February 27, 2014
Ukrainians should be grateful for the Olympics in Sochi. The security concerns around the games have kept Putin very busy, and this benefitted the Euromaidan.
In a way, the winner of the Sochi Olympics was Ukraine.
In the rare moments when he could have a glimpse to TV reports from Kyiv, Putin may have been thinking whether he should send the tanks to restore “order”. But more probably, he thought about the chances of such a scenario developing in Moscow. Without any doubt, the image of the Red Square as a Maidan will be haunting Putin.
The images of Yanukovich’s house and the riches of other high officials of his regime speak for themselves. These people were plundering their country and probably thought they could not be removed from their positions, just as Louis XVI may have imagined.
In Turkey too, when the Prime Minister Erdogan is entangled in a major eavesdropping scandal, many opposition-minded Turks are looking at the Euromaidan protests as a model for bringing down his autocratic regime.
So there may be new Maidans soon. What is Maidan? I like best the description made by Anna Yavorska:
“People who are physically on Maidan today are delegates, each one representing hundreds of others ready to join their brothers and sisters on Maidan when the call goes out. Even if Maidan is cleared by force, it will remain in the hearts of the people. Maidan is not just a place, it is a state of mind. It is a phenomenon that is evolving day upon day, giving people the opportunity to meet, communicate and exchange ideas with every passing hour, to develop strategies, hold meetings and implement their plans. Maidan is alive, it thinks, reflects and takes action, it deals with regular attacks and sheer physical exhaustion, it rises to the occasion every single time. Maidan is the place where Ukrainians forge and formulate their own values and build the ideal model for the country I want to live in.”
Will we see soon how Putin’s private residences look like? Will we see Erdogan’s?