Ukrainian Oksana Forostyna Has A Message For Us

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Oksana Forostyna

Oksana Forostyna, 35, is a journalist and writer. She published her debut novel Duty Free last year. She lives in Kiev. On January 23, 2014 she posted this message in her column.

My European and American friends,

I know that you follow the news from Ukraine, and you have a picture of what’s happening. However, I’d like to explain how it concerns you.

Ukraine was hijacked. You may remember Flight 93, the only aircraft that didn’t reach its target during the September 11 attacks: the hijackers headed to Washington, presumably to destroy the White House or the Capitol Building, but passengers tried to stop them, and it crashed in Pennsylvania. Today we, Ukrainians, are trying to gain control over terror in our country.

We are a hijacked plane. We may crash. If so, you’re next.

Either Yanukovych is just a paranoiac gangster, or manipulated by Kremlin, or both, it doesn’t matter. If we fail, Ukraine is Putin’s trophy. Ukrainian spoils will encourage the Kremlin to become more impudent in achieving its goals. Your borders will not be violated, but your politicians and institutions will face shameless attempts to corrupt and to blackmail them. Your countries will not be the same anymore. Today we stand for Ukraine, and we also stand for your countries.

People in Kiev, young and old, wealthy and poor, students and managers, have to patrol the center of the capital at night because Yanukovych’s regime brought paid gangs to terrify people on the streets around Maidan and to discourage them to join protesters. You may think it’s the job of police to protect citizens from the

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gangs. In Ukraine, police protects these gangs, and citizens join in to patrol the city.

Police shot two activists on Wednesday. Several people have been kidnapped: Ihor Lutsenko, one of the Maidan leaders, a public person, had been kidnapped and severely beaten, yet survived, while the other activist was found dead, the body showing evidence of torture. Thursday night: 15 activists were attacked and kidnapped by the joined forces of gangsters and police. On Thursday police captured an activist, stripped him and humiliated him (it’s -10C in Kyiv now). Ask your representatives, are they still going to “express deep concern”?

I’m 35. Almost all my life I have been bitter about us, Ukrainians, being not like Europeans, or Americans. Today I’m bitter about Westerners being not like the brave people on Maidan’s barricades.

Her message is not a plea for us to send in the marines to fight Yanukovych’s gangs, but it’s a warning that if they fall and become Putin’s trophy, then our country will not be the same anymore. Many of us think our country is already not the same one we were born in. I hope she’s wrong about us not being like the brave people on Maidan’s barricades. Our forefathers had what it takes to fight for freedom, and I’d like to believe some of us still have what it takes.

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vassar bushmills
February 20, 2014 11:36 am

Shades of Prague ’68, it saddens me most that there is nothing we can do to stop this new “Soviet” acquisition of Ukraine. Putin will play his final card as soon as he waves good-by to the athletes, a fait accomli, but he dealth his first card months ago, and we (the govt) knew it, the EU knew it, and our media knew it but choose to keep us in the dark, for fear we might force Obama into a manly act. All of this, and there will be more, because Obama has trembled and quaked time and again in… Read more »