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Pensamento em curso: «Em Portugal, a liberdade é muito difícil, sobretudo porque não temos liberais. Temos libertinos, demagogos ou ultramontanos de todas as cores, mas pessoas que compreendam a dimensão profunda da liberdade já reparei que há muito poucas.» (António Alçada Baptista, em carta a Marcelo Caetano)
The Second Coming: «The best lack all conviction, while the worst; Are full of passionate intensity» (W. B. Yeats)


SERVIÇO PÚBLICO: O princípio da autodeterminação do povo ucraniano segundo o czar Vladimir Putin

Há 82 anos, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, tenente-coronel do KGB durante 16 anos antes do colapso do Império Soviético, no lugar de José Estaline também teria colectivizado a Ucrânia e obliterado pela fome 10 milhões de ucranianos com o Holodomor. Há 58 anos, no lugar de Nikita Khrushchev também não teria hesitado em invadir a Hungria e abortar a revolta contra o domínio soviético. Há 46 anos, no lugar de Leonid Brezhnev teria igualmente mandado o Inverno dos tanques interromper a Primavera de Praga.

Hoje, Vlamidir Putin aplica o princípio da autodeterminação dos povos promovendo um referendo para implantar a muito adequadamente baptizada República Popular de Donetsk e usando os processos a seguir descritos pela Economist.

«On May 11th, a balmy Sunday in Donetsk, people walked along the leafy boulevard, played with their children and sipped coffee in street cafés. Yet close by armed thugs in balaclavas guard a barricade fortified with barbed wire and tyres. A flag of the Donetsk people’s republic flutters atop an ugly ex-Soviet local government building. The city’s two realms seem separated by an invisible boundary.

The interior of the seized government building is a cross between a hostel for the homeless and a militant stronghold decorated with hate posters. Each floor has its own rules. “Attention: training of how to assemble and disassemble weapons on floor five.” Yet the rebels have left the running of the city and its utilities to local authorities, concentrating on commandeering arms and helping themselves to cars. The Donetsk rebellion seems like a cover for gangsters. On May 11th the rebels held a “referendum” on self-rule for the Donetsk people’s republic that was essentially a stunt. To create an illusion of mass attendance, the number of polling stations was reduced fourfold. In some cities, such as Mariupol, only four were open. The long queues that resulted were shown on Russian television throughout the day. “When I saw that everyone else was voting, I also went to vote,” one young man admits. Those who opposed the republic simply did not vote.

The leaders of the revolution are equally fake: few people had heard of them until recently. Roman Lyagin, who organised the votes, was involved in political shenanigans for Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. In 2006 he changed his name to register as a clone for the mayor. Denis Pushilin, self-proclaimed governor of the Donetsk republic, was involved in MMM, a notorious pyramid scheme that operated in Russia in the 1990s. Pavel Gubarev, a “people’s governor” fighting a “fascist junta” in Kiev, was once a member of Russian National Unity, Russia’s banned fascist organisation. A conversation reported by the Ukrainian security service found the party’s Russian leader, Alexander Barkashov, instructing one of the rebels how to conduct a referendum: “just write in the figure itself, say 89%”.

In many ways the referendum was run like a pyramid scheme. It drew people in and cynically exploited their frustrations, fears, anger and confusion. Having done their act, the leaders may now vanish. Mr Pushilin is said to have tried to leave already. His bodyguards, who follow him everywhere, may actually be his minders. But it is the men with guns who are in charge

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