Something is happening in eastern Ukraine that western politicians were not prepared for, an event that could enter history. The population rises up against the orders of its government in Kiev. They stop tanks and ask the soldiers that were sent there to lay down their arms. The soldiers hesitate, but then follow the peoples’ orders. They refuse to shoot at their own compatriots. Following this are moving scenes of fraternization in a nation that will not allow itself to be forced into war. The transitional government in Kiev declares the civil rights activists in east Ukraine to be terrorists. They do not see the possibility of exemplary peace that could take place here. Instead they send tanks into the cities in order to secure their power with military force. They cannot think differently. In the beginning, the soldiers obey until they arrive at the area of operations, where they do not meet terrorists, but an entire people that defend themselves against tanks driving through their landscape. They do not want war and they do not see why it should be fought. Yes, why actually? For long they have been lied to and betrayed by Kiev – now they can no longer trust the new government. Most of them anyway feel like they belong more to Russia than the Ukraine. What does the West actually want? With which right does it claim the east Ukrainian regions?
It is difficult to see something wrong in the behavior of the east Ukrainian demonstrators. In a state of confusion, the West faces a process that defies all political and military categories because (with the exception of some hooligans that are always present) it is about basic civil rights. All political options of the West are being foiled. And behind its options are sturdy economic interests from the weapons industry, which always also need to be considered.
What we are seeing in eastern Ukraine is not only the confrontation between Russia and the West; we are dealing with a fundamental conflict between the interests of politics and those of the people, between the politically represented war society and the civil society represented by the people. It is a victory of civil society if there is no military escalation in eastern Ukraine. It is a victory of the war society if a war begins there. War – this means money for the weapons industry, fortification of the political power blocs, and continuation of the old methods of suppressing civil rights with armed force. In this case, the West and its propaganda machine is on the side of the war society, otherwise it would now support the east Ukrainian protestors (against the military threat from Kiev) similar to how it supported the protestors in Maidan Square (against the usurpation by a pro-Russian government). the referendum on Crimea as it had supported the protestors in Maidan Square. But our official media has already persuaded a wrong image of the political circumstances in the Crimea conflict. Or do we want to seriously claim that the 96 percent of its population that voted in favor of becoming part of Russia were forced to do so by Russia? (The author is aware that Russian agitators were probably involved in the referendum however).
If protesters in eastern Ukraine defend themselves against the West then they defend their very natural human rights. They are not terrorists, but courageous human beings. They act in the same way that we would also act. Together with them we want to set an example for peace – so that the powers of peace are finally stronger than the economic interests of the lobbyists who want to secure their seats. It has been long enough that they have used the youth as fuel; they have sent them to the slaughter in order to secure their power. It has always been in the interest of the mighty and the rich, for which uncountable soldiers died. May Ukraine make a contribution for ending this insanity.
Maidan and Donetsk – Here and there it is about the same thing: the liberation of the people from political suppression and paternalism. In Maidan Square they defended themselves against the annexation to Russia. In Donetsk they defend themselves against the annexation to the West. In both cases it is a struggle for elementary humans and civil rights. These are the rights of a civil society torn between the frontlines of two military societies. The protestors that occupied Maidan Square in Kiev and the demonstrators that occupied the administrative buildings in Donetsk have the same heart. We extend them our empathy and solidarity. Both groups could help to give birth
to a new era if they recognize each other and do not ideologically fight each other. They are lined up with other groups worldwide that have decided to step out of war society as, for example, the peace community San José de Apartadó. May these groups come together and understand each other. May they unify with one another in a new planetary community of peace.
Help the friends in eastern Ukraine now! Help that they will persevere with peaceful power, that they will allow neither the West nor Russia to occupy them. We send them our full solidarity and call out to them: Please persevere, do not allow yourselves to become co-opted – neither by Russia nor by the West. Renounce weapons! The men in the tanks are not enemies, but potential friends. Please do not shoot. Refuse war, any war. “Make love not war.” Enough tears have already been cried. Mothers all around the world have shed enough tears for their sons that have been unnecessarily killed. Give yourself and your (future) children the gift of a happy world!
In the name of peace In the name of life In the name of the children all over the world!
Dr. Dieter Duhm
Spokesperson of the Peace Project Tamera in Portugal