Yanukovych’s gamble and Kiev’s burning

In Moscow's Shadows

The opposition HQ: not a subtle message from the government The opposition HQ: not a subtle message from the government

“I am in blood
 Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.”
— Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 4
 

Kiev is burning, both literally and metaphorically, as this revolution-counterrevolution-in-fits-and-starts hit one of its flash points last night. As the opposition radicalizes further and the security forces turn increasingly to lethal force, although I’m not a specialist on Ukrainian politics, I would want to make some observations about some of the aspects of the current crisis about which I do know something.

1. Violent protests are less likely than non-violent ones to bring about their desired result. It may seem churlish, but as the thoroughly-admirable Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) has demonstrated, avoiding violence and working instead on careful building of a broad popular movement tends to…

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