Ukraine: Let’s coin a new term for an old tactic, ‘Bolshelinskyism’

Ghosts on the prowl.

Renee Nal wrote earlier today at Liberty Unyielding about the Yanukovich government trying to intimidate opposition protesters in Kiev by sending a threatening message to their cell phones.  As she notes, selecting their phones to receive the message required the government tracking their phone activity.

Creepy, indeed, as Renee says.  But in a sense, it’s just a modern, technical method of fomenting the kind of violent, “dirty tricks” political conflict in which Bolsheviks specialized a century ago, and which disciples of Saul Alinsky sought to perfect in the 1960s.  What this set of tactics is about is creating chaos, fear, conflict between groups: Continue reading “Ukraine: Let’s coin a new term for an old tactic, ‘Bolshelinskyism’”

Ukrainians not going quietly into that good night

Another Orange Revolution?…or another Green one?

It was a minor blip on the American radar screen when Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovich, announced on 21 November – in a significant policy reversal – that Ukraine would forego economic and political agreements with the European Union in favor of closer integration with Russia.

For Ukrainians, the blip was anything but minor.  Yanukovich’s political opposition mounted a no-confidence vote in the Ukrainian parliament, which his government survived today (Tuesday 3 December).  More dramatically, thousands of protesters have thronged the streets of Kiev since the 24 November announcement from Yanukovich.  At least 100,000 flooded Independence Square on Sunday to demonstrate in opposition to Yanukovich’s policy (some estimates are as high as 350,000).  Continue reading “Ukrainians not going quietly into that good night”