President Petro Poroshenko’s current proposal misses the mark, and fails to meet the criteria stipulated by the International Monetary Fund and the Council of Europe's Venice Commission. Under Poroshenko’s bill, international experts will play only an advisory role in the selection of judges, and civil society has no role.
Without international oversight, the process is a sham.
When police finally broke up the tent camps, they reportedly found nine grenades, Molotov cocktails, and five smoke bombs.
At least twenty people were injured in the skirmish, including two journalists. Yet everyone who is now bewailing the end of this latest "Maidan" and comparing the actions of the police to the thuggish ways of former President Viktor Yanukovych, the "Berkut" riot police unit, and the real Maidan are besmirching the events of four years ago when Ukrainians rose up and overthrew a real dictator.
"I did not believe them at first,” Kanarskyy says, repeating a common phrase among the prisoners.
When Kanarskyy recollects how his little fingers were bound with bare wire and how he was tortured with electric current during his detention, he convulses. He had to lie to his torturers to tell them what they wanted to hear. He fabricated a story of his service in the Ukrainian army. In fact, Kanarskyy had never been drafted.
More recently, ordinary people complain that the tariffs for the generation of electricity have been hiked too high, and they account for a significant part of household outlays. The current uproar concerns a planned increase in the tariffs for the distribution of electricity from April 1.
No two ways about it, this is a major win for Ukraine.
In portraying the conflict as a civil war, Russia conveniently ignores facts and public opinion. Only 5 percent of Ukrainians believe Russia intervened in Crimea and Donbas because of the violation of the rights of Russian speakers, while 42-46 percent believe it was to prevent Ukraine from leaving Russia’s sphere of influence, Russia’s inability to accept Ukraine as an independent state, and Russian opposition to Ukraine’s European integration. Meanwhile, only 16 percent of Ukrainians view the conflict in the Donbas as a civil war, while 60 percent see it as Russian-supported separatism and a war between Russia and Ukraine.
The truth is that the majority of civilian and military casualties in Ukraine are Russian speakers.
Forty-two-year old industry veteran Sych speaks with authority when it comes to the rough and tumble of the Ukrainian media scene. He first cut his teeth in the late 1990s as a reporter at the English-language Kyiv Post newspaper, before rising to national prominence as chief editor of Russian-language weekly Korrespondent magazine. Since 2014 he has headed up the Novoye Vremya (literally “New Time”) holding, a new and expanding post-Maidan multimedia platform backed by Ukraine’s leading investment bank that aims to set the standard for professional journalism in the country while serving as a flagship for the values that drove the Revolution of Dignity.
Sych is busy preparing for the launch of a nationwide talk radio station that will join Novoye Vremya’s existing portfolio of weekly Russian-language current affairs magazine and bilingual news website. This expansion into radio is part of a conscious effort to chip away at the dominant position enjoyed by the handful of oligarchs who control the lion’s share of Ukraine’s media market.
That December, the Maidan erupted and he watched from afar with concern. Then in March 2014, after little green men seized Crimea and Russian-backed troops appeared in eastern Ukraine, his life changed.
Throughout his political life, Boris Nemtsov was a maverick, a “white crow,” as we say in Russian, always choosing principles over political expediency—as when he took on the Communist establishment in the last Soviet elections (and won); when, as governor, he shepherded his Nizhny Novgorod region onto the path of liberal and free market reforms; when, as deputy prime minister of Russia, he challenged the all-powerful “oligarchs” and the system of political nepotism they represented. But it was the rise to power of Vladimir Putin and the solidification of his authoritarian regime that proved Nemtsov to be almost unique among Russian politicians—including those who styled themselves as “democrats” but quickly adapted to new political realities, accepting lush positions in government and state corporations—in staying true to his beliefs, regardless of the risk.