Something strange is happening in Ukraine. Again, one might think. After having entered Ukraine forcing his way through the border in September, having toured the country calling for protests since, now Saakashvili is marching for the impeachment of President Poroshenko. We knew this much. The conflict, however, seemed to have escalated to a whole new level in the two weeks. Western media, however, strangely seems to have ignored this particular episode of the saga. Maybe they simply thought that these new developments were irrelevant, simply not newsworthy. Maybe they were just struggling to find a plausible explaination.
After having been arrested and subsequently been released by a crowd of his supporters on the 8th of December, Saakashvili seemed to be willing to find a dialogue with the current Ukrainian government and he sent a personal (handwritten) note to Poroshenko, calling for reconciliation. The President, however, snubbed it, and his Press Secretary published Saakashvili’s note, which with all probability was not meant for general knowledge, on his Facebook page.
Saakashvili’s response was that of a man whose honour has been wounded.
He called out the President for his “baseness” and published a video and a letter in Ukrainian, Russian and English. Many passages are certainly worth highlighting, but some are truly revealing. For unclear reasons, Western media has chosen to ignore all this.
“Last week, after consulting with ambassadors of countries friendly to Ukraine, I sent you a personal letter in which I proposed to enter a negotiating process”, emphatically begins Saakashvili. Did he really consult with ambassadors of countries friendly to Ukraine? Who are these countries? Does it mean that they support Saakashvili in his initiative to take down the current President? But wasn’t this President the one who signed that long sought after Association Agreement with the EU, who said that joining NATO was going to be Ukraine’s number one strategic goal? The President who is leading his country in a just war against Russia? Does this mean that “ambassadors of countries friendly to Ukraine” do not support Poroshenko anymore? No wonder the Western press ignored this, because it could look outright embarassing. Would it be normal for foreign ambassadors to consult with an individual who is actually planning to overthrow the government? What would the Western press say if the same happened, let’s say, in Spain or in Denmark? Or is Saakashvili lying about the support he enjoys by “friendly ambassadors”, claiming connections he does not really have? We are probably not likely to know.
“I confirmed that I am ready to talk to you or your representative in order to agree on the future of Ukraine and not allowing the destabilization of the situation in Ukraine”, went on Saakashvili, “believe me, as an experienced politician who participated in more than one revolution, including the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange Revolution and the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine”. Did Saakashvili take part in the Revolution of Dignity? Wasn’t he in the US at the time and how did he take part if he did? Was he one more Western dignitary, along with John McCain, Guido Westerwelle, Radoslav Sikorski, who took to the streets in Kiev in the winter of 2013-14 to embolden the Ukrainian people in their fight for democracy?
“I was very much mistaken when I believed that you invited me to Ukraine to help you […] In reality you are concerned with only one thing, your billions. Because of them you are ready to go to any sacrifices, manipulations or lies”, wrote Saakashvili.
“Ukraine does not need a new Maidan”, the letter went on, but this declaration appeared to be contradicted by the lines that followed: “Admit to yourself and the nation that you and your associates are not capable and you do not want to change Ukraine for the better. Your voluntary resignation this is almost the last chance to overcome the political crisis which otherwise will only deepen. A president who voluntarily resigns, bowing his head before the will of the people, can count on a lesser punishment and on mercy. […] I expect that if not political wisdom then at least a human sense of self-preservation will push you to the right decision. This decision will save not only you, but many more people whose fate is inextricably tied to Ukraine”. Saakashvili of course does not want to foment chaos in Ukraine but appeals to the President’s self-preservation.
In any other country, living under more or less stable conditions, reporting on a conflict like the one which appears to grow between the leader of an opposition movement bent on impeaching the President and the government would be considered sensational material. Did the Western press simply miss the story? Unlikely.