The president’s words sound good until you
ask yourself what actions would have been taken. The answer is, unfortunately,
by no means clear. A recent ban on peaceful protests outside
the Presidential Administration
until the end of 2013 is particularly telling. The ban was issued in response
to a picket by the mother of a small disabled child, who had
gone on hunger strike in a desperate attempt to attract the president’s
attention to their plight.
Although the authorities have presently backed off initial
attempts to bring charges over damages caused during the
popular protest in Vradiyivka, local residents anticipate repressive measures
once emotions subside and the media loses interest.