Monday, May 27, 2019

Any Agreement with Moscow Not Worth the Paper It’s Printed On, Ukrainian Blogger Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 26 – Sometimes it takes a private person to point up what officials are not willing to face. That has just happened in Ukraine where blogger Vasya Baraban has punctured talk about talks with Moscow by pointing to what should be obvious: Ukraine would be trading its future with a country that has repeatedly demonstrated it won’t live up to its commitments.

            In a YouTube post that has gone viral, she says that the only things Moscow would accept in exchange for any concessions would be “the sovereignty of Ukraine and the future of our children” (

            She notes that Presidential Administration head Andrey Bogdan has said that “territory and citizens cannot be the subject of negotiations.” But if that is so, “what will be their subject? Our sovereignty? The Possibility for Ukraine to take decisions independently? The future of my daughter?”

            Baraban challenges Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to answer and in doing so not to forget the fundamental reality that “agreements with Russia aren’t worth the paper on which they are written” and instead to remember that violating these fundamental values will undermine the domestic situation in his country.

            Any referendum on peace talks risks crossing such “red lines,” the young Ukrainian woman says. “A referendum in which a professor and general of an army int eh field have the same voice as someone who hasn’t even finished middle school is not democracy. It is instead a guaranteed power for frauds who will capable use uneducated people” against their country.

            “The people has no information, including maps, intelligence reports, and the work of experts,” she says. “The people has not international partners and specialists who conduct consultations. The people has no strategy which could be pursued for the achievement of its goals.”

            But what is worse, Baraban continues, “the people has no responsibility. The president must have such responsibility.”  And she adds: “I do not know how well you studied history, but I did not badly.” And I can tell you that it reduces to one fact: Russia can’t be trusted as it will violate any agreement Kremlin officials sign.

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