on the fights of the last days:

And this one is on the final deal made this Friday.

The sentence that impressed me most in the NYT report was:  “Russia declined to endorse the accord”.

I’ve seen TV morning news broadcasts by several Russian major state controlled networks. None of them mentioned that fact. Russian media presented Yanukovych decision as a humanitarian gesture aimed to stop blood shed, caused exclusively by activity of “extremists” and “terrorists”, as the Russian media keeps calling Ukrainian protesters.

Russian officials and officially backed journalists blame violence on protesters and never inform Russians about many documented facts of police violence triggered by government orders. The less official and more aggressive famous Russian TV journalists call all the Ukrainian protesters “Fascists”.

Police sniper is shooting protesters.

Policemen use Kalashnikovs.

Thursday, February 20 at 20:54 pm one of the most popular Russian website published an open letter to Russian people, signed by a young Russian filmmaker, Vladimir Gromov, a father of two, who for seven years has lived and worked in Kiev. He is shocked by the fact that, in his opinion, nobody in Russia understands what is going on in Ukraine. He thinks that it is his duty is to tell the truth to Russians.

When I woke up on Friday and opened my e-mail, I found there several letters from my Russian friend re-posting Gromov’s letter. The document is becoming the most popular publication in Russian Internet. At the moment I’m writing this post (Friday afternoon) 165,928 people had read it just in the original publication. Here are some quotes from the letter:

“What is happening now in Ukraine is not a conflict between the government and radicals. There are no two sides and can be no question about trying to work something out in negotiations or ‘squash by tanks’, as some in the Russian press suggested.

“Four years we have lived with Yanukovych. He won the election by a whisker and massive fraud in the eastern provinces. Once elected, he first gave himself enormous powers, changing the Constitution. He scored credits for $ 35 billion. He put his election opponent in jail on trumped up charges.

“In four years Ukraine became impoverished. It is impossible to run a business, pay taxes, and engage in normal creative activity. Medicine, education, utilities come into complete disrepair. The country was rebuilt to be run by the Yanukovych family. A day of Yanukovych life cost us $2 million. During a half of the year he was convincing us that all the problems of Ukraine would be solved if he’ll sign an agreement with the EU. It was repeated every day, with detail explanations why they will. The day before signing the agreements, he said that he changed his mind to sign them, even without giving reasons…”

“Think about it. Yesterday we heard about eighty killed and thousands wounded. Most of these people have lost their hands, eyes, many burned throats and lungs because gas grenades were used mercilessly. Hospitals are overwhelmed. Yanukovych’s people attack doctors and burn ambulances.

“In this situation, I want to say that there is no division by sides. Yanukovych is a murderer and a tyrant, he is an inadequate man not interested in anything except preserving his own power. There can be no two opinions as there can be no two opinions, when we talk about Hitler.

“What is said in Russia, about ambitious Klitschko and the necessity to crush the Maidan with tanks, is pushing our countries to such a rejection of each other, which never had place in our joint history. Do not believe the Russian media, even liberal. There is no confrontation. There is an inadequate, sick man with gangster past who wants to drown the country in blood.”

Usually all controversial articles in have a lot of comments. This one is read by thousands and commented only by four people. One, a known liberal, supports Gromov’s position. Two of readers react ironically:

“It all will dissipate by itself.. In several days it will be history. Heroes will be awarded, some posthumously. Then they sigh and go back to work. You’ll see.”

“First they elect a felon for President, then they crumble each other for no reason, and now blame it all on Russia!

Prevailing are comments of the fourth reader, a known businessman, a head of a Satellite Communication Provider Company. He insists on the theory that everybody has truth of his or her own. Maidan protesters have their truth; Yanukovych police have their truth.  And nobody has right to judge them. As a proof of the relativity of truth he demonstrate a caricature from a Latin American source:

I should say that it is not the first time that I encounter such point of view in Russian media.

Most of Russian official Political Journalists blame US for Ukrainian unrest.

Yesterday Maxim Shevchenko, one of the most popular Russian political journalists, explained in a popular Radio program Special Opinion, that the entire reason for Ukrainian bloodshed was American intrigue aimed on breaking Russian – European unity, built on European use of Russian gas, which hurts American economic interests.

Updated: February 23, 2014 — 12:09 am © 2016