No civil war…

… And thank goodness for that, because I’m a total chicken.

On Friday night, out for dinner with the usual crew, someone told me, “Oh. Did you know Ukraine is on the verge of a civil war? Apparently.”

Well, apparently I didn’t know. And my experience of Ukrainians is that they’re enjoying the premature summer a little too much to get their feathers ruffled about a potential civil war.

But, as it turns out, there was quite a bit happening in political circles. So much so, that when I logged on to my usual (Australian) newspaper sites on Saturday, lo and behold! There are articles about Ukraine’s burgeoning civil war. In Australian papers. And as the lead story on BBC.

Hmm. Obviously I wasn’t seeing this action, despite walking, on Saturday, through Maidan Nezaelezhnosti (ooohhh, sound familiar?), AKA Independence Square, which is the favourite place for protesters to gather.

So. Let me just sum up what’s been happening in Ukraine in recent months.

  • President Viktor Yushchenko dissolves Parliament, claiming MPs who are switching parties to the PM Yanukovych’s government are doing so unconstitutionally. Calls a snap election
  • The Constitutional Court spends quite a few weeks, after a couple of false starts, trying to decide whether the President acted constitutionally
  • Meanwhile, protesters from around the nation gather in Kyiv, the capital, and wave lots of different coloured flags. Some support the President, some supports the PM
  • Oh yeah, the PM and President are from totally opposing parties
  • In the end, the Constitutional Court decides that Yushchenko was acting constitutionally (I think) and agree to elections
  • Oh, they forget to set a date for elections
  • Then things get confusing – I don’t really know what happened. The President sacked someone, the Police didn’t agree and so reinstated him, then the President seized control of the Interior Ministry, which runs the Police, then the Army tried to storm Kyiv or something… I don’t know, it all happened in the space of 48 hours…
  • And now Yushchenko has come out and says the international media was creating a beat-up of the whole thing.

Confused? I am a bit too… sorry. But if you want to read about it, you can see the BBC’s take on it here, the Sydney Morning Herald’s take on it here, and the Kyiv Post’s take on it here.

Meanwhile, what was I doing today while the political crisis played out? I got on a super-crowded metro train, went across to the island, got caught in a thunderstorm and got chatted up by a 16 year old musician. Whose loves are beer first, and Ukraine second. Cute.

PS: Doing the rounds, here are some other people’s versions of events, and I’ll add more as I see them…


Natalia Antonova.


21 thoughts on “No civil war…

  1. Keep your roller blades handy…according to enidd’s pics, this looks to be the only effective means of transportation into and out of the city! 😉

  2. I’ve been following this (not suprising as I am dreadfully boring and wonky that way) so I’m glad to know you haven’t seen much “action” – I’m not sure what else to call it. 😉

    You seem to meet so many interesting folks, what with your dinners and drinks and chatting up musicians. I envy you!

  3. Dear Tiger Lamb Girl. Everything *is* ok – I actually noticed what was going on far more when all the protesters were gathered outside the Constitutional Court just a few block from my place, which was about a month ago…

    Dear lacubanagringa. Haha good idea! I can flee the country on rollerblade if anything goes wrong (esp good to have a backup plan as there’s no Australian embassy in Ukraine). They might have to ben 4×4 rollerblades though, the roads can get a bit rough!

    Dear Melissa. Boo! as if I think you’re ‘dreadfully boring’ for watching news about Ukraine! I think you’re super cool! Well, I do meet some interesting folks and I hope I keep meeting… and hopefully one day I can talk to them in Russian rather than them talking to me in English!

  4. Completely off topic…I think I got a comment or something from Mr. Moi the other day, I got a notification, but nothing showed up anywhere. Very strange.

  5. I also much enjoyed enidd’s picture post on this. Perhaps next one of you could do a popup book on the topic and post photos of it.
    And, Who doesn’t love beer first and Ukraine second!

  6. Well, I now know much more than I did before! So thank you for the sum up! Hope you don’t have to buy thoses 4×4 rollerskates, maybe a mountain bike would be better!

  7. I just checked out Ennids… and it looked like a political P.a.r.t.y in the streets ha ha ha.

    (I’m convinced that the world would be a safer place without news)

  8. Glad to hear your take and that it is not affecting you too much. Have seen Ukraine grumblings in the paper and think of you immediately!

  9. hello little miss moi. enidd’s glad you were taking the civil unrest seriously. did you get your musician’s phone number. was little mr. moi watching?

  10. Well glad your’e okay!! that’s funny that you had to hear it on international news first. Well I never heard anything, being so cut off from the world anyways! Hope all stays well there.

  11. Dear mjd. Thank goodness indeed!

    Dear willowtree. He said it wasn’t him. In fact, it was probably me, making a typo of my name.

    Dear theotherbear. Yeah, I think I’ll leave the popup book to enidd, and I’ll watch her make it while I drink beer!

    Dear beccy. I know, who knows what sort of state the world would be in (probably listening to a lot of red hot chilli peppers).

    Dear Holler. Actually, I do have a mountain bike here… previously always thought of as a ‘what the hell was I thinking when I brought this here’. Now it might come in handy!

    Dear stephanie. Heheh you make me laff.

    Dear chrisb. No, he just said, “Oh I heard you are speaking English. Where are you from?” Is that a good line?

    Dear pumpernickel. I know, it is terribly slow-moving – and the snap elections are now to be in September! That’s a ways away.

    Dear karmyn. Yes, nice to know the kids are enjoying it from the fountains.

    Dear pamela. I’m convinced we’d also be a lot, lot happier and less worried without the news too!

    Dear sabrina. Thanks for thinking of me all the way over in Pearland (gosh I just love the suburb name!)

    Dear enidd. Mr Moi was there and lost interest, and went to stand in the river during the thunderstorms. Boys can be a little odd when they drink warm beer.

    Dear stacey! Thanks! You know, my mother didn’t even see the news. She gets up early every sunday to watch the Ukrainian news (solidarity) but she didn’t see the reports in her own newspaper! Not sure it would be big news in Egypt anyway 🙂

  12. Dear amy w. I shall do, hopefully with photos like on enidd’s post. I’m usually too forgetful / lazy to take my camera out, or when I do, I fall in a tub of tofu and almost drown it 😦

    Dear stacey (again). Just realised it sounded like my mum is in egypt, she’s not. I was referring to you being in Egypt but I guess you’d almost be in Italy by now!

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