“It is clear that the deputies here today don’t want Ukraine to split apart, for half of Ukraine to fall away.” As I listened to the deputies in Verkhovna Rada, Hanna Mykolayivna Herman really stood out to me. She is a member of the Party of Regions and Vice Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations. Until recently she was also very close to Yanukovich and acted as his advisor since January 2013.
She had supported Yanukovich since she became his spokeswoman Prime Minister in 2004. But after he fled but still announced himself as the legitimate president, she ceased speaking to him and for him. She remains a member of the Regional Party but her ideals are shared by many deputies from a variety of political parties. She received a lot of supportive applause at the parliamentary session on March 13th and she got a lot of attention from the press.
She stressed that that Ukraine must show the world that it is strong and must act on what is happening. “We need to look for protection within the Ukraine instead of externally.” Herman believes that the international community will lose interests in helping Ukraine if they see that Ukraine isn’t trying to help itself and if it’s perceived as weak.
Her other important point was that the government must finally answer certain questions to prove to the people that the government can be trusted. These questions include:
Who really shot at the people at Maidan?
Who really poisoned Yushchenko?
Who really killed Georgiy Gongadze?
“If you as the new government won’t give answers to (these questions), then it means that they were staged. It means that all of this can’t be believed,” Herman says. She also believes that deputies in the parliament shouldn’t be allowed to work simultaneously in the executive branch of the government. Working for both leads to corruption and doubt about the legitimacy of the bills passed. “We must understand, that if we are building a law-abiding nation, we cannot begin building it by breaking the law.”
There is a really great English-language website that explains the backgrounds of deputies and other Ukrainian politicians and shows all the promises they made and whether they were or weren’t fulfilled. Here’s the link to her profile (please note that her name is spelled differently based on whether it is translated from Ukrainian or Russian): http://en.slovoidilo.ua/person/German-Anna-Nikolaevna.html