Monday, April 11, 2005

A wonderful feature on Ukraine and the Orange Revolution in the New York Review of Books (via 3 Quarks Daily, a wonderful blog):

Here were ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing. One was irresistably reminded of Prague in 1989 or Poland during the first Solidarity revolution in 1980 and 1981. But where in Poland a quarter-century before it was workers and peasants who were in the vanguard, here it was a fledgling middle class—students, travel agents, the owner of a beauty parlor.


The orange revolutionaries' first commandment was: never us violence. This is the feature that most plainly distinguishes velve revolutions from the Jacobin and Bolshevik models of 1789 and 1917 As in several other cases during and since 1989, members of th security forces stepped back from the very brink of using force agains the protesters [9] Yushchenko, Tymoshenko, and their allies kept Independence Square full, they maintained peaceful blockades around government buildings, and they waited for the chance to negotiate.

A thing or two in this text that I would have never noticed or paid attention to. Here's one:

Kyiv is a Russian-speaking city whose people know when to speak Ukrainian. Kyivans always pronounce the name "Independence Square" in Ukrainian, even when they are speaking Russian.

That's so true - and something everyone takes for granted, totally. Maidan Nezalezhnosti - not Ploshchad Nezavisimosti. An awesome detail - makes me jealous, makes me wish I were a foreigner, every now and then, at least...

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