On-the-ground Update from Ukraine
One of the regular readers of The Adventures of Chester finds himself in Ukraine, observing the events there. This is his report. I am removing his name until he gives me permission to use it. Quick thought: In the book "The Clash of Civilizations" by Samuel Huntington, there was a map of Ukraine included showing the voting patterns of the populace during a recent election. If I remember right, made our red-blue split look silly. In one half of the country, 70-80%+ plus voted for one candidate, and in the other, the opposite. If anyone has a copy of this book and can point us to an image of this map, we would be most appreciative. Let's hope the Ukrainians have something big to be thankful for this time next year . . . ----------------------------------- I have been here 6 days, yet today is the first day I went into the center of Kiev, ie Krischiatek Blvd. Now I think I know a bit about crowds having grown up in Pasadena and seeing between 1-2 million people on the 1st of January for the Rose Parade,but this dwarfs Pasadena. The People are packed in on Krischieatek \Blvd for a solid 5 km. THis street is one of those wide Soviet era streets which is usually 200 meters across when you count the walking areas, I estimate about 1 million here alone supporting of Yuchenko. At each stop on the metro you see 1000s more milling about outside. There is one phrase for this "Controlled Rage". People are offended that there was so much vote rigging and destroying of legitmate votes. For those of you in the dark, Yuchenko is an economist with an Ukrainian/American Wife. He is pro west, but realizes ties to Russia.On the other hand, Yanokovich is a thug. A rapist, a thief who was arrested twice during Soviet times. He is supported by Russia and Putin. He is 50 years old and ran a gang of thieves in the Donesk region. I have taken many photos but will send them when I arrive back in Germany. Hopefully I will get out on Sunday, as I have to teach at the American School on Monday. These people in Ukraine have had 12 extra years of tyrants running their country. When I was here in the summer, Rumsfeld, McCain, Bush Sr, Rice, and many other high profile American diplomats were here. They sent a message, if Ukraine has honest elections, EU membership, stronger financial ties with the west and possible NATO base in Odessa are all on the table. There are several American Senators currently here in Kiev. I just returned from Krischiatek with my good friend Alexander Bogart who runs a Reformed Seminary here in Kiev. He was my translator. When people heard him and his wife telling me what was happening in Kiev many rushed around us curious as to who I was. Then they started telling stories of election abuse in their regions of Ukraine. Some had friends in jail. I told them that Americans have always been sympathetic towards those abused by tyrants, and strongly encourage democracy and peaceful demonstrations. So far all demonstrations are peaceful. It is overwelmingly for Yuchencko. Current President Kuchma with his appointed successor are SCARED as the Presidential Palace is surrounded by tens of thousands of additional Yuchenko supporters. There is a deal in the making of having a third election in order to ease the tension in the air so thick you could cut it with a knife. In the center, it is Tent city, they have even run lan lines to communicate in fear of telephones and cell phones being jammed. Pretty well organized resistence if I do say so myself. Lets hope that democracy wins. I hope to give a daily update till I leave. Semper Fi [name withheld] Former Marine and U S Dept of Defense Educator here in Kiev Ukraine on Turkey day P S: feel free to pass this on to others in America not aware of these abuses of basic human rights of voting ------------------------------------------ UPDATE: [From the same reader] By the way returning the AP news report, it says that Yanokovich supporters have the colors of Blue and White flags. I am yet to see ANY of them in Kiev. Only the orange of Yuchenko.