English poet T.S. Eliot wrote that the world would end with a whimper instead of a Big Bang. Analogously, some interesting things are happening on the Ukrainian front. There are indications that the doomed Ukrainian regime may well be put out of its misery — not by pitchforks and mass violence; but by ordinary people singing catchy songs!
People are not sure exactly when this phenomenon began, but it was fairly recently. It started innocently enough: With “flashmobs” of ordinary people suddenly forming in railway stations at various cities, and people “spontaneously” bursting out into song.
According to Director of Humanitarian Fund Mikhail Pavliv: “The first manifestations of these flashmobs did not have any appearance of a political basis, and were connected, as I believe, to the anniversary celebrations of Zaporozhstal [a steel manufacturing company]. But then different people came along and coopted this movement (…) sensing in it a form of protest that was completely peaceful. And this is a completely natural response to the manic expansionism [of the Ukrainian nationalists], the attempts to smother and destroy people’s identity, to negate who they actually are. I am deeply convinced that this reaction is not artificial, it has not been instigated, it is not being directed, it is a natural outpouring of the human spirit.”
Here is an example from youtube: A crowd gathers stealthily in front of the Odessa railway station, people enter the station, and eventually a song bursts out. This folk song is a Russian classic popular among soldiers during the Great Patiotic War. Смуглянка-Moldavanka means something like “Dark-Haired Moldavian girl”. The song is a tribute to Soviet-era female partisans, and is typical of Soviet-era romantic songs combining themes of war, love, and friendship among peoples of different ethnic backgrounds.
And this is just one example.
The trend has caught on like crazy, with flashmobs forming in several Ukrainian cities: Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov, Zaporozhie, even Lviv. Typically the crowd forms in a public area and bursts out into a favorite Russian song from the Soviet era, for example, “Kalinka“, the “Lezginka“, “Smuglyanka“, and many others.
According to a panel of political analysts which met in Kiev to discuss these developments, the “Singing Flashmob Phenomenon” is expected to continue. Political think-tank Director Andrei Zolotarev: “People [at these railway stations] are giving the finger to the government. And not secretly either, but quite demonstratively. I think this trend will continue to grow, since the attempts to build a nationalististic type state with a corresponding mythology against a background of total corruption, thievery and lies, can only lead to the opposite result.”
In other words, these groups of peaceful singers have morphed into a form of mass non-violent protest against the Ukrainian regime.
The Regime Fights Back
Meanwhile, the people who run the Ukrainian regime may be corrupt, but they are not stupid. They were quick to pick up on this existential threat to their own power and economic privileges. Even an innocently expressed nostalgia for Soviet times and the “friendship of peoples” sticks in their craw like a hostile action from a subliminally rebellious population. This is why the threats and repressions have already begun.
For example, in Odessa, Regional Deputy Viktor Baransky saw his office trashed by Ukrainian nationalists chanting “Glory to Ukraine”, most likely as payback for a singing flashmob.
Dmitry Tymchuk, a politician and Ukrainian nationalist claims that the singing flashmobs are being directed by the Russian security forces. “This is an informational war operation, of that I have no doubt,” Tymchuk declared darkly. Tymchuk went on to opine: “Russia is conducting a form of hybrid warfare and eagerly coopts social instruments, capable of somehow rocking the social order; destabilizing the situation; using whatever tools are handy.” Russia is craftily exploiting the fact that the Ukrainian economy is a basket case. But also does not shirk to employ “culture” as a weapon. “Those old Soviet fashions, which are still, unfortunately, stuck in the minds of our population; this nostalgia for the Soviet Union and so on… all of this is being utilized, in order to re-create some type of myth about the friendship of nations, and in order to win people’s sympathy for Moscow.”
Tymchuk intuited correctly that anything smacking of the “friendship of nations” is a threat, by definition, to Ukrainian nationalists, who despise nations other than their own made-up one. Hence, Tymchuk, quite logically, calls for fighting back against these singing protests. But, to his credit, he does not recommend the use of violence: “It goes without saying that we cannot use force.” Instead, Tymchuk benevolently recommends that the regime fight back on the “cultural” front, by using “all instruments to propagate Ukrainian culture which, in its ancient roots, in its wealth and largesse, simply cannot be compared with the significantly younger Russian culture, all the more so with a surrogate such as the Soviet culture.”
Tymchuk goes on to call for blotting out “Soviet memories”, so that Ukrainian people can stop living in the past; start living in the current world and rationally assess what exactly they possess at this moment. All the great things they see around them.