Ukrainians in Columbia Have Mixed Feelings About Latest Events

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COLUMBIA - Watching events unfolding in Ukraine was hard for Roman Kolgushev, a Ukrainian who moved to Columbia more than a year ago to complete his master's program. He said he would have joined protesters on Kiev's Independent Square or Maidan, to stand together for a bright, independent and European future. He has mixed feelings looking back at the uprisings in Kiev.

"I am thrilled with the results, with what people have achieved. At the same time I feel confusion for the future and a large amount of grief, for the people who died on the streets of Kiev," said Kolgushev.

As a journalist, Kolgushev tried to do his best from Columbia to spread the word online and bring more expertise to the international audiences.

"It means a huge deal for Ukraine, a game changer. These three months have changed how people look at their country. We've seen the birth of a civil society, I believe a huge self-organization that happened through Facebook and social networks, through the Internet, have shown that Ukrainians as a nation don't need any authorities to come up with new ideas. They nearly understood that they have a nation, they have their motherland that they love, they can solve problems on their own, which I believe was a huge problem for Ukraine, people didn't believe they have the power," said Kolgushev.

Another Ukrainian living in Columbia, Olga Dorovskykh, feels proud of her fellow Ukrainians and hopes the events will translate into a big change and bright future for Ukraine.

"I am proud that they finally did it. They have overthrown this dictator, this greedy man who just collected good in his house in Kiev," Dorovskykh said.

She added that she also felt emotional when former prime minister and political prisoner Yulia Tymoshenko was released from jail on Saturday, after spending 30 months in jail for abuse of power. "She was a controversial politician but she showed to a lot of Ukrainians that they should be strong, brave and stand up to that regime," said Dorovskykh.

However Roman Kolgushev said Ukrainians don't want to her to rule the country because of past investigations and corruption schemes she had been involved in.

"She is a person of the past. Many people say that they accept her as a member of the party, deputy, an active politician but they don't want to see her as the president, don't want to see her as prime minister or in the office. They [Tymoshenko and Yanukovich] have both been involved in very corrupt system and she was proved to giver a lot of bribes," said Kolgushev.

He said he believes the new generation of young politicians could make Ukraine a success story and he is almost certain his country will soon sign the landmark association agreement with the European Union.

Meanwhile thousands of opposition supporters remain in Kiev's Independence Square to oversee the transition of the government. Almost 88 people are known to have been killed in clashes that took place earlier this week. A day after Viktor Yanukovich fled to the Russian-speaking east, the parliament named new speaker Oleksander Turchinovas interim head of state. New presidential elections are expected on May 25.

 

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