Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
During today’s clashes between protesters and police officers near the building of the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev, eight law enforcement officers were wounded. The President of the Center for System Analysis and Forecasting Rostislav Ishchenko considers that the standoff between the authorities and the opposition will intensify.
“As long as people live in tents — near the Rada, on the Khreshchatyk, near the house of the Prosecutor-General Lutsenko — there will be constant clashes. I was ‘delighted’ much more at the information that Lutsenko ran out with an axe to disperse protesters. The fact itself of the constant presence of a tent town to some extent demonstrates the helplessness of the authorities and is a constant generator of negative energy. Because everybody knows that Poroshenko’s power is much weaker than Yanukovych’s power, and is even much less popular than Yanukovych’s power at the time of the greatest recession of popularity at the time of 2013, so it’s natural that it is dangerous for the authorities to keep such a platform for anti-government actions. Especially since Poroshenko tried to take the offensive, he tried to expel Saakashvili, he tried to initiate some criminal cases. I.e., he tries to crush his opposition. And it is clear that the opposition will resort to active actions against Poroshenko. The more pressure he applies, the more counteraction force there will be. The matter here is already not only about political and economic influence. It is a life affair for each of them.
So nobody will take a step back. Another thing is that the opposition has many more potential possibilities. That’s why Poroshenko needs to constantly show a strengthening of control over the situation in the country. As soon as he liquidates a tent town somewhere, another tally mark will be immediately given to him. If information about Poroshenko winning in a new fight is thrown into the media space, it will form the political field in the direction needed by Poroshenko. And, on the contrary, if in this space there will be news that the opposition won here and there, then this will form a political space in the direction favorable to the opposition.
So Poroshenko is interested in the tent towns disappearing, and the opposition is interested in tension being constantly maintained. And Poroshenko is really afraid of a spontaneous storming of the Rada taking place, due to which the falling of his regime will begin. This forces him to immediately pull police units together as soon as the meeting begins. That’s why clashes arose and will continue to arise. This is like Rome and Carthage — they can’t not fight.”
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