Reporting from Kiev's Dependence Square...

With a headline like “In Kiev, Ukrainians want revolutionary change,” you get excited about reading the story. But then you read it:

“We want to change the system, not just the president,” said Vygupaev, an auto mechanic. “When we choose the president and change the system, we’ll leave.”

The new government wants to start transforming the system by demonstrating official competence, returning the country to normal, collecting illegal guns (permits are required to own them) and providing the kind of police protection that will make people feel safe. The people don’t trust them to do that.

Andriy Parubiy, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, backed a new law creating a National Guard in hopes that militias would join up. But the guard is under the Interior Ministry, which supervised the police, widely distrusted because of corruption before the revolution and now despised for their rough measures during it.

Although some have been joining — the pay is about $300 a month, the national average — many are too suspicious of the police to even consider it.

“It’s the police who beat us,” said Vygupaev, 55. “We still don’t have respect for them.”


If the new government’s initial push is to use an undersized and untrusted police force to confiscate guns from people who only just managed to remove a brutal government and who face a serious external threat…

…then you have to wonder what the revolution was all about.


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