|Ukrainians in Kyiv commemorate Holodomor and protest moves away from EU.|
The beautiful faces of Ukraine. (yahoo news, AP, Maria Danilova, 23 November 2013).
I'm not surprised at all that Ukrainians are divided, with pro EU sentiment strongest in western Ukraine, weakest in the east, strong in large cities like Kyiv, the capital, unsure in more rural areas suffering from high taxes, few services, and high unemployment, not to mention few expectations and dashed hopes.
|Yahoo image. Joint Ukraine/EU flag.|
That's a large percentage of undecideds, 41%. I think it reflects the doubts and pessimism of people struggling to survive, many of whom live in the places I worked and grew to love. They really are not sure which way to go.
Nor am I surprised, on the other hand, that many people are protesting the Parliament's decision to hold off on joining the EU in favor of Moscow. I've seen how hard people are working to bring change from the bottom up. I've seen small nonprofits work mightily to make life better, more just, more secure, to make their government more transparent, more accessible, less corrupt. Some folks are plain tired of the old ways.
|Vitaly Klitschko, opposition leader, in Kyiv.|
|Free Yulia Tymoshenko sign, President Yanukovitch's arch rival who's been imprisoned.|
The EU, and human rights groups, have urged her release.
Who knows where Ukraine will go? I only wish for the happiness and well being of the people who make up the country, who are strong, generous and kind, who work for human rights, who want to participate in their government, who are working for change, to make life better for all. Viva Ukraine.
For more on the Holodomor see: