Slava Donbas! The birth of civil society in Eastern Ukraine:
Here’s a scene from Slaviansk. People arguing. The future unclear.
I was asked whether Ukraine is headed toward civil war. I don’t think so.
The people in the east whose grandparents went to sleep every night fearing knocks on the door, who have been silent, afraid, indifferent for generations, are finally waking, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Good for them. Slava Donbas!
Whatever their future — with Russia or Ukraine — these people are having a conversation for the first time in several generations. Why? Because they must.
I feel very, very positive about the future here.
This conflict is necessary. These tensions need to be resolved. I consider it a long over-due divorce. After this it will be impossible for the Russian to continue denying that a Ukrainian people exist. (Yes, many of them still consider Ukrainians not a real people, but a branch of Russians.)
Assuming there’s no big war, this conflict is a win win. If Donetsk leaves, Ukraine will be better off — fewer oligarchs, fewer Russians. A smaller but stronger Ukraine would remain. If Donetsk stays, the Kremlin will be humiliated as Ukraine will have proved itself not just a separate nation, but an attractive alternative for Russians as well. This freer alternative would be a return the historic role of Ukraine’s Kozak culture.
There are still some dangerous days ahead. Early May is full of symbolically important days for the Soviet Union and its modern day imitator, but I’m very, very optimistic.