Europe

Difficult work ahead as Ukraine builds fresh start

Pro-Russian supporters attend a rally in support of the unification of Crimea with Russia in Simferopol, Ukraine.  (Photo: Spencer Platt, Getty Images)	View Fullscreen Pro-Russian supporters attend a rally in support of the unification of Crimea with Russia in Simferopol, Ukraine.	People shout slogans and gesture during a pro Russia rally at a central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.	Pro-Russian "self-defense" activists beat a pro-Ukrainian supporter during clashes in Sevastopol. Pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia groups clashed in the Crimean city of Sevastopol  following a rally in support of Ukraine's new government, an AFP reporter witnessed. Pro-Russian activists attacked a pro-Ukraine rally in Sevastopol with clubs and whips as thousands took to the streets across Ukraine in rival demonstrations, escalating separatist tensions in the troubled former Soviet state.	A man walks between anti-tank road blocks outside an Ukrainian air defense military base outside Yevpatoria, Ukraine.	Pro-Russian activists clash with a pro-Ukrainian supporter during at a rally in Sevastopol.	People shout slogans during a pro-Russian rally at a central square in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.	Ukrainians sing the national anthem during commemorations for writer and Ukrainian nationalist Taras Shevchenko  in Kiev's Independence Square. As separatists in Crimea kept up pressure for unification with Moscow, Ukraine solemnly commemorated the 200th anniversary of the birth of its greatest poet, with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk vowing not to give up "a single centimeter" of Ukrainian territory.	Svoboda party leader Oleh Tyahnybok, left, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchinov attend a ceremony marking of the 200th anniversary of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko's birth in Kiev.	Pro-Russian, left, and pro-Ukrainian activists argue during a rally in Sevastopol on March 9, 2014.	People rally in support of pro-Russian authorities in the Ukrainian region of Crimea in St. Petersburg. Russia's incursion in Crimea is a "serious miscalculation" and Moscow could face far-reaching economic consequences unless a diplomatic solution can be found, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on March 9.	Ukrainian riot police block the entrance of the regional administrative building during a pro-Russian rally in Donetsk, Ukraine, on March 9.  Following an extraordinary meeting of the Ukrainian government, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced he would be flying later this week to the United States for high-level talks on "resolution of the situation in Ukraine."	A sailor guards a Russian navy ship in the Bay of Sevastopol.	People hold flags of Russian political party Rodina or Motherland-National Patriotic Union, to show their support for pro-Russian authorities in the Ukrainian region of Crimea during a rally in St. Petersburg.	A pro-Ukrainian activist attends a rally in Sevastopol.	Two teenagers sit on the wharf in the port of Sevastopol, Ukraine, while a Russian ship is seen in the background on March 8, 2014.	A pro-Russian demonstrator holds a sign and a Russian flag as she shouts slogans during a rally in Donetsk, Ukraine on March 8.	Pro-Ukrainian sympathizers hand gifts of cigarettes, chocolate and flowers to a Ukrainian soldier standing inside a military base in Simferopol, Ukraine.	Demonstrators wave Russian national flags as they gather for a march to Red Square on March 7 in Moscow. Russia is supporting a Crimean bid to secede from Ukraine.	People rally in Moscow in support of the people of the Crimea region in Ukraine.	Pro-Russia troops guard a position at the Chongar checkpoint, blocking entrance to Crimea. Two buses carrying a team of 47 military and civilian observers were stopped from entering the region.	People perform morning exercises at the seafront in Sevastopol, Ukraine.	Members of an Orthodox church participate in a prayer vigil outside a Russian military checkpoint near a Ukrainian air force base that has reportedly been seized by the Russian military in Belbek, Ukraine.	A pro-Russia demonstrator blocks the entrance to the Ukranian Navy headquarters in Sevastopol.	A woman walks past Ukrainian riot police at the entrance of the regional administrative building in Donetsk.	A police officer watches a live broadcast of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in the lobby of the regional administrative building in Donetsk.	A man crosses himself at Kiev's Independence Square during the funeral for Vasil Sheremet, who was killed during recent clashes.	A man sits next to the 'Shrine of the Fallen,' a makeshift mausoleum dedicated to the anti-government protesters who died during fighting with riot police in Kiev.	A man looks over Kiev's Independence Square. At right is the Trade Union Building, which was damaged in a fire in late February during protests.	People walk past a barricade where thousands of flowers have been placed in memory of those killed during clashes in and around Kiev's Independence Square. The white banner at center reads, "No more motorcades, East and West together!"	A Russian secures an area near a Ukrainian air force base in Belbek.	A member of Rome's Ukrainian community displays bound hands during a rally in the city to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine.	The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America holds a rally outside the White House in Washington, D.C.	Natalka Kmiotek of Parma, Ohio, holds up a sign at a rally outside the White House "for Ukraine's territorial integrity against foreign aggression."	A Pro-Russia activist attends a rally on March 6 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Pro-Russia politiciansin Crimea unanimously declared they wanted to join Russia and would put the decision to voters in 10 days.	A woman demonstrates at Independence Square in Kiev.	People walk past the scuttled Russian vessel Ochakov in Myrnyi, Ukraine. Russian naval forces scuttled the decommissioned ship, trapping five Ukrainian naval vessels in their base.	Sevastopol Air Base officer Olieg Podapalov, center, faces pro-Russia protesters demonstrating outside the base in Belbek.	People wave Russian flags as they wait to hear the announcement that the Sevastopol regional council supported the vote for Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.	An Ukrainian officer looks through binoculars at an air base in Belbek.	A Ukrainian soldier guards the Ukrainian navy ship Ternopil in Sevastopol.	Pro-Russia demonstrators rally in front of the local parliament building in Simferopol.	A sailor guards the Ukrainian Navy ship the Slavutych on March 5 in Sevastopol.	Pro-Russia activists wave a Russian national flag during their rally in Yevpatoria.	Pro-Russia demonstrators continue to block a Ukrainian military post in Simferopol.	Ukrainian politician Alexei Goncharenko, left, confronts men with shields painted in the colors of the Russian national flag in Simferopol. The men say they are protecting Ukrainian coast guard headquarters.	Pro-Russian protesters recover from their injuries after fighting with police during an attack on a regional state administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine.	Demonstrators break through a police line as they storm the regional administrative building in Donetsk.	Protesters attack police as they attempt to break into a government building.	A pro-Russia demonstrator pushes against a police line.	Pro-Russia demonstrators attempt to break through a police line.	Pro-Russia protesters battle police as they storm a regional state administration building.	Pro-Russia activists rally as Russian troops guard the base of a Ukrainian anti-aircraft unit in Yevpatoria.	Pro-Russian activists rally in front of the base of a Ukrainian anti-aircraft unit.	A pro-Russian activist speaks to troops guarding a Ukrainian anti-aircraft unit.	A Russian soldier guards a Ukrainian surface-to-air S300 anti-aircraft missile unit on the Cape of Fiolent in Sevastopol.	A Russian soldier guards the Ukrainian navy ship Slavutich in Sevastopol.	Russian soldiers guard a pier where two Ukrainian naval ships are moored, in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on March 5. Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday that embattled Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers. Since last weekend, Russian troops have taken control of much of the peninsula in the Black Sea, where Russian speakers are in the majority.	Russian forces block access to the Ukrainian naval base of the 36th detached brigade near Perevalne village in Simferopol.	A pro-Russia activist cries as Urkainian riot police officers guard the regional state administration building in Donetsk.	Ukrainian troops watch as Russian navy ships block the entrance of their base in Sevastopol on March 4.	Secretary of State John Kerry places roses on the Shrine of the Fallen as he honors anti-government protesters who died during the February clashes with police in Kiev. Kerry arrived in Kiev for talks with Ukraine's new interim government.	Secretary of State John Kerry talks wtih people as he visits the Shrine of the Fallen in Kiev.	A member of the Russian military guards the entrance to a Ukrainian base in Kerch.	An armed man in military uniform sits in a Russian vehicle outside a Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalnoye near Simferopol.	Members of the Russian military guard the entrance to a Ukrainian military base in the small Crimean city of Kerch.	Ukrainian troops play soccer near the entrance of the Ukrainian military air base at Bilbek outside Sevastopol, Ukraine.	Ukrainian troops rest as armed men in military uniforms block the entrance of the Ukrainian military air base at the Bilbek outside Sevastopol, Ukraine. The Russian army reportedly occupied key sites in the autonomous region of Crimea, where a majority of the population is ethnic Russian. Troops surrounded several small military outposts and demanded Ukrainian troops to disarm.	A Ukrainian airman hangs a national flag in an area guards still control at a gate at the Belbek air base on March 4 outside Sevastopol. Russian troops have seized control of most of the facility.	A Ukrainian airman guards an area at the Belbek air base.	Troops under Russian command scream orders to turn back before firing weapons into the air at an approaching group unarmed Ukrainian troops at the Belbek air base in Lubimovka.	Ukrainian Col. Yuli Mamchor, left, commander of the Belbek airbase military garrison, leads his unarmed troops to retake the airfield from soldiers under Russian command.	Ukrainian Col. YuliMamchor, right, speaks to troops under Russian command who are occupying the air base.	Unarmed Ukrainian troops rest on the Belbek airfield after they confronted soldiers under Russian command.	A Ukrainian sailor stands watch as he guards against Russian soldiers who may attempt to take over his vessel in Sevastopol.	A man wearing camouflage holds a candle during a funeral ceremony for an anti-government demonstrator at Independence Square in Kiev.	Pro-Russian activists demonstrate in front of riot policemen standing guard at the regional administration building on March 3 in Donetsk.	Pro-Russian activists wave clubs after an unsuccessful attempt to storm a regional state administration building in the Black Sea city of Odessa.	Pro-Russian soldiers and others block the Ukrainian naval base in the village of Novoozerne, west of Simferopol, Ukraine.  Ukraine says Russian forces controlling the strategic region of Crimea are demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships in Sevastopol's harbor must surrender.	Russia's President Vladimir Putin, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left,  walk to watch military exercises upon Putin's arrival at the Kirillovsky firing ground in the Leningrad region.	Ukraine Ambassador to the United Nations Yuriy Sergeyev attends a Security Council meeting at the United Nations in New York.  An emergency U.N. Security Council meeting on Ukraine began Monday, called by Russia to set out in greater detail its policy after being threatened by U.S. and European Union sanctions.	Ukrainian seamen stand guard on the Ukrainian navy ship Slavutich at harbor in Sevastopol, Ukraine. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the Russian forces that have overtaken Ukraine's strategic region of Crimea are demanding that the ship's crew surrender.	A young man whose Ukrainian father is a soldier at the Belbek military base checks his mobile phone for news alerts as he and other family members huddle outside the base on alert anticipating a possible Russian attack in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4 p.m. deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed, and locals feared the Russians might attack.	Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance  in Lubimovka, Ukraine.	A member of the self-defense unit stands guard as people walk across Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine.	People listen to  a political speech on  a stage in  Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine. Russia pressed hard Monday for Ukrainian politicians to return to the Feb. 21 agreement that promised to create a new unity government which would rule until an early election no later than December.	Heavily armed troops displaying no identifying insignia stand guard a local government building on March 3 in Simferopol, Ukraine. According to reports, the Russian army has occupied key military and government areas in the autonomous region of Crimea.	A woman speaks with an unidentified soldier as they block the Ukrainian navy base in Novoozerniy village near Feodosia.	Military personnel wait near trucks in Feodosiya. People claim Russian soldiers have isolated 400 Ukrainian marines at their base in the city and were calling on them to surrender.	Armed men in military uniform block a Ukrainian navy base in Novoozerniy.	Ukrainian soldiers, left, guard a gate as armed men in military uniform, who are believed to be Russian soldiers, stand outside in Perevalnoye village near Simferopol.	Ukrainian soldiers, top, speak with armed men in military uniform outside a base in Perevalnoye in Simferopol.	A woman takes a photograph in front of unidentified solders and their armored personnel carrier in Feodosiya on March 2.	A woman sweeps up broken glass as two unidentified armed men guard the entrance of a government building in downtown Simferopol.	Soldiers guard positions around a Ukrainian military base in Perevanie.	People applaud as the European Union flag held by a protester arrives at the Independence Square during a rally in Kiev, Ukraine.	Soldiers block the road leading to Babek Airport near Sevastopol in Crimea.	Pro-Russian activists shout slogans during a rally in the center of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.	People shout slogans during a rally in Kiev's Independence Square. Ukraine's new prime minister urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back his troops Sunday, warning that "we are on the brink of disaster."	A woman lights a candle at a makeshift memorial in central Kiev.	Heavily armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and local pro-Russian militants stand guard outside a local government building in Simferopol, Ukraine, on March 2. The new government of Ukraine has appealed to the U.N. Security Council for help against growing Russian intervention in Crimea. Next SlideKIEV, Ukraine — Yulia Sidorenko, 25, traveled three and half hours from Vinnytsya to Kiev on Sunday. She came to pay respects to Maxime Shymko, an artist from her hometown who died fighting in Maidan, the Ukrainian term for the central square here. She laid flowers and lit a candle at a shrine to him and dozens of other men and women posted on a blue and yellow banner, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
 
“What happened here showed the people have power and they can make change,” Sidorenko said.
 
But Sidorenko and many other Ukrainians here on a bright and balmy Sunday had no illusions that the sacrifices are behind them. Russia, which supported the government they fought so hard to remove, is now a bigger threat than ever, threatening takeovers of some of the country’s most valuable territory, or more.
 
That’s why the many groups that coalesced to fight their corrupt government remain encamped behind barricades of tires, wood and scrap metal. Men in flak jackets bearing clubs, who two weeks ago battled Ukraine’s security services until their former president was ousted, have pledged not to leave. Not yet.
 
Ukraine’s national leaders seek to join a trade alliance with the European Union, which will require a potentially painful removal of economic subsidies. And they have yet to resolve a conflict with Russia, which has seized Ukraine’s Crimean province and threatened economic warfare on Ukraine.
 
Sidorenko and others said they hope the Maidan revolution will empower the public to seize its government and the nation’s assets back from the wealthy oligarchs who dominated its politics since Ukraine gained its independence in the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Like Russia, Ukraine’s corrupt economy is dominated by wealthy men and women who acquired state industries during the breakup and used them to build personal fiefdoms of fortune and power.
 
“All these people in government should be taken away,” Sidorenko said.
 
She hopes to see improvements in a few years. Others think it might take a while longer.
 
“We all have high hopes, but nothing comes easy,” says Luba Boychuk, 49, of Zhydachiv in Lviv province, who’s been traveling to Maidan for months with her daughters and other women to staff a makeshift kitchen that provides hot ramen noodles, plates of red cabbage, sandwiches of sausage, pickles and cheese, and homemade pastries stuffed with berry jam.
 
Boychuk works at a paper plant near Ukraine’s border with Poland that has been almost decimated by government officials “who keep taking different parts of the plant,” she said.
 
But now that Ukraine is getting ready to sign a trade agreement with the European Union, the country is on the road to greater transparency in government, greater accountability by officials and greater prosperity, Boychuk said, though she’s not sure she’ll see the benefits.
 
“People will be free, and no one will be silent,” she said. “Our children and our grandchildren will have good education and be able to talk to anyone.”
 
The road ahead will require building new political institutions and possibly a complete replacement of parliament, says Pavlo Rizanenko, a member of parliament in the Udar Party led by former boxer Vitaliy Klitchko. It may take 10 or 20 years, but historically speaking that’s nothing, Rizanenko said.
 
Unlike during the 2004 Orange Revolution, which overturned another pro-Russian government but resulted in reformist administration that lacked unity and failed to produce expected changes, Ukrainians now understand new leaders “will not make them happy overnight,” Rizanenko said.
 
It’s going to take an evolution that introduces rule of law, independent courts and complete privatization of state assets to quickly remove politicians’ and authorities’ ability to engage in corruption, he said.
 
Rizanenko said Ukrainian leaders also need to stick to the path of reform from administration to administration, like leaders did in Poland, which in 2014 is forecast to have the fastest-growing economy in Eastern Europe, according to the European Commission.
 
Poland’s economy after the fall of the Iron Curtain was plagued with an inefficient economy dominated by heavy industry and a mountain of debt. Its leaders pushed through painful but effective reforms, referred to at the time as “shock therapy.” Aided by U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs, they sold off state enterprises, created a stock exchange and a new currency that could be traded and eliminated price controls and cut subsidies and budgets.
 
The approach came at a high price in the short term, including a 30% reduction in industrial output and rising unemployment, which author Naomi Klein described as a “full-blown depression.” But it also had results: The Polish economy quickly matched the capitalist institutions of Western Europe and two decades later was in position to make use of a cash infusion that helped it pull ahead of the economic pack.
 
Some people in the square were more concerned about Ukraine’s political independence than economics. Yuriy Boykov, 45, stood guard at the Maidan security headquarters, smoke wafting by from an open fire.
 
The Russian seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region, under the pretext that ethnic Russians there need protection from radicals who had seized power in Kiev, will lead to a people’s war, Boykov said.
 
“I don’t know about Ukraine going to war, but the people will,” he said. “People will not agree to go to the other side.”
 
Mykola Bondar, a Ukrainian Cossack, marched at the head of a platoon of militiamen wearing green camouflaged uniforms, daggers in their leather belts.
 
Bondar, who commands a unit of Cossacks, said prosperity will come from restructuring Ukrainian society so that civil society manages political power instead of the opposite. And when it does, Ukraine will seek to be a European power that will block the kind of aggression it has been exposed to this week from its powerful neighbor, Russia.
 
Bondar insisted military action should be considered if U.S. and European powers cannot persuade Russia to back off. And if they don’t, Ukraine should redevelop the nuclear weapons program it had in Soviet times to protect its borders in the future, he said.
 
“It’s better to attack than protect,” Bondar said.

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