Jan 23, evening:
Some western regional councils have come out against the govt, notably the Major of Lviv.
I think that Yanu and co. are weak, but also desperate – hence dangerous; the silly order to pelt the US Embassy with eggs (by ‘titushki’ – usually translated as ‘thugs’; but now they look even poorer and more miserable than before, in much fewer numbers, so I would not really apply ‘thugs’ to them) would seem indicative of some kind of dying gasp.
It has also become a kind of sport now for groups of demonstrators to track down and capture ‘titushki’, then get them to tell the whole story of how they are from XYZ place, were offered 300 UAH a day to smash up XYZ, but haven’t been paid so are pissed off.
The real danger I think is Berkut – they must know they are for it if the govt crumbles; the Opposition need to offer them an amnesty.
Jan 23, morning:
Very interesting thing I noted last night. For the first time, I saw large numbers of Ukrainians acting like independent and democratic people; under pressure they were debating, compromising and organising.
Leaders with the best skills for the job were spontaneously coming forward and taking charge, then giving up that role when no longer needed.
There was frenetic activity to build barricades, make firebombs, unload and pile up tyres, tear down any metal sheeting or railings etc. to pile on barricades; thousands of people were industriously going about this, without some loudhailer or van blaring out instructions, and with efficiency of effort.
I’ve never before seen people here doing that en masse.
Shame something similar did not happen before violence started; but on the other hand maybe they need to have this fight, to recognise and reject the part of their culture represented by Yanu and gang and to value freedoms which they’ve worked for.
The old complaint about ‘no strong leaders’ was at least last night forgotten; they just got on with it.
I mentioned that I said ‘eta diktatoru’ to some riot cops in the street last night, about midnight; there was no one else around except me and these cops.
They have not ever reacted simply to words, that I have seen; so it was a slight though calculated risk.
I said it to two police in full riot gear in a line of about ten cops, one after the other, looking at their faces.