In particular, its Big Brother need to control, the reflex to crush and the longing for power that knows no limits. Many of this week’s events displayed these totalitarian features, but there are two that really stand out, and can have extremely negative consequences for the nation, both in the short- and long-term.
One incident was Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s gut reflex to strip some ten journalists of their Cabinet accreditation for staging a silent protest during a meeting of ministers this week. Journalists demanded action from the government to fully and promptly investigate the recent beating of their two colleagues during a May 18 rally.
The protesting reporters pinned their messages to their backs, and turned around so that the ministers could read them – and that’s the whole crime. Azarov became infuriated and banned the unruly reporters, only to reverse his decision the next day under public pressure. Media experts said the reporters broke no code of conduct rules in the Cabinet since they did not obstruct the work of officials, guards and staff. So Azarov’s reaction once again betrays his manual, old-school management style, not to mention his lack of understanding of a number of freedoms guaranteed to any Ukrainian by the Constitution, most notable the freedom of expression.