Resist Orange Depression!

KIEV, Ukraine -- A little more than 100 days have passed since the end of the Orange Revolution. Unfortunately, there has arisen an annoying fact: there are more of us than ever, but we are not together.

The Orange Revolution has choked on its own energy and is slowly turning into the “Orange Depression”: with each day the number of disappointed people grows. But in what and in whom they’re disappointed, I personally don’t know.

In principle, if you look at what’s going on in Ukraine from the sidelines, then it’s easy to convince yourself that the situation is developing in the right way. The Orange Revolution aimed Ukraine’s social and governmental development into the necessary channel. It’s another thing altogether if this channel was unused by the former authorities for so long that a lot of filth and garbage is rising to the surface.

“What did we stand on Independence Square for?” thousands of ex-revolutionaries are asking themselves today. For some reason they’re forgetting that the majority of them stood out there against Viktor Yanukovych, Leonid Kuchma, and Viktor Medvedchuk – against unfairness and lawlessness. And now it turns out that they were standing out there for Viktor Yushchenko and Petro Poroshenko.

There you have it – post-revolutionary apathy is understandable.

At some point in the revolution, after all, Yushchenko and the political strategists managed to change its real slogans and ideas – “for the truth,” “for freedom,” “for our rights,” “against the bandits in power” – into “Yes, Yushchenko!” That is, to change the nascent formation of a national community into a quasi-fight between “good” and “evil.”

And so the deception of which everybody today is accusing the new government began not with Roman Zvarych or new appointees who changed their colors. It began back when they made Yushchenko into an angel, and Yanukovych into a devil. Back then, people were aware of the deception, and took sides with him temporarily, in the interests of the revolution.

Of the new authorities, one can cite the lines from the Russian pop song: “We created it from what we had, and then we loved what we created.” And now we’re ceasing to love it.

Our problem today is not with authorities who are “amoral in the old fashion,” but in the fact that for some reason we don’t want to remember that these people were not angels, and that we – knowing that – supported them.

Revolutionaries – people who stood out on the frosty plaza and won an unequal battle with the machine-tooled Kuchma-Medvedchuk regime – are now slackening their grip, right after the first victory.

We won in an unequal battle, and now – when the moral and strategic advantage has passed from “Kravchenko’s hawks,” the supporters of Pikhovshek and the corrupt authorities to the tent people and Pora – instead of carrying on the fight we’re ready to shamefully give ourselves up to the blue and white faction, having conceded defeat.

A true Independence Square revolutionary doesn’t have the right to so much as think of the word “disappointment,” because by doing so he’s giving the Zhirinovskys, the Putins, the Yanukovychs and the Vitrenkos of the world the chance for revenge. And be certain: the Russian and our own blue and white propaganda won’t let pass the chance to take it.

We still haven’t won the first round – we only gained the right to play under fair circumstances and under independent referees.

Allow me to continue with this football analogy. Our football players (who aren’t all great, but they’re the best we have!) now need even more support and help and constructive criticism and good coaching – but the tribunes of their supporters have, from the first minute of the match, started to hoot with indignation.

Who’s to blame for this? We all are – because all of us, even though we knew that our team is weak and unprepared, for some reason counted on a fast victory. And most of all to be blamed are our social movements, who once coped very well with the task of opening peoples’ eyes to what “Kuchmism” was, and proving that “It’s time!” – but who forgot that the most complicated fight in any revolution starts after the first big battle, even if that battle is a victory.

And what should we say about the far-sightedness of our activists, if – having put into people’s hands the tools of civil resistance – Vladislav Kaskiv, the servant of the new authorities, has already issued an order to cease activity, declaring the closing of the Pora campaign? The leader of yellow Pora has already realized his goals, but it seems as if society’s goals no longer interest him.

It’s hard to fully understand the behavior of black Pora and other more socially based movements. From the very beginning, black Pora talked about how the revolution was only the first step in the struggle, and even declared the opening of the next one. But where is this second step? Just as the new government team turns out to be unprepared for the harmonious management of the country, so too did the most active citizens turn out to be unprepared. They got used to revolutionary conditions and got disoriented in a time of peace.

Why have there disappeared the stickers with which black Pora contrived to sticker every pole in Ukraine during the flourishing of “Kuchmizm” – and without one kopeck’s worth of grant money?

Why are there no stickers up with a photo of Zvarych and the heading “No to lies”? Why aren’t they working in every region to explain to people what a bad governor is? This is not the fault of Yushchenko or his circle, but of the local inhabitants, who should go out on the central squares of their own cities and not leave until they achieve victory on their own Independence Squares.

No less guilty than the civil movements are the journalists, on whose heads freedom of speech fell like snow – and they don’t know what to do with it. For the majority of them, freedom of speech is associated with criticism of the authorities, and not always objective criticism. But in fact freedom of speech is merely the opportunity to notice and openly grapple with the most important social problems.

We are all to blame for the fact that there’s no gasoline, that the price of meat is rising, and that they haven’t raised the salaries of doctors and teachers since January 1, as Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko promised to do when the budget was being amended.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen – it’s not Yushchenko, Tymoshenko, or Poroshenko who are betraying the Orange Revolution, but we ourselves, because it wasn’t their revolution, but ours. And if we took on ourselves the responsibility of naming Yushchenko good, and Yanukovych bad, and wore orange ribbons, then we ought to take our responsibility for the new authorities through to the end.

We should help them, expose them to criticism, but we should never yell about how we’re “disappointed.” We bear responsibility for the Orange Revolution if not in front of ourselves, then in front of that part of the populace that stood under blue and white flags.

No, authority has not yet become transparent, or honest, or responsible. We’ve just begun to make it that way. It’s time that we ourselves become responsible for Ukraine – and everything that happens in it.

Source: Kyiv Post