Something really interesting happened on Sunday in Kiev. As several times before, a group of about one hundred rioters stormed the building of the Energy Ministry which is located close to the Maidan square and city center. The heavily armed rioters rapidly overcome the building’s security service (which had orders not to shoot) and penetrated into the building which they immediately began to tear about. Then something really interesting happened: the Minister of Energy himself, Eduard Savitskii, came out and confronted the rioter. The scene was filmed by a bystander. This is the dialog shown in the video:
Savitskii: do you understand that you are threatening all our lives? Get the hell out of here!
Rioter: we need to control the activities of the ministry
Savitskii: according to the Ukrainian law I am the one in charge of this ministry and your actions are illegal! You have crossed the line, you have penetrated a high-security facility. Do you understand what it means to provide an entire country with energy? If you are a terrorist, just tell me, and I will deal with you like with a terrorist. I have all the reasons to treat you as a terrorist!
See the video for yourself:
Savitskii, a former coal industry worker, told the rioters to get out, and they complied. And that just goes to show what one strong personality can achieve even in the worst kind of situation. The example of Savitskii also shows the catastrophic role a personality like Yanukovich has had in this crisis who, by failing to show any leadership qualities at all, only ended up exiting and angering the rioters even more. Frankly, even I feel like throwing a brick each time I see his face, how could I blame other for feeling likewise?
The other lesson from this small side-event is that crisis situations to often create their own personalities and that it is possible that some strong and respectable leader will come out of the current chaos. There is only that long that a country can exist with no power at all, sooner or later somebody will seize power. I just hope that this “somebody” will be a decent and pragmatic person of courage.