How to test if Kiev’s ‘Maidan’ was an authentic revolt or a well-planned operation

European Parliament, 26 February 2008.Press conference following the EP President's meeting with the President of the Parliament of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk (on the left), here pictured with Hans Gert Poettering – the then EP President. Yesterday, Arseniy Yatsenyuk was named by the Maidan Prime Minister of his country.

European Parliament, 26 February 2008.Press conference following the EP President’s meeting with the President of the Parliament of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk (on the left), here pictured with Hans Gert Poettering – the then EP President. Yesterday, Arseniy Yatsenyuk was named by the Maidan Prime Minister of his country.

The difficulties to formulate a new government in Ukraine are obviously related to the country’s economic stalemate, the deepening east-west division and the inextricable situation in the energy sector with only supplier, the Gazprom Russian monopoly. All that may be very real and difficult to solve equations. However, there is an additional factor, the importance and the role of which remains rather fluid and puzzles all the political forces (within and without the country), which have an influence on the composition of the new government.

The Maidan appoint the new government

This factor – the role and the influence of which is for the moment unquestionable – is the Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The Independence Square has already chosen the new government that the Parliament is expected to vote. There is a makeshift Maidan Council which chose as Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the Fatherland Party and close ally to Yulia Tymoshenko. Important ministerial portfolios were given to heros of the Square. No question, things are a bit awkward in Ukraine with the fighters of the Maidan imposing their will on the PMs. There is an explanation for it as will be explained below.

The protestors are holding their barricaded positions in Kiev’s central Independence Square, and so far they seem to govern the country. At least the largest part of it. The square has now being transformed into a kind of a shrine and the spots where an unknown number of people were killed have become almost holy grounds. The deep religious feeling of the population has helped towards this direction. Every political force in the city, along with the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton went there to pay their tributes.

Understandably, the people, who protected the Square against the murderous special police forces of the old political order and still are manning today the almost ‘holy’ barricades, are very hostile to everybody who has references to the old regime. That’s probably why Yulia Tymoshenko, the jailed political adversary of Yanukovych, last Monday declined the hastily offered to her premiership by the Interim President, Olexander Turchynov, her closest ally.

Tymoshenko rejected by the Square

She has governed Ukraine as Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010. She was jailed for embezzlement and abuse of power in a politically influenced trial in 2011, after Yanukovych beat her in the 2010 Presidential election. Her nick name is ‘princess of gas’, because of the deal Ukraine signed with the Russian monopoly Gazprom under her orders in 2009.

From the very beginning she has supported the Maidan protestors, but this does not acquit her from her past in the eyes of people. In any case, Tymoshenko will play an important role in the political future of Ukraine. The fact that Olexander Turchynov, her right-hand man, was made speaker of the Parliament and then Interim President has an important significance. He is not accepted by the Maidan though. It seems that Arseniy Yatsenyuk had a better lack with the Maidan, being also closely connected with Tymoshenko. She prefers probably to govern by proxy…

Yatsenyuk after Turchynov

She has a strong influence on the population. In her first appearance in the Square she delivered a very good speech, which justified her reputation of a very good orator. Nevertheless, according to the ‘heroes of Maidan’, Tymoshenko in many respects represents the old regime.The fact though that Yanukovych molested her, is a strong political asset now and she will make the best use of it. The role Tymoshenko will play in Ukraine from now on will be a test case for the influence of the Maidan.

So far, the square wins. Most of protestors believe that Tymoshenko is as corrupt as Yanukovych. Both of them represent the old regime and together they have built and used a corrupt system of government – business intertwined activities. Only one prominent Ukrainian businessman, Petro Poroshenko a confectionery producer, has distanced himself from dirty dealings with the government and opposed this kind of activities all the way through. His business does not depend on the government and he had very actively supported the Orange Revolution, remaining always in the opposition.

A mafia style political system

Coming now to the Parliament as the only legitimate political entity, the fact that it chose Turchynov as its speaker and then also as Interim President is very telling. The majority the MPs changed their positions one hundred per cent within one week. After having voted all the anti-protestors measures and the laws the Yanukovych’s stools introduced in the house, they made a full U-turn and the next day they voted him out and this week they accused him of mass murders. This behaviour surpasses any ideology and touches the limits of criminal organisations, following orders from hidden masters. It’s an open secret that the country’s oligarchs run their own Parliamentary groups.

During the last few years, Yanukovych had systematically chased away the business tycoons who had made their fortunes under the previous Yushchenko –Tymoshenco regime. He replaced them with people from his ‘family’ in a typical mafia way. His son, Oleksandr Yanukovych became a big businessman within a few years getting more than half of all government contracts. The Yanukovych ‘family’ in a few years bought most of the oligarchs, in buyout operations which all had a visible stain of use of force. Only a few of them have escaped by ‘cooperating’ with Yanukovych. It seems that his appetite for more was so big that in the end his own system couldn’t stand him. Then, the Parliamentary vote to oust him has all the characteristics of a classic internal mafia war.

Yanukovych after Tymoshenko

In such an environment, the ‘Maidan heroes’ have now gained a national prominence. Unfortunately, what follows all revolutions is the ‘Month of Thermidor’, when the reactionaries throw out the revolutionaries. It was on 9 Termidor that Maximilien Robespierre, the French revolution hero and his companions were chased away from power by the reactionaries of The Directory. It will take some time though for the influence of the Maidan to peter out.

If Tymoshenko regains a prominent position in the Ukrainian politics, she has to prove that she is a different person than the one who together with Yushchenko created the unholy business-government dirty state. Then Yanukovych took over and pulled this unholy complex to its limits and finally all ended in catastrophe. There is also a possibility that the Maidan revolutionaries are controlled and even financed by internal or external circles and foreign powers. In such a case, Tymoshenko will be the person to take the lead, because she knows the way to ‘cooperate’ with the dark forces. Only the future can give the answers to those questions. Yatsenyuk’s welcoming to hell, addressed to a BBC reporter, is very characteristic of that future. In any case he is not an innocent protestor because he was a key player in the era of Tymoshenko’s reign.

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