Alexey Lokhvitskiy: Money for the dictatorship of the street
«It is unethical but interesting to count money in somebody else’s pocket,» this joke has a large proportion of truth. Especially when it comes to large amounts directed to mass activities, which have become a common additional work for regular Ukrainians. Large parties, having lost the support for their followers, make a semi-legal trick, which is beyond the morality: they lure to their rallies crowds for the remuneration ranging from 30 to 50 UAH per hour of participation in a common protest, and not less than 100 UAH for serious picket with fights and mass disorders.
The practice received the most extensive distribution in 2004 with the beginning of the «orange revolution». Hundreds of people from the regions were brought to the Square of Independence in Kiev, where the supporters of Viktor Yushchenko stood. Every recruited person was guaranteed the «wages» starting from 200 UAH per day, as well as warm clothing, food, a separate place in the tent or in the hotel, the trip to the capital and back. Later it came out that: it was sponsored by the Ukrainian oligarchs, by foreign funds and by foreign «agents of influence». Among the known to the public names was the disgraced Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky. His companies transferred approximately 15 million dollars for the «election campaign» of Viktor Yushchenko.
The Kiev residents, who gave their last pennies for the «good cause», helped strongly to warm, to provide food and clothing for the protesters. Having understood, what funds could be managed the ‘field commanders’ of the Maidan took the charity in their hands. Then it turned out that one of them, the leader of the public organization Pora Vladislav Kaskiv with the accomplice stole the cash of the party. Millions of hryvnas, which were put into the special boxes of the tent camp, were simply stolen by the greedy time-servers.
» … during the first period of Maidan every day nearly one million UAH was put into the special boxes. In the evening the money was brought to the headquarters, which was located 100 meters from the central stage, from which high moral ideals were declared, honesty and values of democratic transformation. Where did that money go afterwards was unknown,» the web site versii.соm. describes the events of those days. «There was a brewery at Maidan, and there was the headquarters of Kaskiv and Zolotarev the leaders of Pora… all the money was put in the boxes and was taken away, nobody knows where it was taken after that…it was given to Kaskiv.»
What is the reason of such a long foreword? Easy to perform fraud may be repeated now, when supporters of the European integration, the opponents of the regime of Viktor Yanukovych, who are kindled by the politicians of the opposition: Arseniy Yatsenyk, Vitaly Klichko, and Oleg Tyagnubok, came to Square of Independence. A very familiar picture there are again tent camps, people arrived from the regions, tons of food and mountains of clothing, given to the protesters by the sympathetic residents of Kiev and brought from other regions of Ukraine. There is nothing wrong about it, the people, to be more precise, one part of it, has the right to demand from the authorities the things which they consider to be necessary, and the other part maintains them.
The organizers of Euromaidan reported about the collected donations, it is 600,000 UAH. On their web page in Facebook they informed in details about the received and spent funds.
«During the first period 262,000 UAH was collected, 51,000 of which was transferred to the account as a non-cash transfer. The activists have the bills for the expenditures in the amount of 98,000 UAH. Now the remaining funds are being spent solely for the needs of Evromaidan such as logistics, purchase of tents, food, water, manufacturing of labels, etc…
During the second period 332,000 UAH, $ 450, and 1,000 Euro (donated by the Ukrainian community of Rome) was collected. These funds were collected for assistance of those, who suffered during the dispersion of Euromaidan with application of force, and organizational needs. A part of the funds was spent for the assistance (medication and treatment) of the people who suffered from the brutal beating by the Berkut, for the help to the journalists and families of the activists.
The remaining part of the funds was spent for the maintaining of Euromaidan on Mikhailovskaya Square, in particular for field kitchen, heating, protection, stationery and cards for the information center, medication for the medical center, petrol for activists.
As of December 6, 2013 all in all it was spent 128,000 UAH, 204,000 UAH is left.
The funds are being spent only for the needs, which cannot be provided with the assistance of the people, who are not indifferent. The decision about the expenditures in the amount of more than 1,000 UAH is made by the public sector of organization committee of Euromaidan. The reporting of the spent money is transparent.»
The character of the movie by Gaiday said: «I am tormented by the vague doubts.» The same the impression one may have after reading the so-called report. It is a kind of non-arithmetical arithmetic. The total collected amount is 607,000 UAH, the spent amount is 128,000 UAH, and 479,000 UAH should remain. But 204,000 UAH is being announced to the public. The difference between our and their remaining amount is colossal and comprises 275,000 UAH.
The logical questions that arise are as follows: why do such differences appear, why were the bills not published, why were the names of the people, to whom the financial assistance was rendered, not published?
In addition, the web site biggggideа.соm published a report about the separate activity Warm up and Feed Maidan. In the frame work of this activity it was collected and transferred to activists 262,000 hryvnas, but the organizers of Euromaidan keep silence about this money. «Where is the money, Zina?» Vladimir Vysotsky sang. The money allegedly was spent on food, disposable utensils, tents, medication, tables and chairs, toilets for protesters.
We saw only the top of the iceberg, one can only imagine the actual amounts of the passing through the leaders of protesters funds, as well as, where, in fact, the money goes to. In the universal euphoria such suspicions remain unnoticed and miserable, and afterwards forgotten. Each activist has a right to ask his or her highly paid team-mates about the destiny of the thousands of hryvnas.
And, it seems, that the declared by the organizers of Euromaidan openness will be a puff, a profitable deal, which will allow certain revolutionists to have a nice meal in the restaurant. Rats do not only flee from the ship, but also earn well on the sinking Titanic.
I am also ‘concerned’ with thousands of citizens, who work hard daily at the protests of Maidan by waving the flags, shouting in support of the speakers, cooking and guarding. Who are they, where are they from, whether they have families? It is understandable, if a guy or a woman without spouses and children have come to support protests and no one and nothing keeps them except their own conscience. May be, they quit their job? Sometimes it happens that the boss closes his or her eyes to the expression of the civil position. But how many are these activists? They are much less than unemployed and the homeless, who may have a piece of bread and a roof over their heads on Independence Square. There is nothing to be ashamed of; if you want to live you need to be businesslike.
That is why the opinions, encountered on the pages of the Facebook, are not surprising: «Inside I got sick from the smell of dirty feet, the smell of the last night’s alcohol, and disgusting food. Half of the people are drunk, laugh, and speak, for sure, not about politics,» this is the description of the people’s resistance headquarters, located in the buildings of Kiev State Administration. And one more about it: «The smell in the Mayor’s Office is as if in the huge den for homeless. Inside there is such a crowd that it is difficult to make your way». However, the revolution does not have the smell of the French perfumes, and its interests are not defended by the pomaded naughty boys.
It is more interesting how the unemployed crowd obtains the status of the participant of Euromaidan. The following fable surfs the Internet. To believe or not is up to you.
«I had a call from a familiar entrepreneur, who is a fervent supporter of Euromaidan, a person, who supported the rallies from the very first days, including financial support. He tells the following. Two men approached him wearing the ribbons and the stickers near the market Roshen in Khreshchatyk Street.
«I am sorry …»
«We participate in the rallies from the very first day. We have made a long way. We ran out of money. Please help us if you can …»
«With pleasure. I can show the trucks with cabbage, which needs to be unloaded. You will earn good money. Yesterday there was potatoes, today — cabbage.»
«Are you offering us to work?»
«Well, yes. You need money, don’t you?»
The guys turned and walking away said: «The future is not for you!»
Yes, my work seems to be easy: just write the articles, make pictures and get the fees. The work of a street cleaner also seems easy: just sweep the roads and then sit and do nothing. The work of the entrepreneur seems to be bliss: buy, sell, and earned from the speculation. But why should we support the parasites? The hundreds may shout straight into my face: «They are for you on Maidan, fighting for freedom, fighting with the regime and you grudge a penny for them? And more over the pennies are not yours but of the other people, why do you count other people’s money?» A small correction: why do people should support the activists, who did not take care about their own ration? The situation is as follows … Let us allow expropriation. This has already taken place.
I like an extract the novel Heart of a Dog, Bulgakov described the episode very well:
«I would like to propose to you,» there a woman took out a few bright and wet from snow magazines, » to take a few magazines in favor of children of Germany. 50 kopeck coins each.
«No. I will not take,» Filipp Filippovich briefly replied, having glanced at the magazines.
The complete amazement reflected on the faces, and the woman turned red.
«Why do you refuse?»
«I do not want to.»
«You do not sympathize with the children of Germany?»
«Do you want to take at 50 kopeck coins?»
«I do not want to.»
It is so easy to do nothing, to idle the whole days, sometimes to fight with the police and to evoke pity by protests. Although, they can go to and clean the snow in front of the nearest shops, the municipal workers do not cope anyway. It would help the city residents and, and they would earn some money for tea and cigarettes. But it is easier to go begging in the name of the lofty ideas, isn’t it?