Scalpel: Trade blockade as demonstration of Ukrainian political problems

Author : Oksana Syroid

Source :

The efforts being made for depreciation both the idea of blockade and its activists had the opposite effect - support of the blockade and trust in the activists among people only grows
22:30, 20 February 2017

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112 Agency

Quite for a long time Ukrainians feel something is going wrong with a state organism. We are convinced that the country's body staying up on the reform feet but with the naked eye it is seen that it’s only a progressive lameness. Despite the rhetoric about building muscles, the armed forces can’t hide the depletion and atrophy that really appeared during the first year of the war. Analyses of blood system of public finances show that the "budget for belligerent country" is a banal war for the budget. Flashy spells about the "aggressor" who "we will strike in the face" and "who will pay for all" are increasingly are replaced by the nervous falsetto.

But the body, denying the obvious manifestations of a serious illness, stubbornly refuses treatment...

The railway blockade aiming at ceasing transport of goods through the line of collision, started on January 25, was widely commented. At the same time the efforts being made for depreciation both the idea of blockade and its activists had the opposite effect - blockade support and trust in the activists among the people only grows. Fantasies of paid PR are unsustainable: our recent experience has shown that any paid PR activities without human power choke in a few days. The phenomenon of such support is in the fact that during blockade process people were able to examine the sick body of their state. And blocking, as a surgical tool, found deep inflammatory processes and malignant tumors, accumulated over three years.

Man and coal

All the participants to a greater or lesser extent realized the fact that people are making money at war. On volumes of enrichment on trade with the occupied territories, as well as with the occupier, Ukrainian journalists have repeatedly written. However, just a few weeks of blockade showed the bloody trade virus lesion volume.

Thus we have learned from members of the government that they lied to us when at the beginning of the war promised to find an alternative to coal from the occupied territories. They also lied when they said that for reaching this alternative, and therefore energy security, it is necessary to increase the procurement price for coal and electricity tariffs. And tariffs were increased. But not for the purpose to buy coal in Rotterdam - just in order to pay this Rotterdam price to "one guy" in the occupied territory, who, of course, agreed to share such profit with buyers. We saw a long queue of MPs’ advisers, absolutely independent experts, analysts, staff patriots whose greed and dependence forced them to publicly defend their masters’ profits without thinking much of the state, and even about the conspiracy: what in 2014 was considered a crime, in 2017 turned out to be a vital necessity.

Related: Artemenko to present his plan for settlement of current Ukrainian situation in March

We actually received a threat to energy security, as the government claims. But not because of the blockade. When the director of a thermal power plant, which depends on coal from the occupied territories, was asked whether the power plant should make the coal reserves in case of blockade of its supply from Russia, his surprise was genuine and undisguised. The confidence in Donbasenergo shareholders and their ability to negotiate c occupier was much stronger than the fact that we are waging war with Russia. Therefore, it is exactly the greed of the current Ukrainian leaders, their participation in commercial projects with those whom they call "aggressor" and "bloody regime", and dependence on lies is a genuine threat to the energy security of the state.

Speculating on the "no alternatives" to anthracite coal from the occupied territories at the height of the heating season, our attention was distracted from the other, much larger wagons with round timber which export is under moratorium, gunpowder – a dual-use good which Lvivvugillya mines can’t buy, products for steel business - iron ore concentrate, steel sheets, steel billets, limestone for fluxing, slabs and, according to the government itself, part of these goods is a contraband.

And the blockade showed that in Ukraine any state institution, which would have to guarantee the safety of both goods and people entering the territory of Ukraine through the collision line, is not valid. The Border Guard Service, Customs, the Security Service have neither sufficient authority nor the task to monitor what is being imported. Several border guards with a dog for hundreds of wagons per day - this is another proof that the "final beneficiaries" (customers and suppliers of goods from both sides of the front line) trust each other and have enough power to ensure the absence of any state control.

State monopoly on crime legitimacy

The legitimacy of protesters was higher than the legitimacy of the state law enforcement agencies. If the head of the regional police Abroskin came to protesters without a legal prescription and had brought several buses full of people, than his orders to unknown people to use force are illegal, the consequences of which can be very dramatic. And as it is a shame, but we once again received the evidence that law enforcement agencies protect someone's business. Unfortunately, it is no surprise to see monopoly unions of high officials, criminals, law enforcement, and courts established for illicit enrichment today in Ukraine. The trouble is that the state, which has a monopoly on crime, is losing its monopoly on the use of force.

Modest joy of occupation

Blockade has pointed out, that the state creates conditions for promoting occupation. For a long time authorities gently but compulsively formed the guilt before people remained under the occupation. Any attempt of critical thinking encounters the pretentious clichés like "there are our people" - without any mention of the fact that our people are here.

"What kind of country do we protect and by whose laws?" That was the question people heard from the soldiers for the first time in two years. The frankness of protesters gave impetus to the soldiers to express frustration and anger that accumulated over the past two years. Trading with occupied territories Ukraine devalues every soldier, who defends his country. Soldiers receiving order not to shoot until the train with goods will arrive, lose respect for their profession and for the state. The Army, which provides supply of its opponent, loses its meaning.

In addition, the Minsk agreement buried soldiers in the holes, without giving them neither war, no peace: "For 10 days we are waiting to obtain a permit from the OSCE to leave… Last time we were waiting during a month...” The current regime destroys the critical principles of the army: credibility and professionalism. After the maneuvers or rotation, our soldiers, especially with military experience, are being intentionally sent to other units, rather than to form a joint well-coordinated professional team. Infantrymen are no longer shaking hands with the tank crews and artillerymen, because they knew about attacks at the forefront of our infantry, but can’t go to the rescue.

Related: Mass demonstrations regarding Donbas trade blockade were held in Kyiv

"Have you ever seen a blind behind the wheel?"

So asked the man in Bahmut, nodding at the two OSCE cars, passing by us. The trust and respect for international institutions in Ukraine have long been undermined - because of their inability to protect the collective security for which they were created. And the current trade blockage is a consequence of this impossibility. If Russian aggression and occupation of eastern Ukraine were recognized at the international level, if organizations began to apply the international law of war and international humanitarian law, they themselves would become the blockade of trade with the occupied territories.

However, the blockade provoked another wave of renunciation of reality. We are trying to convince that the enrichment of a few people in the country on the blood of other citizens of this state has some relation to the "inclusive approach". Everyone knows that Mr. Akhmetov has good international contacts. But one must observe some hygiene and maintain decorum. Is it new information to our international partners, that oligarchs are the main investors in the political corruption of the state? They are by nature interested only in how to use the state as an enrichment tool, not disdaining the background of the war. And support of this process - is a support of political corruption and the further corrosion of state institutions.

The government of Ukraine denies the war and the occupation of part of its territory. Russian propaganda and occupation policy have not only become a part of the rhetoric of those who call themselves Ukrainian ministers and deputies, but they gradually acquire outlines of specific solutions of Ukrainian parliament and government. A few greedy and dependent people, who control all state institutions in Ukraine for three years, not only make the war, but also cynically hiding behind patriotic rhetoric, again turning our country into a Russian colony.

It is not necessary to love the blockade. It must be seen as a chance to see the symptoms of the state of the body disease, become aware of its causes and begin to deal with life. You can try to disperse the blockade by force. You can pull out the scalpel and sew up the wound to cover up what you have seen. But this scalpel will always be in the hands of the people.

Related: NABU questioned Akhmetov on "Onyshchenko recordings"

Related: Ukraine’s population decreased to 42.5 million people in 2016, - Statistics Service

Related: SIPRI: Ukraine increases sales of military products to Russia in 2016

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