Ukraine: A spiritual journey in political guise

The recent events in Ukraine are not what many news sources, even respected ones, imagine them to be.

First, Ukraine was not a battleground where Russia and the West were hammering it out. Indeed, 99% of what was taking place on ‘the maidan’, the central square in Kyiv, was based on issues internal to Ukraine.

Second, there was never the threat of civil war, as everyone living in Ukraine knew.

Unexpected developments seem to emerge on an almost-hourly basis, but in fact all the events are quite definable, the players well-known and the possibilities limited.

There are three separate moments in the current drama, each of which has its own dynamic.

The first and most important moment is the demonstration-turned-revolution on the maidan.

This protracted standoff between an honest, popular yearning and deceitful, corrupt government was understood from the outset as a spiritual, even apocalyptic, battle between good and evil. It was unimaginable without the youth and the Church.

The second follows the first and, while less dramatic, it is more complex: the creation of a style of government based on new values.

This work entails the definitive cleansing of the vestiges of Soviet-style governance and the establishment of what the West takes for granted: transparency, accountability, fair elections and basic justice.

The maidan now exercises a role of civic stewardship until such governance is in place.

The third moment is the illegal intervention of President Putin in Crimea, which is less an act of aggression than an act of fear.

It is not related to the maidan except as an opportunistic exploitation of it. Continue reading

David Nazar SJ is Superior of the Jesuits in Ukraine.

Source: ThinkingFaith 

Image: The Guardian

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