By New Cold War.org editors, Feb 10, 2015
In the following five-minute video, a woman in the Zaporozhia region of (south-central) Ukraine challenges a military officer at a pro-war, pro-conscription rally that he and his associates are trying to stage. She grabs the microphone for five minutes in front of an assembled crowd and the officer is powerless to stop her.
She speaks: “You are saying Crimea was taken [from Ukraine] by force? It left without a single shot fired! It was Russian land and they took it back!”
She went on to answer the officer’s talking points, point by point. “Donetsk and Luhansk did not want to obey your junta which usurped power illegally!”
“We talk Russian, Donetsk talks Russian. You have no right to take our language!”
“We won’t listen to it [pro-war talk] anymore. Our children aren’t going anywhere, our husbands aren’t going anywhere. We want to raise our children and grandchildren. We want to build Ukraine.”
The crowd shouts, “They won’t let our men come back!”
She continues, “You say there are enemies there? You go fight them, we have no enemies there! They are our people there, best friends and family!”
“We’re tired of listening to poison on TV. How much longer should we endure those propaganda lies? Do you think we’re all idiots here?… No! We’re tired of it. We will also defend ourselves!”
“Well said!” says someone in the crowd.
“Look at Donetsk, what’s happening there. Poor people are hiding in cellars, hungry. Russia sends them humanitarian aid. Did Kyiv send them any food? Did it send them anything at all?!”
“Why are they suffering, what for? They lived there their whole lives, they built the place. Have you built anything at all there in 23 years of ‘independence’? You only destroy. Show us something you’ve built! You build only banks.
“I build, I don’t destroy anything, only build. We work, till the soil, grow crops. And you from Kyiv are always trying to cheat us and take our money. What right do you have to take our money for this war? We are against this war!” The crowd says, “Well said!”
A second woman comes forward and lectures the officer. “You have completely taken our rights and we have no right to speak! We are against joining the EU. We are against NATO! We want to live as one nation. We want to be friends with Russia.”
The first woman retakes the microphone. “We grow tomatoes here. You think we’re going to sell tomatoes to America?”
Altogether, a powerful and courageous display of antiwar opposition and human solidarity.