5 Town of Velikaya Znamenka speaking against the war ENG SUBS
What follows is a long and meandering explanation on the subject; it starts with some background info on what's going on in the video and why, and then elaborates on some of the arguments given therein.
The fourth wave of forced conscription in Ukraine is going very poorly for obvious reasons:
First, everybody who wanted to go already went, and many of them have returned disillusioned, or haven't come back at all. The stories about army service - lack of food, working weapons and vehicles, basic human decency, as well going months on end with one pair of underwear, are all over the internet.
Second, the government has consistently lied to the conscripts, e.g. telling them that they would have to go for three weeks of training, and instead holding them for six months in the trenches.
E.g. on May 26th, the president has personally promised 1000 UAH per day to the soldiers, veteran's benefits, and that only volunteers would be sent to the frontlines; in reality, the majority of wounded conscripts can not even prove they've ever served, and none at all have seen the promised money. Now that nobody wants to serve, the president is promising 1000 UAH per day... yet again.
Third, the rapidly deteriorating situation in the country has led to general disillusionment with the "usurpers" in Kiev:
the "revolution of decency" brought yet another oligarch to the throne - one that not only failed to sell his businesses as promised, but in fact still runs a huge factory in Lipetsk, Russia;
the national currency now costs agohttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/06/ukraines-currency-has-fallen-50-percent-in-two-days/,, under the "bad" Yanukovich (which makes Ukrainians by far the poorest people in Europe);
and Poroshenko's "free travel to EU by 2015" promises have turned out to be lies... for the 8th time... andhttp://www.ridus.ru/news/175563!
This leads to draft-dodging on a massive scale - up to 1.5 million Ukrainian men of military age are estimated to have fled to Russia (which still keeps an open border), and possibly greater numbers went into hiding domestically; overall success of conscription is estimated to be between one-half and one-tenth of those targeted, depending on region.
This is further exacerbated by the fact that the failing state apparatus can no longer exert complete control outside of major cities, leading to widespread instances of small-town locals beating recruiters, burning conscription notices, or simply renting buses and all men leaving to Russia.
The most extreme case as of yesterday was in a small town by Odessa, where local ethnic Moldovans were enraged by a recruiter showing up with armed soldiers - hundreds of enraged locals surrounded the three soldiers, took away the Kalashnikovs, and burned the conscription papers, while the recruiter was narrowly rescued by local officials.
The video above is a fairly typical instance of the same; while in big cities, anti-war activists are sometimes jailed for "treason", such tactics in smaller, tight-knit communities can lead to the conflict spreading to the rest of Ukraine; therefore, the government seems to be content just grabbing those that don't resist and leaving the rest alone, which obviously provides an incentive for more villages and small towns to refuse conscription.
About the broader picture - Before trolls start frothing at the mouth over this woman's arguments, let me remind everyone about a few basic FACTS:
- Despite the drivel you hear in Western MSM about Crimean referendum being held "at gunpoint" and the secession being "forced", not only did the great majority of locals vote for joining Russia, the huge Ukrainian army group on the island (~18,000 soldiers!) not only ignored Kiev's orders to interfere, but also rt.com/news/ukrainian-soldiers-leave-crimea-577/. Heck, I bet a lot of these soldiers aren't even from Crimea originally.
- Ukraine is the only country in Europe where the language that www.gallup.com/poll/109228/russian-language-enjoying-boost-p is not a state language, and wherehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social-National_Assembly win elections www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/13/ukraine-far-ri, etc. You can only oppress people for so long.
- Apart from the cultural divide, the conflict is also about economy and government reform: supporters of the coup were saying that "euro-integration" and breaking ties with Russia would bring prosperity and order to the country.
By now we can safely conclude that opponents of the coup were right in saying that was prime, grade A horsesh*t: even though civil war can be partly blamed for Ukraine's huge economic troubles, they are mostly caused by EU being entirely unable and largely unwilling to replace Russia as Ukraine's chief trading partner and economic supporter.
And the war certainly can't be blamed for the coup government being observer.com/2015/01/the-new-ukraine-is-run-by-rogues-sexpot, nor for its disdain for law and human rights - actually, this was the primary cause of the war, people being forced to take up arms after unarmed protests ended with activists beinghttp://rt.com/news/186520-odessa-massacre-report-falsified/ and www.rferl.org/content/kharkiv-operation-ukraine-terrorism-se.
- Finally, the subject of Russian involvement and Putin being guilty for everything in the world (despite not being Jewish) will certainly be raised.
Suffice to say the situation is akin to a man beating his wife until she moves in with the neighbor, then coming after her with a knife screaming idiocy like "Donbass will be Ukrainian or dead!", and then blaming it on the neighbor sheltering the poor woman.
A lot of people mistakenly believe that it is the central government's sacred right to hold the population in bondage, and any usurper overthrowing a democratically elected government automatically owns every person and piece of land in the Ukraine.
Texas, Ireland/Northern Ireland, Kosovo/Yugoslavia, and dozens of other examples from around the world have driven home the point that a piece of land belongs to the people inhabiting it, and if they are being oppressed they have full right to leave.
Once we look at the problem from this angle, Russia's involvement starts looking a lot less like an invasion and a lot more like supporting a people's struggle of liberation a-la France supporting the American separatists.
Aand before anyone screams Chechnya, the main reasons for the war were not Moscow's mythical "right" to Chechen soil, but rather the genocide of ethnic Russians in the republic, crime-based economy of the region preying on Russia, and (for the second war) invasions of Russian regions by jihadists.
Compare and contrast to Donbass, where the formation of the republics involved, IIRC, the deaths of only two civilians (not counting those killed by government troops and paramilitaries sent to suppress popular discontent).