Talk to Ukrainians and the view you’ll hear from almost everyone is that “they”—Ukrainians—are passive, apathetic, and inert. I’ve heard this line in Lviv, Kyiv, and Donetsk as well as in Western Europe and North America. I’ve even heard it at, of all places, demonstrations in Ukraine.
The question that invariably follows is: “Why don’t they rise up and finally do something?”
The fact is that Ukrainians are doing something almost every day. Walk down most main streets in most cities and towns and you’ll usually encounter some protesters handing out leaflets or some groups raising a ruckus. Maybe not every day, but often enough to persuade you that at least some Ukrainians aren’t passive.
Naturally, most Ukrainians aren’t impressed by that kind of protest action. It’s too run-of-the-mill, too easy, too small, too quiet, too unimpressive. In a word, it’s no Orange Revolution, when millions rose up throughout the country to demand their rights in the face of the Kuchma-Yanukovych camarilla that had falsified the presidential elections of 2004.