To the Editor:
“A Ukraine City Spins Beyond the Government’s Reach” (news article, Feb. 16) refers to me as a “Ukrainian nationalist.” I do not characterize myself in that way. Like a vast majority of protesters in today’s Ukraine, I wish for the rule of law, the separation of powers and parliamentary democracy.
We want a government that does not abduct, torture and kill people who oppose its policies, and imagine a future in which Ukrainians can live their daily lives without fear of violence and in the confidence that our rulers serve as our representatives rather than guardians of ill-gotten fortunes.
It is true that I spent 10 years in the Soviet gulag. The lesson I bring from that experience of Soviet power is that of the inviolability of human rights within a fully sovereign Ukrainian state. We want a Ukraine that is whole and free.
Lviv, Ukraine, Feb. 17, 2014
The writer is vice rector of the Lviv-based Ukrainian Catholic University.
A version of this letter appears in print on February 20, 2014, on page A20 of the New York edition with the headline: A Plea From Ukraine.