From Fort Russ
Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
5th June, 2016
The vast majority of Odessa residents share pro-Russian sentiment both in secret and explicitly. This conclusion was stated by Ukrainian journalist Roman Bochkala.
On Friday, the journalist published a post on his Facebook page where he, as a “true patriot”, is outraged by the mindset of his fellow citizens. He noted that he has recently met people sympathetic to Russia too often.
“Maybe it’s their terrible roads or their misery (quote from Ukrainian propaganda about Russia – O.R), I don’t know exactly what pulls these people to the Russian Federation, but it is a fact: “Kiev is to blame for the war, we just need to pick off this gang (actual power – O.R). Why do they forbid Russian films”, wrote Bochkala on his page.
In addition, the journalist posted a photo of a man on a bicycle with the inscription “Russia” on his windbreaker, with two children on the trunk.
“I met this one on the bicycle in Kiliya district. Of course, if two kids were not on his bike, our conversation would have been different,” said Bochkala. However, later, under his same post, several people asked, What kind of conversation would it have been? Would you have burnt him like in Odessa tradition?”
Apparently, inhabitants of Odessa began to grow tired of the incessant clowning in government circles. In the end, we can continue to have propaganda, public relations, debates, and political clashes, but sometimes there is need to deal with the case. We can’t go very far only with promises and populism.
Recall how the Governor of Odessa region Mikhail Saakashvili almost brought a situation to the city that could have catalysed civil war, at the time when there were mass protests against the mayor Trukhanov. Then at this time he spoke about the future disintegration of the state.
Earlier, Pravda.Ru reported about the unwillingness of Saakashvili to at least identify himself with Odessa people’s aspirations and preferences. On the day of the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Odessa from Nazi invaders, on April 10th, when citizens took to the streets to honor the memory of Soviet soldiers who returned the freedom of the hero-city at the cost of their lives, the Governor was pointedly taking care of “more important” business.
It is important to note that the current Ukrainian authorities certainly are aware of the real mood of the citizens, just like they were aware when they were discussing the situation about Crimea in 2014 at the Council meeting. Here’s another question: is the junta aware that their power can’t be held on the tip of the bayonets for a very long time?