Read the original text at radiosvoboda.org
Freedom must be defended
For more than two years Ukraine is living in a turbulent state. First was Maidan, which has become a symbol of indestructibility of Ukrainian people, their readiness to defend their beliefs and ideals even at the cost of their own life. Then there was the annexation of Crimea, and then anti-terrorist operation in the east of Ukraine. All this was a result of the aggressive policy of Russia to Ukraine and its efforts to prevent the progress of Ukrainian people to build a modern legal and democratic state, its course towards European integration. In fact, Russia did put in question the very right of residents of Ukraine to decide their own destiny, to choose the direction of the future development.
Ukraine is different from Russia
Euromaidan clearly defined vector for Ukraine to move forward. It demonstrated the presence in the country of active, mature civil society, ready to fight for their rights, for their vision of their native land. Millions of Ukrainian rebelled against the criminal regime of former president Yanukovych because during his presidency there were no other prospects except of complete degradation, authoritarianism and transforming the country to the Russian colony. People went out in the name of the European vector of development, which they associated with a high level of material well-being, the presence of well-developed institutional structure of the society, rule of law, equality, fair elections, government turnover, low corruption, an independent judiciary and others.
And this is the fundamental difference between modern Ukraine and Russia. In Russian historical tradition separate human personality never had an independent significance, higher national interests always prevailed. It is significant that the term "cult of personality" became a symbol of the period of suppression of personality, which even the Russian people have never known before. No less typical that tyrants such as Ivan Grozny and Stalin have many fans and relatively high popularity among people, which is indirectly heated and maintained by the leadership of the country and its ideological attendants.
These rulers in the public mind are associated with strong state power, might and majesty of the state, while completely ignoring the fact that the price of greatness was achieved by incredible oppression and suppression of human rights and manifested mostly in foreign expansion but with extremely low life of majority of the population.
Reforms or collapse
However, the population of Ukraine expects from its government the reforms aimed at improving the quality of life, providing socio-economic development. Ukraine is going through difficult times that require consolidation of society around a common goal - to build a strong and prosperous European state. And at the local, grassroots level, community activists understanding this fact. Instead, the political elite, who in their professional and personal qualities for the most part do not meet their rank, are not aware of their responsibility to the country.
The main and ultimate goal of reform should be to create a strong economy, able to provide a decent standard of living for the Ukrainian people, financial independence of the state. Meanwhile, Ukraine is living effectively from loan to loan. And this cannot but cause concern.
Nothing remains unpunished
As you know, when God wants to punish someone, he takes away his mind. Perhaps this happened with Vladimir Putin. In other way you can’t explain his clearly inadequate actions of recent years, when he actually went into a hard conflict with the entire international community. As a result, Russia has experienced very painful Western sanctions that negatively affected its economic situation. And when Putin and his entourage dared to make this gamble, they knew that their criminal acts will receive punishment.
The reaction of the entire civilized world on Russian aggression is a sign that the evil will sooner or later be punished, and justice will prevail. It's only a matter of time.