A Picture of Courage

Ukraine with the bearYoung women, old women, young men, old men, all in between are in the frigid Euromaiden Square at 4:30 am in the 9 degree temperature of Kyiv Ukraine.

There’s  a live feed of what is happening in Ukraine at this moment. Put in the address bar of google “5UA”

The words  Головна — 5 канал will come up. Click on it.

Go to the bottom to Ефір Online  and click on it.

You’ll have a view of what is happening in Kyiv at this moment. The riot police are at the edge of the crowd. Gas is being used on the people. They are asking all of us outside of Ukraine to bear witness to what his happening.

The sun comes up in Ukraine in 3 hours – the question is whether the clearing operation can be finished in the dark. The protestors remain peaceful. The police keep closing in. Sign in, notify your friends, you have a chance to witness the bravery of people seeking to keep what we take for granted.




  1. OWS was a dry-run. Those bright-faced well-spoken kids who appeared as spokes-people are up, and, coming, cadres. Don’t you find it odd when protesting fast-food employees, being interviewed by the media, speak in the same register as a graduate students? OWS was all about practicing to ride the next tsunami of public outrage. The OWS objective is revolution, not, reform. Two steps forward, one step back…

    • Khalid:

      Disagree – Ukrainian style protests would not be allowed in the USA. OWS showed itself to be a futile effort that was undermined by drug dealers and other riffraff. Close friends who are very progressive went to NY City OWS to get involved and left disgusted with the type of people who had been attracted to it. Americans don’t have it in them to protest anymore – the last group of any power was the Tea Party types who restricted their activities to politics and political gatherings.

      The police forces in USA are too powerful and too ready to suppress any discontent and those in power who the OWS were opposed too don’t like to be inconvenienced. When I was in France I had the opportunity to see a protest that brought hundreds of thousands of people marching the streets – that is not something we tolerate in America.

      Here, of course, we don’t have our country being kidnapped like is happening in Ukraine and if something to that extent happened perhaps we could see something like that protests. But we’ve seen in Egypt the protests of the people having amounted to nothing more than removing a dictator and replacing it with a military dictator. Our only hope in America is at the ballot box but as long as things remain somewhat in control – that is, there is enough money to keep everyone marginally content, the people won’t inconvenience themselves. In other words, we have no big issues that will move a large group to give up their lives of relative ease which has only one inconvenience which is the long lines on Black Friday.

  2. In 1861, the Peasant Land Reform Act, promulgated by Stoylipin (Sp?), in the name of the Tsar, divided Ukraine into different zones of tenure at the commune, or, Zemstvo, level. In the geographically western areas of Ukraine: Podolia, Galicia, and, Volhinia, areas with long cultural ties to the west, peasants were given heritable right to their lands. The lands of the eastern oblasts went into a communal “re-partition land allotment system” that regularly re-assigned the tillable strips surrounding peasant villages. The areas with heritable tenure were predominately Catholic. Those in the repartition tenure areas tended to be Orthodox. The three primarily Cossack oblasts of eastern Ukraine were allowed to determine tenure by their customary law.
    Different systems of land tenure often define cultures. The right to property emerges from the conflicts of European feudalism. Heritable rights were a cornerstone of feudalism. On the other hand, Russia was organized as an oriental despotism, in which the only “free” individual was the autocrat, and, all others held any property rights they had, at his/her pleasure.
    Perhaps, this difference in 19th Century land tenure rights between eastern, and, western Ukraine, adumbrates the current schism.

    • Khalid:
      Thanks for the above information. I have found that one of the main causes of the Ukrainian subjegation of Russia is the religious divided between the Catholics and Orthodox. Russia uses the Orthodox hammer to keep the people of the Orthodox faith antangonistic toward the Catholics; and, one bad turn returns another. It is the old British system of divide and conquer. Your comment spells it out in greater detail but it seems to come down to that.

  3. I don’t mean to flood this site, but this article from the New Yorker is an excellent take on what is happening in Ukraine.

    Boiled down – Ukrainians do not want an authoritarian state, they want democracy. Putler is terrified of democracy – not the Rooshan style brand of “democracy,” but true democracy.


    • Elmer:

      Your contributions are appreciated. Ukraine is a much neglected subject in this country with our continuing focus on the Middle East.

  4. This is without a doubt one of the best news report articles ever written:


    Birth of a nation

  5. Jay, not even close, not by several million universes

    The people in Ukraine, mainly led by students, and joined by all segments of society, are standing up against a brutal sovok mafia criminal regime.

    There is a small band of sovok mafiosi who have grabbed all branches of “government” – there is no independent judiciary, there is no bona fide legal system, there is no bona fide parliament – all votes are orchestrated in advance.

    If you own a business that is growing and prospering, sovok mafia thugs will come along and grab it – you will be subject to “tax inspections,” or you will be thrown in jail on trumped up charges while a “court” issues a decree that you no longer own the business.

    The “president’s” son, supposedly a dentist, suddenly saw his wealth increase to well over $100 million in the space of just one year.

    The National Bank is controlled by an appointee of the “president,” not because he knows anything but because he is part of what is known as the “family” – a close circle of “friends” of the “president”

    If you are driving your car, you will be pulled over by police for a bribe. There is an organization called “Road Control” which videotapes the activities of the police in order to try to eliminate corruption. They have been attacked and beaten.

    The party headquarters of a main opposition party was just raided and demolished by a special forces police unit, which ransacked the place, seized servers and computers and other property.

    Journalists are brutally attacked and beaten by government thugs, or by government-paid thugs.

    The sovok mafia “government” tries to respond with their own “protesters” through “rent-a-crowds”. The conditions are so bad that people will actually come out for a measly few dollars, but that has not generated any crowds of note in support of the sovok mafia state.

    The EU’s Catherine Ashton just met with the “president” yanusvoloch. Right after she left, police were sent to “clear out” the protesters – after much talk about not using force.

    This is not Occupy by any means.

    This is people standing up for freedom and democracy against a thug sovok mafia state.

    You might look at




    live feeds at




    I am grateful to Matt for paying attention to the events in Ukraine.

    • Elmer:

      Thanks for you fine comment. I’d like more Americans to know about how the Ukrainians have always fought to have their own nation and have been undermined by the Russians/Soviets for 100s of years. Sometimes it seems the Ukrainians would rather fight among themselves than work together by putting some of their minor differences aside for the greater good of all. I hope none of those fighting for their freedom are injured and that many outside Ukraine come to realize its importance to the free world. The US has spent too much time worrying about nations that will always hate us while ignoring those who would become our good friends. I do very little for Ukraine but at least it is something. I do it for selfish purposes because with Ukraine free we are all safer. I do it also to give recognition to and to support those courageous people of Ukraine who are willing to stand up all night in public and protest the stealing of liberties.

    • Dear Elmer,

      Thanks so much for your feedback! In making the reference to Occupy Wall Street, I intended to refer to that snapshot of peaceful protesters surrounded by police officers closing in. Thank you for illuminating the big picture. For the record, much noise has been made about human rights abuses directed at Occupy Wall Street, as discerned by reviewing this document prepared by the Global Justice Clinic at NYU: http://chrgj.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/suppressingprotest.pdf.

      I would argue that the Occupy movement criticized the 99%/1% dichotomy and in a way, argued for liberty of a different nature altogether. It is generally agreed that there was a lack of coherent leadership and a coherent message, as well as a clear direction in how goals should be achieved. Thanks again for drawing this distinction, although there are some would argue that there are other overlapping themes beyond the image of peaceful protest ringed by figures of authority which I express here.


  6. Dear Matt,

    This sounds a lot like the Occupy Wall Street debacle in New York in the Fall of 2011.


    • Jay:

      Occupy was a summertime vacation compared to the below zero gatherings in Ukraine. Occupy became a hang out for the street people and seemed to have a vague message – it lacked a real identifiable greivance that people could latch on to. The consequences to the people in occupy at worse might be a night or two in jail. In Ukraine they are seeking liberty which can be gained only in democracies and when the brutes take over they could be facing many years in brutal prison camps, if they survive the beatings.

      • Dear Matt,

        You are much better versed in this issue than I, and as expressed below, my reference of Occupy Wall Street comes from the landscape of protesters surrounded by police officers standing threateningly by.

        I also have an additional question and was wondering how one would best get ahold of you in private?