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    Posted May 15, 2014 by
    Francisrem
    Location
    Kiev
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

    Francisrem and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Ukraine crisis as it unfolds

    on the verge of War and Peace

     
    It's an enigmatic, ephemeral situation in Ukraine, as much about same old litany of daily problems that seldom change much, versus the advent of a potential internal conflict that has been ruthlessly implemented in the East : Each side accusing the other of excess and atrocity. All the embarrassing gaffes of sending ill equipped post second World War trained troops into volatile areas with very strategic psychological and defensive game plans. A lot of talk of a stealth invasion forcing people to fend for themselves or simply abandon those places and lives they call home to flee to the West to leave this hard core military scene to play out in painful episodes. Ukraine people fearing such events as seeing their family dragged off one by one ,blindfolded, hands tied by separatist forces. It actually is happening, that's not a scenario. At this point not families, but individuals deemed suspicious by whomever has the point of control by the barrel of a gun. These people know war, the grandparents are still alive who survived it, and they have seen many changes in government in the last century or so, it's why they hide their money and interest rates for consumer style loans run 30%, and that really sucks when you pay interest like that on a loan that just devalued by 30%.
    Despite all this, most people seem to be OK, with a smile just for the sake of an afternoon with bright warm sun and the sense of normalcy in daily patterns of life.
    Bracketing this all as a conflict based on linguistic differences and familial allegiances begs the obvious point that it's really about resources, including people, infrastructure, mineral wealth, oil and gas, agricultural potential, the basics like water resources.
    The new face of government is very straight laced, pragmatically motivated, trying to patch together a game plan that makes Ukraine a place people want to invest in rather than divest from. As much as the reputation for honesty is a given for such as Prime Minister Yatseniuk, his people have to prove it in the pudding and figure out a rapid set of reforms that will invert the index of corruption with some sort of genius plan that's still waiting in the wings ? Problem being that those who benefited from the corruption, that vertically migrated grafting from the working people, they are the ones often behind this fomented unrest. They don't want the Kiev Government shaking their tree of back door deals, and certainly don't want to claim that they are actually making any profit in these turbulent times The obvious question to ask is if the Kiev government can realistically assess how the projections for tax revenue can differ from the reality in this fluid, uncertain moment.
    there is no shortage of luxury cars in the big cities like Kiev, same old traffic jams, well dressed parties of people about, same old social and cultural rituals.
    It seems like a truce has to be established with the separatist forces and their backers. But some of that will require transparency about the involvement of NATO and the USA in all of this, and even the Chinese have not made their position clear, as they have started some big investments in Ukraine: clearly they have some unspoken understandings with Russian Federation where they are confident their business interests are safe enough for the time being.
    But there is a steep curvature of trust to overcome, and the local people feel they have to organize in ways of mutual defense and interdependence, and generally prepare for the worst, that once again it can be a war whether economic or military, where the rich will gain and the poor will lose ground, and the people in the middle just hope to get to the calm water where they don't have to fight the current of corruption and unfair practices that make this a tough place to do business.
    for the moment, no one's in the mood to clear up the destruction in Freedom square, the area of damage is at least confined to that radius, the rest of the city is normal and pretty much same old thing as it ever was.
    It's really hard to walk that section where they have the faces of those killed by the Police and Berkut posted on the trees, amid all the mountains of defensive debris, soot is everywhere, washing deep into the crevices, the tents look tired just of being out there, with a few new ones spiffing it up.

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