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Dispatch from Donetsk
Eastern Ukrainians To Kiev Protesters: Go Back To Work

In Donetsk, an industrial city in eastern Ukraine, there are no protestors in the streets. There are no roadblocks, no barricades, no riot police. People there have a message for the protestors in Kiev, as Andrew Roth writes in the New York Times: Go back to work.

On a frigid morning under the steady hum of the factory combines, the workers called the protests that have gripped Kiev “a mess,” “chaos” and “the disgrace of all Ukraine.”

“The answer is simple: get some tanks and drive them off the square,” said Viktor Ruzyenko, a 30-year veteran of the factory who was coming off the night shift into the early morning frost. “Even under the Communists I never saw anything so disgraceful.” […]

“This is the way it works in Ukraine: the East makes the money, and the West eats it,” said Sergey Yermolenko, 35, a programmer who earlier worked for the state-run railroad company. He “fully supported the president” for clearing Independence Square on Wednesday, he said, and called the protesters’ demolition of a statue of Lenin “crude hooliganism.”

Most of the international media reports from Ukraine during the recent turmoil have focused heavily on Kiev—and understandably so, as thousands of protestors have stared down riot police during the past three weeks, demanding that the president step aside. But there are large numbers of other Ukrainians who disagree. Yanukovich is not completely isolated and not everyone is dead-set against his policies.

This is not to say that Yanukovich is secure in power, or that he hasn’t lost some important ground this week. But no one should pretend that if these protests succeed, Ukraine will finally be at peace. The tug of war over its destiny is sure to continue well after this story falls off the front pages of Western newspapers.

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