Such a recipe of overcoming the governmental crisis gave Pavlo ViknyanskyуRepublican’sleader, during live broadcast on the TV channel «112 Ukraine» held on May 12. The interviews were conducted by Violetta Trykova and Anton Sereda.
Violetta Trykova:Now we would like to introduce a guest who has already appeared in our studio – the head of the All-Ukrainian non-governmental organizationStudents’ Republic, the Deputy Head of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense, Pavlo Viknyanskyy. Pavlo, hello.
Anton Sereda: It’s interesting that you are a representative of, yes, the Ministry of Defense, yes, counselor? As I far understand it…
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: Not actually.
Anton Sereda: Not actually… I mean like a consultant, volunteer.
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: Each of the public authorities have set up public councils, including the Ministry of Defense…
Anton Sereda: For certain control. Tell me, here come presidential elections, local elections – in Kyiv and in some cities, where you have to choose a new mayor, students today are heard. But do those people who are in power hear civil society?
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: I think, due to the formulation of the question, this is a rhetorical question!
Anton Sereda: Yes, but you can put it into practice.
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: The events of recent months – which are, in fact, terrible events! – demonstrate very clearly that either we have in Ukraine present policy, the real economy, the real social work, or state failure does occur.
What instead we are seeing? We are seeing, unfortunately, the more and more increasing imitation of any primarily political processes. Imitation – means game, so unreal, instead of the present, then – «noodles» instead of actual intent to act, then – hired team, instead of the real supporters, it means that the desire to go into politics in order to «hack loot», excuse me, instead to engage in ensuring citizens’ interests.
Of course, normal people, we are now, saw earlier the position over the western and central regions, the city of Kyiv, Ukrainian part of megacities – now we see the position of the industrial regions of Ukraine. Then it was very radical and negative with respect to the Ukrainian agenda. All the problems have not been decided, for which, in fact, protesters acted on Ukrainian squares!
Now representatives of the Eastern regions act even radically… Again, a part of requirements is very fair – no one hears, and, unfortunately, it seems to me, no one will hear, if among citizens and the political elite simply reinstall the internal processes does not happen. These internal processes should be reinstalling, as I said, in this mode, the real live issue and living economy of this social work.
Anton Sereda: But the alive economy, alive politics… It is said that that public hearings, round tables in certain regions: it is both the East and the Centre and the West, officials’ government and civil society will take place now… Isn’t it too late to drink Borjomi today?
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: In our view, now there is only one true tool that will help to resolve the situation. This is a dialogue of all – of absolutely all! – regions of Ukraine, without employers of Turchуnovs, Yatsenyuks, Dobkins, Tihipkos, especially Putins or Obamas. If the people of Ukraine are interested in our own statehood, then regardless of nationality, religion or language, we must establish communication without relying on politicians. It’s first. How can this happen, which organizational form – [point] two. I do not believe since the days of Viktor Yanukovych’s attempts to hold National round tables that it is generally to some extent effective form. This is the same twaddle.
It is needed something like extended Constituent Assembly in which there were representatives of almost all the administrative-territorial units of Ukraine, legitimately delegated to local councils, plus local communities through brownies, quarterly, street, etc. committees. And through this tool it could be organized – now note the third item – a practical conversation about the future of the country.
Not a political conversation, not a conversation – someone who loudest: «Russia! Europe!» But the way we want to live, which real social standards should be, what we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of our children at least, or 15 we in years, had a good life and live in safety? Do we want to live in a modernized country, or we agree on the role of the country of already the Fourth world in fact, not even the Third (because we have a creeping civil war)? Do we want to be among the leaders, and we are looking for opportunities: scientific, cultural, social, or we agree on the role of being controlled and manipulated, that, again, is happening now?
I am sure that the answer of real – real! – patriots, of course – is the progress, of course – modernization, of course, probably – a little self-restraint, in order to win in the future. This is the protection of the country, and this is true patriotism, which, I emphasize, is not a radical nationalism and not an ethnic nationalism.
Violetta Trykova: That’s really true! Where this margin line is between these three concepts, even two – is a very big question. Because I think that’s due to this face we cannot come to a general feeling of East and West, North and South.
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: Would you like to know the way I react? Now Ukrainian – fundamentally![speak in Ukrainian]
Anton Sereda: Okay.
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: It happened that Ukraine, we must recognize it, in those borders that are currently, is a bilingual country. If the part of the country demands (you can tell ten times that «they are stupid, and in fact, no one needs any law of the Russian language»), but if people announced it massively, and very few members of the Eastern Ukraine, even those who have positive attitude to the current Kyiv authorities criticize that we need to legalize more serious, state-level rights of the Russian language, then maybe there is no need to argue and give this possibility! For the statehood I do not see any threats. Moreover, I see only positives here. We have the experience, when many countries, like Canada, for example, have two official languages. It only helps to develop together… However, they also were experiencing quite difficult and complicated way.
Anton Sereda: But, Pavlo, go to the Ukrainian, out of respect for you, in Canada, «right» or North-East there is no France with the troops, who says that we are going to defend the French-speaking population. And Britain does not say: «We are going to be English – speaking population…»
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: I will say more, it cannot stay because all of them are members of NATO.
Anton Sereda: That’s what I’m talking about. As for «speaking», there would be another example of the Baltic, let’s take the Baltic countries. If you remember, in the 96th… When associations were signed, when they went to Europe, when joined NATO, Russian propagandists (then Russia was much weaker), there was carried out the same thing: the information war, the establishment of a fascist image, the question of bilingualism was also stood. So I have a lot of friends in Latvia, they say… all of them speak Russian, there is a bilingual country, but they say: «Basically, what we have is a Latvian state and it’s not forbidden to speak Russian – there are no questions and issues».
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: Yes, I also have a lot of friends in Baltic. I will give a very simple answer, and they just, by the way, say: «You have got a very big country». Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, and I emphasize, and Ukraine is one of the most populated countries in Europe. We have other conditions.
And if we want to keep those state borders, which we got by inheritance from the Soviet Union, and I think it’s important political boundaries because these boundaries formed what nationality that feels so it is. If we want to save the country, I apologize for this alarmism or attempt to beat the bell, we are going to meet each other!
What do we have? Nothing unusual there: some parts of the country, some people think that they are more progressive representatives of the creative class, so-called, entered Maidan, demanding certain things.
As a result, it turned out that the idea is not defeated because if the idea would have won, now in Ukraine we would have been a very intense process of lustration, modernization, industrialization, new [development] industries, and education reform – we just do not see. And people, who live in other parts of the country, felt that they won – but did not win new ideas. Accordingly, they respond to it, and have the legal right to it. If they or some of them illegally react there is no question of political dialogue.
My thesis is simple! By the way, what we do in the Students’ Republic: we have no conflicts in terms of who is from which region. We are now, I can even be proud and say to the whole country, we recently held Studrespublika in Sevastopol National Technical University.
Thus, it is necessaryto form the agenda, which would eliminate the problem that people share. We should not only look but denote the agenda, in which contradictions are absent, or these differences are related to entirely different questions. For example, you see, probably it is much correctly to argue about how taxes should be collected in the field, or how they should be distributed between the seats and the center than the debate: who is more beautiful, or who is more patriotic, based on the question, in which language a person speaks, if he is a citizen of Ukraine, I emphasize! Or if we are part of European Union space, not only European space, then (now we saw it on Eurovision), tolerance – it is something without what Europe cannot exist. There’s no place, not even a hint, at least in the political space for ethnic nationalism, which can be developed into fascism.
Anton Sereda: Pavlo, you said a good phrase that, if intellectuals and ideological people defeated, then, in principle, we would see a modernization of society, lustration everywhere. Why now this is important? I understand that it’s important for civil society to be formed to manage power. But declarations of Turchуnov, Avakov says that: «Here we come, and let us put things in order». Don’t they do it all, you’re talking about, because they are temporary, or they are afraid to drown their political power they represent? But, in fact, the majority of then – BYT, because, in fact, the power unit BYT today, and, in fact, Turchуnov – is nominally a representative of Yulia Tymoshenko, who has always been distinguished by the fact that it shows there is a mouthpiece of her will.
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: History has shown that the Ukrainians are very wise people. The Party of Regions has already suffered its brutal political responsibility, the same political responsibility will suffer and Batkivshchyna. Including, for matters relating to the actual disintegration of the country and here uncontrollable processes.
As for the quality… You know, if we go to a nice restaurant, it seems to us that we will eat delicious food, and there is a bad chef, and we are brought a bad meal, the question is not for the waiter who brought this food and question is to the chief. It happens that politicians simply cannot. If our past policy or state leaders were (this bad quality) able beautifully (and not nice) to steal (this system will become a classic of political science textbooks…), then the current is again a repetition of history, 2004-2005 they may speak very nice and, unfortunately, do nothing good.
Anton Sereda: They can steel beautiful and cannot manage in the same way.
Pavlo Viknyanskyу: [As for] steal – do not know what we’ll see in a moment. You know, we have corruption scandals, which as in the case with Yanukovych, are opened after (and worldwide), people move away from power.
Anton Sereda: Well, I hope that we will see, and will be able to analyze fairly the actions of the current government.
Violetta Trykova: I just hope we will not see what is «beautiful stealing» in the performance of the new government.
Anton Sereda: Yes, and we hope that all of this is a natural evolutionary process that just cleanses politics. Thank you very much.