The lead article in today’s New York Times, “Workers Quiet Unrest in Cities in East Ukraine,” provides a rare oasis of good news among all the turmoil that has beset this region. It is ironic that it is the workers who have risen up against the Russians, whose government that has for so many decades declared itself to be a representative of the workers.
The creation of town patrols by the miners and steelworkers has been organized by Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, who owns their factories and mines. Because Russia is a steel exporter, it is not a market for his goods, and Mr. Akhmetov feels his company will go under should sanctions be imposed on East Ukraine by the outside world.
The miners and steelworkers have provided the muscle necessary to face down those who would create a Donetsk People’s Republic, and it has exposed the separatists’ lie that they represent the majority of the people in East Ukraine. The Russian protestors literally melted away as wave after wave of industrial workers rose up to maintain order and proclaim their unity with the Ukranian nation.
It is exciting to see this grassroots movement development because it represents the ultimate expression of democracy in the region, and it will be a boon to all the people.