In 2014 when an odd coalition of neo-Nazis, ideologically vague members of the Ukrainian far-right, liberal extremists and random discontented Europeanists took to the streets of Kiev to overthrow the legitimate Ukrainian President and government, the writing was on the wall that such a coup would eventually come to eat the monster it made.
While the western backers of the coup were successful in otherthrowing the government, they were less successful in terms of being prepared to competently govern.
The result is that just as in December of 2013, the tents, protesters and marchers are back on Kiev’s Maidan (central square) only this time, the western mainstream media cameras are noticeably absent.
The reasons for this are clear enough. The western powers never intended to build Ukraine back up after breaking it down. Tt was enough to dislodge a geo-politically neutral and personally weak President in the form of Viktor Yanukovych and replace him with a disparate group of pro-western figures who included neo-Nazis, Russophobes, racists, mafiosos and thugs turned self-styled political reactionaries.
The fact that such people cannot run a country that even under moderates was dysfunctional due to having no historical basis, should not come as a surprise to anyone. Furthermore anyone in the west with even a rudimentary knowledge of history would have known this prior to 2014. Like George W. Bush in Iraq, “mission accomplished”, for Yanukovych’s western opponents did not mean creating a new country–it simply meant destroying the old one.
Today however, there is broad discontent within all levels of society. Among the neo-Nazis, there is dissatisfaction that Kiev’s western backed war of aggression against Donbass has failed to destroy the Donestk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Among most other Ukrainians of all political bends and none, there is a palpable dissatisfaction with the fact that the economy is in ruins, public services are in a shambolic state, the reality that new incompetent oligarchs have replaced old semi-competent oligarchs and the fact that corruption is at levels that is frankly, obscene.
For months, the crowds on Maidan have continued to swell and recently, they have been led and encouraged by the ultra-pro western, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.
On the face of it, Mikheil Saakashvili is an unlikely leader a Maidan 2.0, but given the absurdity of the political realities in Kiev, in many ways, it makes too much sense.
As I previously wrote,
“If the Ukrainian regime was not engaged in a war of aggression that has included the use of chemical weapons against civilians , there would in fact be much to laugh at in respect of the situation in the country. Instead, the regime is a human tragedy but one that is solidly built atop a shaky farce. One of the more farsical elements of the Ukrainian regime has been the fact that its leader Petro Poroshenko recently stripped former Georgian President turned former Odessa Governor of his recently acquired Ukrainian citizenship.
In may of 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed disgraced former Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili Governor of Odessa Obslat. The appointment was immediately viewed as an insult to the people of the multi-cultural though overall historically and spiritually Russian city and region of Odessa, not least because this was the place where on 2 May 2014, young people were massacred by an armed mod while peacefully demonstrating against fascism.
It was doubly an insult because Saakashvili was a foreigner with no connection to the region. Finally, the fact that Saakashvili is wanted in Georgia on charges of high corruption including embezzlement, actions he was alleged to have committed after he started a war of aggression against the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, ought to make Saakashvili disqualified for any political position, anywhere.
When it comes to war criminality and domestic corruption, Poroshenko and Saakashvilli would both be competing for the gold if such things were Olympic events. That hasn’t stopped both men from accusing one another of being corrupt, a rare instance of both being correct, albeit it for the wrong reasons.
But one should not rely on habitual liars like Saakashvili and Poroshenko as reliable sources for the true nature of events. For this one is best understood by the fact that Poroshenko recently visited Georgia while Saakashvili would likely be arrested the minute he set foot in Georgia again.
On the 17th of July Poroshenko visited Georgia for talks with the country’s current political leaders. Georgia is currently governed by the Georgian Dream party, a kind of catch-all political movement that has somewhat toned down the Russophobic fanaticism of the Saakashvilli years while still marching the country in a direction that sees it striving to join both NATO and the EU, in spite of being located closer to Iran than to the EU.
Poroshanko was clearly looking for an ally in Tbilisi, but as Georgia under its current leadership can barely save itself, he largely came back with nothing tangible. That being said, as Saakashvilli already resigned from his position in Odessa in November of 2016, stripping a wanted man in Georgia of Ukrainian citizenship, thus technically leaving him stateless, can be seen as a concession to the current Georgian authorities. Prior to this Georgia viewed Poroshenko as the Ecuador to the would-be Assange that was Saakashvilli, only whereas Assange filled the world with much needed truth, Saakashvilli filled his pockets with much sought after state cash.
Furthermore, shortly after leaving his post in Odessa, Saakashvilli registered a new party in Ukraine. While it is difficult to see how such a party could be a real political threat to Poroshenko’s power base which is already under threat from Ukrainian parties with an even more far-right ideology than Poroshenko’s, it seemed that Poroshenko did not want to take any chances. Thus, Poroshenko stripped Saakashvilli of his Ukrainian citizenship shortly after returning from Saakashvilli’s native country.
In short, Saakashvilli is a corrupt opportunist who ran to the power base of a second corrupt opportunist, Poroshenko. Then that second corrupt opportunist fired and deprived citizenship of the first corrupt opportunist under the guise that the first corrupt opportunist was a corrupt opportunist, who then took to calling the second corrupt opportunist a corrupt opportunist.
This literally is the farce that is post-coup Ukrainian politics”.
I further stated,
“Saakashvili is keen to paint himself as a heroic freedom fighter, perhaps even a ‘democracy activist’ who has been on the receiving end of an unjust and possibly illegal deal by a corrupt regime (that part is objectively true) which has made an individual stateless through a wanton action (something which many experts claim is illegal).
Beyond this, the arch-opportunist and former Kiev Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has endeared herself to Saakashvili’s cause. Tymoshenko is widely perceived, even among her comrades on the extreme-right, as someone who will say and do anything to get closer to power. The fact that she has thus far played no role in the Poroshenko regime, has made her feel shafted and she’s now betting on Saakashvili helping to whisk her back to the limelight which she so clearly craves.
With police in western Ukraine now claiming that they have opened criminal proceedings against Saakashvili for his border stunt, it is becoming ever more likely that a man who was largely forgotten and ignored, might be an unlikely candidate to shed light on the corrupt and habitually duplicitous nature of the Kiev regime, even though Saakashvili’s differences with Kiev are largely cosmetic and personal. In terms of policy, both Poroshenko and Saakashvili have a history of committing war-crimes, destroying economic relations with Russia, overseeing largely ineffective regimes whose popularity wanes rapidly and stealing state-treasure for personal gain. That being said, if one was forced to choose, it must be said that between Poroshenko and Saakashvili, the latter is more of a smooth political operator than the former. That being said, the bar has been set incredibly low.
In this sense, Poroshenko in depriving Saakashvili of citizenship, has created a headache for himself.
In a just world, those opposed to war, racism, political censorship, economic collapse, corruption and state depravity would be the ones to bring down the Poroshenko regime. But in the real world, as Ataturk once said, “They go as they come”.
There would be no more fitting end to the Poroshenko regime than for Saakashvili to rally support against it. Meet the new boos, same as the old boss–in more ways than one”.
Because the Maidan 2.0 is a battle between various pro-NATO stooges, all with dubious track records, the west can sit back and relax, happy in the fact that Kiev will remain a headache for Moscow and an aggressor towards Donbass, while remaining totally complacent in the fact that such a regime will likely be just as much of a letdown for the innocent civilians of Kiev controlled regions, as was the original post-Maidan regime.
In spite of this, there is a genuine nature to Maidan 2.0 that was missing from its recent ancestor. Today, the Maidanists are largely operating of their own accord and this time, they have very real worries that in spite of promises from the west of a ‘better future’, the economic statistics dictate that today’s Ukraine is far worse than that of 2013 and early 2014. The fact that this Maidan has moved at a more gradual pace is proof positive that the movement does not have the international backing and exuberant western mainstream media cheerleaders that the initial blitzkrieg coup had.
People in Ukraine are “mad as hell” and they’re “not going to take it anymore”. The problem is that while this time, the anger is that much more authentic, slow burning and legitimate–the solutions are as unrealistic as they were in 2014 and if anything, the leading figures of the “movement” are even more incompetent.
Since 2014, Ukraine has gone from a farcical tragedy, to a tragic farce.