Statement of the Ukrainian Catholic University
On the Provocations on the EuroMaidan
December 2, 2013
The scenes of the violent clashes on Sunday that were initiated by provocateurs in front of the building of the presidential administration are no less shocking than the footage of the Berkut riot police’s brutal dispersal of the demonstrators on the Maidan. Violence is appalling—no matter who commits it.
The bright day of December 1—which went down in the history of Ukraine as the day of the peaceful referendum on independence in 1991 and which this year was marked with the peaceful EuroMaidan demonstrations all over the nation—was overshadowed by violence.
We saw firsthand how the authorities carefully prepared the provocation on the Maidan by sending hired thugs there. This is anti-constitutional activity that is a crime against the people. However, we must recognize that among the protesters were those who sincerely believed that the “disco” maidan must be stopped and that justice can only be restored through the principle of “an eye for an eye.” For us it is important to realize that the consequences of the actions of both sides are the same: an encroachment on the peaceful protests of almost a million people throughout Ukraine and a betrayal of the honest protesters who took them into their ranks with trust.
For us, the community of the Ukrainian Catholic University, who advocate Christian values, it is inexpressibly sad that in the hearts of a small group of people dwells a desire to pay law enforcement officers to shed blood. But revenge is also repugnant—no matter how strong the motivation is.
We will have the moral right to demand the authorities to take responsibility for the violence only when we will demand the provocateurs or demonstrators who deliberately fueled the bloody confrontation to take responsibility. They placed themselves not only outside of the law, but also outside the will of society.
To read the “signs of the times” correctly is our civic and moral obligation. The present time requires not the elite, who cynically robs the people, and not the revengers, who wish harm to their enemies, but those who are willing to serve the people by establishing peace, harmony, and prosperity.