I spent the May 11th watching what was happening and listening to people at a polling station for the referendum.
The polling station was one that handled 6 towns in the area. The spoken language locally mixes from town to town here. Some of the towns speak Ukrainian and others Russian with Ukrainian pronunciation. I was able to meet the people sent from the county government. that were running it. I had to ask where the little green men were. That is what everyone wants to know including Obama right?
At this point I think everyone will be waiting forever to know the answer to that question. When I asked for a second there was complete silence and then side splitting laughter.
You want to know where the little green man is? Why of course, he's right there. He pointed to a short 5'3" man in a camouflage shirt with a hefty belly he had taken into retirement with him.
Of the three men in charge, two were from the coal mines and the "little green man" was a retiree.
When I asked why they thought this step was necessary both they and everyone else I asked after them had the same answer.
We are not Nazis. We won't accept being ruled by Nazis or have our children taught by them. They are trying to teach our children that their own grandfathers are nothing and the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army/ Bandera) are heroes. The government makes heroes out of people that kill us.
Further the retiree said all the regimes from independence until now have been bad. Yanukovych wasn't any better and was corrupt, but at least we could find ways to live in spite of them. The junta has taken everything from us. Over 30% of pay and pensions go to pay for the National Guard that shoots at us.
The retiree added that after retirement he had bought a bus and drove it to make money to survive. Now even with the bus, all they could pay for was rent and there was no longer enough for food.
When the junta took power they started sanctioning the South-east by raising prices and dropping pay. Most of the representation in the Rada had been beaten up and threatened. Now South-east had no representation or protection.
To make the point on Victory Day when they celebrate winning WW2 over the Nazis-" Addressing the public on a Victory Day, the governor of Ukraine's southern Kherson region trampled on the feelings of many veterans and desecrated the memory of all those who perished during the war against Nazi Germany by calling Hitler a "liberator." " if you read history books, we have a number of documentaries on this, then we see that he [Hitler] first of all put forward a slogan of liberating people from the communist yoke, and liberating people from the tyrant Stalin," Odarchenko said, sparking anger and outraged by the crowd.
As thousands yelled out " shame" , a young woman with a child approached the governor, stripped him of the microphone, before throwing it away."- RT
In the areas hardest hit by Bandera violence against unarmed civilians the turnout to vote was incredibly high. In Mariupol turnout is estimated at 75%. People waited in line for over 4 hours to vote. Overall even with tanks and weapons pointed at them and civilians being shot the turnout was over 89%.
What it Means
For the Ukrainian people in South-east it means the first step to stopping the Bandera from turning the army loose on them. Both the OSCE and the UN have asked Kiev to cease operations against the largely unarmed people. Kiev has not stopped the operation in spite of the Geneva Agreements.