Friday, November 24
Укр Eng
Log In Register
PoliticsNeighboursEconomicsSocietyCultureHistoryOpinionsArchivePhoto Gallery
29 November, 2011  ▪  Andriy Skumin

The Government Breaks Bad

Orange Revolution did not teach anyone anything. Not only does the Government turn a blind eye to people, but also demonstratively ignores the public and the law.

Some NGOs had planned public events in Kyiv on 22 November to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Orange Revolution. In accordance with the Constitution, they had duly notified the Kyiv City State Administration in advance. The latter appealed to the court for a ban on any public events on that day. The appeal was far from being democratic, but technically legitimate. The court satisfies the demand, which it has the right to do under the letter of the law. The police and State Guard Department thought that public events on the Day of Liberty, as the anniversary is commonly referred to, would fuel clashes. Why would they, though? Moreover, the rallies at Maidan could get in the way of the cortege of Dalia Grybauskaitė, the Lithuanian President, during her visit to Kyiv on the same day. The authorities brought in several hundred Berkut officers, internal soldiers and, according to various estimates, nearly 100 undercover plainclothes police officers to Independence Square. This was also perfectly legitimate, after all, the police was enforcing the court ruling. Surprisingly, though, the infamous Party of Regions’ Oleh Kalashnikov turned up at Maidan in the afternoon with his gang, officially known as The Joint Military Union, and held a full-scale rally. Brave Berkut, the troops and undercover officers suddenly suffered a memory loss as to why there were there in the first place: they just stood there and did not lift a finger to ensure that the court ruling was complied with. Quite on the contrary, they encircled Kalashnikov’s group to protect it from the orange supporters. This travesty of justice arranged by the government on 22 November was painfully absurd. A crime makes sense in cases where millions are at stake. But what was the point of Kalashnikov’s rally and the government’s blatant neglect of law on the Day of Liberty? Would this add the 10% to the Party of Regions’ popularity that it needs to win the upcoming parliamentary election? Quite the opposite, all Kalashnikov did was to humiliate the government and especially the Party of Regions.

This is showing a curious trend, though. The government does something equally stupid and illegal on quite a regular basis. To this day, Mr. Tabacnhyk has not faced any punishment for his anti-Ukrainian statements, nor has Mr. Mohyliov for his anti-Tatar ones. On 9 May, just like on 22 November, provocateurs were delivered to the Honor Monument in Lviv with Victory flags despite the court’s ban on any public events on that day. The police protected the buses. On Independence Day, the police violated the court’s decision by preventing the public from marching across Volodymyrska Street in Kyiv.

The government can be democratic or not. It can be authoritarian or liberal. It can do what it wants and make unpopular decisions. There is just one thing it cannot do: break the law. A government that does not honor the law puts its own legitimacy in question. Yanukovych&Co have offered the public a dangerous game without rules. Today, they can ignore the law, while tomorrow, the law can become a superfluous formality for every citizen.  

Related publications:

  • November 21, the 4th anniversary of the Maidan, begins in Kyiv with a prayer for the Heavenly Hundred, the protesters killed at Instytutska Street in February 2014, and the victims of earlier shootings, police violence throughout the revolution
    21 November, Stanislav Kozliuk
  • Ukraine’s Parliament has started to change the electoral system. Will they be able to finish the job and what will change if the reform goes through?
    20 November, Andriy Holub
  • What political ambitions do Yulia Tymoshenko and her party hope to achieve before the 2019 elections?
    20 November, Roman Malko
  • According to recent sociological studies, there have been no significant changes in the mood of Ukrainians over the last three years. The scarcity of demonstrations cannot be attributed to loyalty to the current government, but rather to the fact that the opposition is equally far away from understanding what the citizens need and how these needs can be met
    20 November, Andriy Holub
  • Mostly discussed for its regulation of the language of instruction in schools, the new law offers more overlooked important innovations intended to change the quality and the content of education in Ukraine
    7 November, Hanna Trehub
  • The new law on the reintegration of the occupied parts of the Donbas qualifies them as such and names Russia as the occupier. Yet, it does not launch the process of deoccupation or change the mechanism envisaged in the Minsk Agreement
    20 October, Maksym Vikhrov
Copyright © Ukrainian Week LLC. All rights reserved.
Reprint or other commercial use of the site materials is allowed only with the editorial board permission.
Legal disclaimer Accessibility Privacy policy Terms of use Contact us