Zelensky's Ukraine and the Odessa ghosts

(To Andrea Gaspardo)

During two elections, the 31 in March and the 21 in April held respectively, among the 18 and the 19 millions of Ukrainian voters elected Vladimir Zelensky as the new head of state replacing Petro Poroshenko who, already president, by absolute majority between the 2014 and the 2019, he had to give up the possibility of being re-elected, at least for the moment.

In geopolitical, economic, social and even military terms, the Ukraine that Zelensky is preparing to govern is a country in a deep comatose state that has very little chance of overcoming the five-year 2019-2024 in its current geographical dimension and political-institutional architecture. It is above all a divided country that cannot pacify even around the memory of its dead. Thus, while official demonstrations reminded Kiev of the fifth anniversary of the Euromaidan revolution / coup, an almost total veil of silence was instead spread over the "other deaths" caused by the wicked events that had taken place since that fateful February of 2014.

After the street guerrillas had ousted the shaky government of Viktor Yanukovych, in other areas of Ukraine, where the local identity was more connected to the Russian one, there were numerous demonstrations with an "anti-Euromaidan" character and in different areas things took a dramatic turn.

One of these events took place in Odessa, a city overlooking the Black Sea, with legendary fame and a cosmopolitan and strongly Russian-speaking society. The 2 of May of the 2014 the city was the scene of two impressive demonstrations (one pro-Euromaidan and the other anti-Euromaidan) which soon degenerated into violent clashes that culminated in the burning of the Palazzo dei Sindacati, where they had barricaded themselves a large number of "anti-Euromaidan" protesters. In what has since become known as the "Odessa massacre", just under fifty people lost their lives, mostly during the fire.

Unfortunately, five years later, the Ukrainian authorities have not had the will, not to say courage, to carry out an exhaustive investigation of what happened and to bring the guilty to justice. On the one hand, the repression in Odessa served to refresh the minds of the most extremist fringes of the Ukrainian political spectrum, made even more bellicose after the humiliations suffered at close range in the Crimea and in the Donbass. On the other hand, by carrying out an action of this type, the nationalist right has gained impunity because it has demonstrated on the ground that it knows how to "fight" and be willing to even use violence if it is a question of achieving its goals. . Considering that, during the War in the Donbass, it was precisely the volunteers of the nationalist right who rushed over to replenish the ranks of the "Territorial Battalions" that supported the main impact of the fighting, one understands why the "demo / Ukrainian plutocracy has become hostage to the desires of a faction which, although relatively small in number and electoral terms (except in certain regional contexts), is armed to the teeth and can keep everyone in check.

That the Odessa events were not accidental is demonstrated both by investigations following the incident and by the common sense of the "thinking heads". It is very rare that political demonstrations degenerate into such violent clashes that cause a high number of deaths. If then these losses are so univocally distributed in favor of only one part (46 against 2) then the suspicion that the "attackers" have planned everything and have presented themselves for the appointment with the aim of harming becomes a bitter certainty.

After the events of the 2014, a strange calm lingers over Odessa, a seemingly tamed city, but it is a calm that rests on fear. One wonders if actually the election of Zelensky (who has reached plebiscite percentages here) will be able to disengage this dangerous time bomb.

Photo: web