The People are not Sovereign

…government is.  Or so says Czar of all the Russias President Vladimir Putin.

Of course people wanted change.  But [people] cannot impose illegal change…you need to use only constitutional means.

Never mind that the will of the people is what gives “constitutional means” legitimacy, since those means are the will of the people given concrete effect.  But not in Putin’s world.  In his world view, “constitutional means” are what government says they are, and government is constituted the way the men populating the organs of government say it is.  No people, no citizens, are involved.

Putin also insisted that [Interim President] Oleksandr Turchynov was

not legitimate.  From the legal perspective it is Mr. Yanukovych who is president.

No.  Plainly no.  From the legal perspective, Yanukovich had lost all legitimacy the moment he lost the consent of the Ukrainian people to be their President.  That he had lost that consent is amply demonstrated by all those months in the streets—and not only in Kiev—by the people protesting, at first his actions, and ultimately his political status.  The firmness of their will is corroborated by the violence against and the murders of the protestors sanctioned by that government, and the people’s continued protests despite those atrocities.

Putin also has announced that he has no obligation to respect the wishes of the Ukrainian people as expressed in the upcoming May governmental elections, if he doesn’t get the results he wants.

Never mind that exactly those elections are what will express the will of the people, if the elections are allowed to go forward freely and fairly.  The only interference there will be “such terror as we see now” in the form of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  The only “terror as [Putin] see[s] now” is his own terror of the will of the people—perhaps of the will of the Russian people, as well.

Finally, this:

Putin said Tuesday that Moscow reserved the right to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine by any means necessary….

This was Hitler’s excuse for Sudetenland.  However, the “ethnic Russians” are Ukrainian citizens, not Russian citizens, and it is the responsibility of the Ukrainian government to protect its citizens.  If Putin is claiming a right (oddly, not a duty) to protect the badly abused citizens of another sovereign nation, than we have to ask: where is his duty in Syria, in northern Korea?  Oh, wait….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *