Serhiy Datsyuk: Savchenko is a Ukrainian Joan of Arc, capable of leading people

Aliaksei Yurych, EuroBelarus Information Service

Society attributes the role of a troublemaker to Savchenko, who won’t let the country stay oligarchical and calm.

After two years of being in captivity in Russia Nadiya Savchenko returned to Ukraine. President Poroshenko presented her with the “Gold Star” Hero of Ukraine; society is caught by euphoria.

But is Savchenko’s return home perceived so univocally?

The EuroBelarus Information Service asked Kyiv philosopher Serhiy Datsyuk to comment on that.

— The release of Nadiya Savchenko, who spent two years of being in captivity in Russia, caused a real euphoria in the Ukrainian society. What does her return symbolize?

— Savchenko’s return for the society is the return of the hero.

For politicians it’s the return of a politician: Savchenko has not only been a deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament for a long time, but also a deputy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

What does Savchenko’s return mean for intellectuals? Savchenko is a very passionate person, who is mostly guided by emotional passion, rather than rational reasoning. Savchenko is a Ukrainian Joan of Arc, capable of leading people. But she can be outplayed and outperformed by politicians, and this is already a problem. Today, she has already made two important statements: if Minsk agreements exist, they must be fulfilled. Savchenko called the return of prisoners of war to be her main goal.

That should be right. However, from the point of view of the end of war the above-mentioned problems don’t form a strategy. The strategy of the war lies in two aspects: the return of sovereignty and assertion of identity. The return of prisoners, funerals of the dead, and social rehabilitation of the wounded are important issues, but not the primary ones. For one simple reason: if sovereignty and identity aren’t fought back, we’ll face a constant war; new prisoners will appear, whom we’ll have to return all the time.

Savchenko’s speeches are the speeches of the highly passionate personality, but not the speeches of a politician, who has been thinking of what should be done for the sake of the war. This immediately raises suspicion.

— Which hopes does the Ukrainian society that seems to be tired of the current government connect with Savchenko’s return?

— On the eve of Savchenko’s return we received a lot of signals that the ruling class aims at stability, peace, and development, whereas society attributes the role of a troublemaker to Savchenko, who won’t let the country stay oligarchical and calm. Society needs turbulence, second wind, or withdrawal from a counter-revolutionary situation and transition to the second stage of the revolution.

— Is Savchenko’s release and possible release of other prisoners some turning point in the war, or it is a routine of every war?

— It was already in 1943 that the Nazis realized that the war was lost, but they were still resisting for one and a half years. It will still take long from the turning point to the victory. Yes, Savchenko’s release will, probably, be called the turning point of the war one day, which only says that we are on the right track.

— Peace is possible only through war, said Savchenko in Boryspil airport. Whose opinion has she rebroadcast — her own, the one of the political elite or the one of the society?

— Savchenko has expressed conflicting opinions. “Peace is possible only through war” speaks her mind and mood brought from detention. In Ukraine, she has already been explained: there are Minsk agreements that are to be carried out. To which she replied: if Minsk agreements exist, then they should be fulfilled. That is contradictory. Political game has already started. It’s impossible to be that ambiguous in politics; one must firmly choose peace, war or conciliation.

— Thus, the political elite wants to preserve Nadiya Savchenko’s symbolic status, doesn’t it?

— This is what happens to all the people who win public attention. But Nadiya Savchenko is not the kind of person who can be easily manipulated. Over time she will understand the intricacies of the political game, and will no longer slip up.