[Marxism] Fwd: Fw: Walled Off: In Non-rebel Eastern Ukraine, Frustrations with Kiev M ount

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 23 07:23:50 MDT 2015

This seems like an objective account of real difficulties faced by
as a result of Kiev's policies (objective as opposed to Putinite
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Andrew Pollack <acpollack2 at juno.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 9:18 AM
Subject: Fw: Walled Off: In Non-rebel Eastern Ukraine, Frustrations with
Kiev M ount
To: acpollack2 at gmail.com

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: Portside moderator <moderator at PORTSIDE.ORG>
Subject: Walled Off: In Non-rebel Eastern Ukraine, Frustrations with Kiev
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 20:14:06 -0400

Walled Off: In Non-rebel Eastern Ukraine, Frustrations with Kiev Mount

Fred Weir
April 22, 2015
Christian Science Monitor

*No one in Russian-speaking Kharkiv wants to follow rebels into open
revolt. But locals say Kiev has no idea how badly it's aggravating the
region with its initiatives, including the 'Great Wall of Ukraine.'*

Col. Alexander Kruk, commander of Kharkiv region border guards, stands amid
a completed section of the planned border wall. On one side, barbed-wire
topped fence, watchtowers with cameras and motion detectors. On the other,
berms and tank traps to slow do, Fred Weir/ Christian Science Monitor

KHARKIV, UKRAINE — It's been nicknamed the "Great Wall of Ukraine." Its
planned combination of barbed-wire fences, watchtowers, berms, and tank
traps along Ukraine's 1,300-mile border with Russia look like something
you'd find on one of Israel's borders with its hostile neighbors.

If it's ever completed, the wall will seal a frontier that, until last
year, had always been wide open. Inaugurating construction here last fall,
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk indicated that much more than just a
physical barrier was intended. "This will be the eastern border of Europe,"
he said.

But in nearby Kharkiv, an overwhelmingly Russian-speaking city of
one-and-a-half million, mention of the wall is mostly greeted with snorts
of irritation. The idea of splitting permanently and irrevocably from
Russia wins virtually no acceptance. Many people here have family and
friends in Russia, the local economy is heavily dependent on trade with
Russia, and some say they just can't wrap their heads around the idea of a
frontier being there in the first place.

"The Russian city of Belgorod is an hour's drive away; until recently there
were almost no border formalities. It's a scene of my childhood; I love
that place," says Yury Smirnov, a taxi driver. "Now the border inspections
take hours, and it's humiliating. Belgorod might as well be on the moon."

The tension between Kharkiv and Kiev is all too obvious these days. While
pro-Kiev patriots are visible – groups of activists tore down three
prominent Soviet-era monuments
under cover of night last week – most conversations with people quickly
reveal varying degrees of anger and disillusionment with the new
revolutionary government. Everybody here, on both sides of the barricades,
agrees that they are horrified by what's happening in next door Donbass and
do not want to see the war come to Kharkiv. But experts from both sides of
the argument admit it will be an uphill slog for Kiev to win their hearts,
in part because of the economic crisis that many here blame on a government
they never voted for.

"People in the western Ukraine are inclined to tighten their belts and
think 'we're at war with Russia, of course there must be sacrifices.' But
people here say, 'we lived better under [deposed President Viktor]
Yanukovych, before these new people came,'" says Alexander Kirsch, a deputy
of the Rada, Ukraine's parliament, who is from Kharkiv and an adviser to
Prime Minister Yatsenyuk.

for the rest of this article, please go to
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