First mass protest against Poroshenko's policies after Maidan-2014

Author : Viktor Nebozhenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

October 17, three political oppositions appeared in Ukraine simultaneously
10:53, 19 October 2017

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October 17, the first mass protest against President Poroshenko's policies took place after the Maidan in 2014. And the number of participants from either side does not really matter. But of the fact is an open street protest and ways to deal with it. One can clearly see the difference between the power potentials of the authorities and protesters. Externally, the authorities managed to keep the situation under control. But the political consequences are extremely negative. The country draws conclusions, and they are not in favor of the authorities – this is the first political effect from the protest rallies on October 17. It turns out that the politicians who gained power as a result of Maidan's victory are determined to preserve this power by any means. The authorities have shown that they are not going to participate in a discussion or represent anyone's interests, except their own. This will lead to a shift in public opinion about the political value and legitimacy of the current politicians in power.

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Protesters believe in the importance and justice of their demands. Therefore, they are sure of the motives for their protest and hatred of the authorities. They need only some triggers for the self-development of protest activities. Therefore, at this stage, protesters do not need a leader. The uniqueness of the situation is that Saakashvili is not a leader of the political movement, but a trigger and a moderator of protest moods. His function is to launch protest actions and attract more and more participants of various political forces. And the political problem of President Poroshenko is that Saakashvili is not going to take his place in power, as it was in the previous Maidans of 2004 and 2014, where the "leader" of the protesters received the main prize and took the place of the defeated enemy as a result of the victory. Therefore, it will be difficult for the authorities to convince people that Saakashvili is fighting against President Poroshenko only for the sake of power. But this allows various political forces to join the protest activities of Saakashvili.

October 17, three political oppositions appeared in Ukraine simultaneously. The first is a non-systemic protest street opposition. The second is an open parliamentary opposition to the current political course. And the third is a covert opposition to President Poroshenko among officials inside the executive branch. If the conflict develops, all three types of opposition will interact and cooperate. Just like it was at beginning of the Maidan.

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Dramatics of the situation is the uncertainty of the intentions of the authorities and the protest opposition. This is not a clash of political strategies, but a calculation of luck and a favorable combination of circumstances for the struggling sides.

At the first stage, you can see the poorly concealed aggressiveness and suspicion from both of sides. For example, the hysterics of the Minister of Internal Affairs Avakov and his deputy Shkiryak about conspiracies and bomb-throwers, the unexpected obedience of the head of the Department of state security Geletey (despite of being physically abused by the scandalous MP Parasyuk) aggravate the situation. And the first wounded people from both of the sides will only weaken the arbitration, negotiations, mediation of the fighting sides. But they will create a number of opportunities for the actions of third political foreign forces. This is inevitable.

Related: Protesters gather near Parliament in Kyiv, demand political reform

But the worst thing in this rapidly escalating conflict is that the "winner" takes all and becomes a "hero", and the "loser" becomes a "villain" and loses everything. This is a vicious circle that leads to radicalization of the political struggle, but does not lead to a breakthrough in the future.

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