UKRAINIAN BLOGGERS SAY PROTESTS TO GO ON DESPITE POOR ORGANIZATION

25.11.13


KVU-UKRAINE-BLOG-REAX

Media roundup by BBC Monitoring on 25 November

The opposition appeared absolutely unprepared to see around 100,000 people come to Kiev's European Square on 24 November to protest against the government stalling preparations for signing the association agreement with the EU. With its expectations low, the opposition simply did not have any post-rally strategy, many Ukrainians on Facebook and Twitter agreed.

However, they said, this should not dissuade people from attending the pro-European protests which are expected to last until the EU's Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius.

"A sad excuse for the politicians but they simply had no idea of how to use the huge crowd after the rally ended," Andrey Plakhonin said on Facebook (tinyurl.com/pmg6onx).

"The most frequent thing I heard today among the 100,000, offended and indignant, is why there was so much text, so much self-obsession and so little action?" TV presenter Vitaliy Haydukevych said on Facebook (tinyurl.com/oxaltck).

Choice of venue 

The opposition choice of venue - European Square instead of the traditional Independence Square where the pro-European activists had held the fort for two days by 24 November - also gave grounds for criticism.

"Why did they choose a square which is not in fact a square but a traffic area which, quite logically, became a central traffic junction in the early hours of Monday and gave a formal reason to police to clash with people?" the popular Facebook community Ukrainian Esquire (tinyurl.com/og2zlle) wondered scornfully.

Andrey Plakhonin and Vitaliy Haydukevych, whose posts are being actively shared on Facebook, both mentioned that the pavements on European Square would only fit about 200 people while those who did not fit would inevitably have to clash with police for space.

Two protest camps

According to Plakhonin, "today's fest would have been impossible without several hundred young people who have been soaking wet on the Maydan (Independence Square) for four nights now. It was their courage, not calls by politicians, which made Ukrainians to wake from a nine-year dream and flood the streets of Ukrainian cities."

The choice of venue was both disuniting and confusing for rally participants, especially in the night when their ranks shrank to few hundred.

Journalist Anastasiya Stanko tweeted late on 24 November (tinyurl.com/o793klw): "One should have a special skill to dismiss 100,000 people".

"As a result we have two protests: the opposition-official one on European Square where slogans "Away with the gang!" are heard, and the civil-unofficial one on (Independence) Square where people start to formulate their thoughts and actual problems regardless of who is making the government ranks," Ukrainian Esquire said in a later post (tinyurl.com/ngxuchz).

Political campaigning 

The decision by political parties to display their insignia in contradiction to a previous agreement to have a purely civil protest was widely discussed, with most commentators seeing it as political campaigning ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

However, some, like artist Ivan Semesyuk, saw it as a sign of political freedom. "It is not Potatoland (Belarus) here, my dear, you should have got used to this. In our country you can sport your party insignia, this is normal, after all," he said on Facebook (tinyurl.com/nfw5xpg).

Despite sharing the general criticism of the organization of the event, he welcomed the fact that the Ukrainians "lifted their bottoms and came to the square with all their posters". He did not expect "any shake-ups", but suggested that "a quiet evolution is going on, which is good".

Do not give up your choice 

All commentators whose summaries and reflections are going viral among Ukrainian netizens are seen calling on people not to give up and continue supporting Ukraine's European choice.

"We have a simple dream and a simple goal. We are not dreaming of happiness in the faraway EU, we are dreaming of Europe as a civilized state here," Plakhonin said.

"Friends! Our concerns in no way mean that you should not come to squares, shout that Ukraine is Europe, vote with your feet and free time for the right to be part of a civilized environment. Because we are a European nation and our values are European. But we need to remember that the main European value is intellect. And while some protest organizers' actions have enough sense, we are calling on you and ourselves to think, formulate a plan and means of reaching the single goal - European future without any alternative!" Ukrainian Esquire's manifesto read.

Live updates on the protests are posted under the hashtags #euromaidan and evromaydan on Facebook and Twitter, with their Cyrillic equivalent being among the top trends on Ukrainian Twitter since 22 November.

Sources: as listed in Ukrainian and Russian 25 Nov 13

BBC Mon KVU MD1 Media 251113 mk

25/11/2013 11:22 GMT

 

 



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