Intervju med Viktor Serbulov, YMCA Ukraina

Intervju med Viktor Serbulov, generalsekreterare för YMCA Ukraina, om situationen i Ukraina som kan leda till inbördeskrig. ”I hope very much that the people win and that even more people get involved. In the end it will force Janukovytj to understand he must resign, otherwise I’m afraid of the possibility of a civil war”, säger Viktor.

I över 10 år har KFUM Sverige samarbetat med YMCA i Ukraina. Nu är de på besök här i Sverige för att utvärdera och planera arbetet framåt. Det blir också ett tillfälle att dela med sig av deras upplevelser av situationen i Ukraina.

Could you tell us a bit about the uprisings in Kiev?

– It began when the president cancelled the agreement with the EU two weeks before it was supposed to be signed. This led to huge disappointments as a large majority is for the association with the EU which sparked the protests. The government is feeding the population mostly in the Eastern regions with disinformation to convince them that wealth lies with increased collaboration with Russia. It is all very worrying.

Have you as YMCA Ukraine been affected by the demonstrations in Maidan square?

– We have not been directly affected as we are not politically affiliated, and none of our premises has been attacked or burnt down. At the same time, many of our volunteers are actively taking part in the demonstrations and we have members who spent over a month at the Madian square. When the police first attacked the protesters a minibus full of our floor ball leaders from other regions went to Maidan to support the protests and demand democratic reforms.

What role do you see civil society has in a situation like this?

– As a civil society organisation we must react when human rights are violated and citizens are being abused and killed for claiming democratic rights. As for YMCA we are non-political and we cannot support any side but of course it is our duty to condemn all violence, and to protect and safeguard human rights in Ukraine. There are big strains and concerns that this could lead to civil war when protesters arm themselves, in that sense it’s a different situation from the Orange revolution in 2004. We must address this and help and protect our young people.  We have already started to adapt our work and programme’s to better include and target those affected by the situation.

The Maidan protests have been going on for three months, what do you think will happen?

– I hope very much that the people win and that even more people get involved. In the end it will force Janukovytj to understand he must resign, otherwise I’m afraid of the possibility of a civil war.