That’s what Pavlo Viknyanskyy was talking about during a recent live broadcast on the TV channel "112 Ukraine" on April the 1st. We publish a transcript of a conversation with the leader of the Republicans and TV presenters Violetta Trykova and Vasyl Golovanov. We place english translation.
Vasyl Golovanov: Let’s start a conversation with brief information about "Students’ Republic", so the audience would be able to understand what we are talking about.
Pavlo Viknyanskyy: "Students’ Republic" is one of the biggest Ukrainian non-governmental organizations, it’s legal status is youth organization. We unite a lot of students, but not only and that we are proud to have among our members many experts respected in Ukraine and the world: philosophers, political scientists, economists, sociologists, people who can share their experience with young people.
We also organize public project which is called "Student Republic" and it’s the longest in history of Ukraine, for more than 15 years, that’s why during these 15 years, we actually educated a whole generation of Republicans who are now old enough to share their experience. And they spread, as we consider, special values: Ukraine-centeric and progressive, not only in relation for the Ukraine’s agenda, but also for the global agenda. We are not very used to everything that is happening in Ukraine.
VasylGolovanov:And about progressive experiments. I have information:dynamic decentralization, virtual sovereignty…
Violetta Trykova:…platform for socio-technical innovation, food safety…
Vasyl Golovanov: Yeah, we would like to know more about these the projects.
Pavlo Viknyanskyy: Not so long time ago, we had in the Carpathians «VI Winter Studrespublika». This is one of our traditional projects and the event`s theme was "The next step (for Ukraine and the world)". We and specially selected participants on a competitive basis from all regions of Ukraine: from Lviv to Donetsk, from Mykolayiv to Kyiv discussed what would be the next steps of development of Ukraine.
At the same time we did great emphasis on the understanding of the situation in Ukraine, it is a cynical lie (if we understand that it will separate from the global agenda) that we can make some influence, even here in the country, on the agenda. Recent events in Ukraine showed us it all clearly and very cruelly: unfortunately, it didn’t matter how we “shrugged” what we did, even good things, and the revolution that is advance for the world, we saw that grate goals are taken against the will of the Ukrainian people. As a response to these problems during these days we have proposed four directions of discussion that can move the agenda in Ukraine. At first, these areas should take into consideration the global agenda. Next, they do not have to play that permanent "routine" speeches "about nothing", which, unfortunately, is present in Ukrainian politics. We have offered these four things…
Violetta Trykova: So you say, that you have offered. Have you offered it to someone in particular?
Pavlo Viknyanskyy:You are absolutely right; we have offered it to someone in particular. We offered that at first to the Ukrainian people; the second, we offer for quite a long time to the weak Ukrainian politicians, asymmetric, unconventional, daring moves that would allow not only be heard but also to be understood, and thus be painted originally in everything that is happening in the world and in Ukraine, be able to speak a completely different language, including with the Russian Federation, with the elites who unfortunately are higher than Ukrainian elite.
Violetta Trykova: So you develop such initiatives, you offer them for political circles and in the end, have you heard some response yet?
Pavlo Viknyanskyy: We have no illusions, we understand that it cannot be adequately perceived, because when people (the new government), "share" positions, cash flows, property, possibility to negotiate and I’m sorry for cynicism they negotiate with Russia for gas, etc. is not daring moves that can progressively remove the old agenda.
This old agenda includes "soup set" of fighting with oligarchy. How many times can you talk about it? This is the decade of the agenda, and the oligarchs only grow fatter and become richer! During Yanukovych times, each oligarch increased his fortune. And I do not see changing trends: one of the leading presidential candidates, with the leading rating is one of the oligarchs; second publicly is not oligarch, but this person possesses (according to Western estimates, read the Western press) billions in capital.
Vasyl Golovanov: Pavlo, I want to clarify, you said that «VI Winter Studrespublika» already passed. How long did it last?
Pavlo Viknyanskyy: We had to hold the event in the end of February, but due to the dramatic events that took place in Ukraine, we had to move it on March 21-24. And just last week we returned from the Carpathian Mountains, from the wonderful lake shore Synevir where we were going and it was very hard, as we say, "submarine" mode, we did full immersion, debated, and I’m sure we worked out interesting, progressive and very imaginative suggestions.
At the same time they are absolutely realistic, we criticized them very clearly. In the organization we have a practice, we try not to say things that will be accepted and suddenly become popular and gain the million "likes" We try to organize a debate and later reproduce it, broadcast citizens things that may be unpopular and even incomprehensible, but at the same time, they will be honest and they will be subjected to the procedure of criticism and reflection.
Vasyl Golovanov: As you said, the students were from different regions, tell us…
Pavlo Viknyanskyy: Not only students, but also experts, people who are older.
Vasyl Golovanov: Yes. Have divided thoughts about ongoing events in Ukraine during Studrespublika?
Pavlo Viknyanskyy: Absolutely. All our work is based on the principle that different people think differently – but the problems are the same. And the solution of problems is understandable and it is doesn’t depend on separate person. It depends on understanding the problems and honest qualification of these problems, offer a prescription as a doctor in the hospital, and then — problem solving.
So, of course, because of the estimation difference, we got such an interesting picture, which offers four ways that synergistically allows to Ukraine not to argue about whom to follow, move up to Russia, to China, or to the United States always with Europe. Thanks to this ways we can form the agenda of the world and from it in order to maintain its sovereignty. Let’s be honest, now Ukraine is not a fully sovereign state, and not just because of the fact that, unfortunately, part of the territory is occupied, but simply because it is already, well, the last few years, including, now, Ukraine is literally under external control.
Vasyl Golovanov: Well, here you are talking about sovereignty, and one of the points, as I understand, it is a virtual sovereignty. What is it?
Pavlo Viknyanskyy: We offered a four ways, I want to repeat and emphasize them. The first way is democratic and dynamic decentralization; the next way is virtual or informational sovereignty; it is a platform to create daring socio-technological innovation and to experiment, and the way to ensure food security for the world.
The way of the virtual sovereignty implies legitimization (now a buzzword!) and recognition virtual organizations authority. People united with the help of social networks in some groups via the Internet have "screwed" legal responsibility and get real power and rights how to make decisions, how to share, manage budgets. This may be at the level of individual households, houses, but not only – blocks, districts.
It is crucial that the decisions taken by these virtual communities, in some cases — for the beginning, then — as it is possible have a mandate for direct action and implementation, and then execution. If earlier it seemed impossible, now, when we spend so much our spare time to surf the Internet, to be on social networks like Facebook, "VKontakte", etc, we have direct technological possibilities for the realization of this way. If the rest of the world is not ready for it yet, or it is realized as some experiments somewhere in progressive parts of the world, why Ukraine in the current situation, when we are seemingly nowhere to fall, can’t implement daring and progressive things? For more than 20 years we are trying to reproduce the things that are in the world already last summons. It does not help us! So let’s make a daring move!
Violetta Trykova: Pavlo, tell me, please, which political force that is represented in the political arena of Ukraine is the most trust worthy and is able to solve the country’s problems using methods you are focused on?
Pavlo Viknyanskyy: Unfortunately, there is extremely archaic political system in Ukraine, there aren’t adequate ideological parties. We are convinced that all the so-called party or political forces are just business projects. Unfortunately, even the public leaders who are present there are highly dependent on the oligarchs. We see it all as an example of surrender, falling of rating and quotes in the "major league" for a number of Ukrainian politics, who were respected people and supporters of President Yanukovych a month and a half ago. Where is it all? Why all of a sudden it’s all blown away? Let’s qualify honestly and answer fairly.
So our verdict is next – the entire Ukrainian system is bankrupt. If we want honest answers, we need Maidan not only in specifically localized topographic unit in Kyiv city center or other areas of Ukraine, including the Southeast. We need progressing and continuing Maidan at the level of daily discussions, practical political work and ideological political work, real political parties that will (attention) be responsible to the people, to the citizens. How to institutionalize this system?
In particular, we proposed an instrument of dynamic decentralization, which now allows removing a lot of problems, which, unfortunately, are Ukraine’s illness, and that our neighbors use aggressively. What we mean by dynamic decentralization? As I said before, now it has become fashionable word "decentralization" — and we have been talking about decentralization long ago, before it became fashionable.
In Ukraine, it became some kind of a stunt. What is decentralization? The new government says "No federalization! Decentralization!" And at the same time they don’t explain people what decentralization means: "We pass some rights".
Guys, in Ukraine there is a position of appointed Deputy Prime Minister for Administrative Reform for 10 years and where administrative reform is? People in these positions are altered, whole groups of deputies were in the Verkhovna Rada but there are no changes! This is again another tattle and manipulation and you need to remember it!