The Euromaidan – Final Project

The EuroMaidan

On the night of 21 November 2013 with very large public protests demanding closer European integration have begun in Ukraine named as Euromaidan which is a wave of ongoing which is a demonstration and civil unrest. By 25 January 2014 the protests had been fueled by the perception of widespread, government corruption abuse of power, and violation of human rights in Ukraine.  It is been almost ten weeks since protests started, and it looks like they will go on. Thousands of Ukranians have gone to Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, also thousands protestors around the world are supporting them. Barricades were built by protestors with bags of snow and anything they could find.

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Background

An Association Agreement was initialed between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine On 30 March 2012. however, the EU leaders later stated that the agreement would not be ratified unless Ukraine addressed concerns over a “stark deterioration of democracy and the rule of law”, including the imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko in 2011 and 2012. Mid-August 2013 Russia changed its customs regulations on imports from Ukraine. On 21 November 2013 a Ukrainian government decree suspended preparations for signing of the association agreement. The reason given was that the previous months Ukraine had experienced “a drop in industrial production and our relations with The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries”   Comparision with Orange Revolution On 21th of November 2013 Ukrainians called to come to Maidan Nezalezhnosti to protest Yanukovych terminating trade agreement negotiations with the European Union by Ukrainian journalist Mustafa Nayeem with a Facebook post.

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Nayem said that “Lets be serious, are u ready to be at Maidan this midnight, just write i will be there to this post, thousands will be organized at there. At this poind timing is important because Orange Revolution had started on 22 November 2004. Kaley Hanenkrat indicates that EuroMaidan and the Orange Revolution both had catalyzing events that brought people to the streets, an abandoned trade agreement and a falsified election, respectively, but both were and are indicative of deeper frustrations of Ukrainian citizens, many that are the same even nine years later. The Financial Times said the 2013 protests were “largely spontaneous, sparked by social media, and have caught Ukraine’s political opposition unprepared” compared to their well-organized predecessors.In an interview with opposition leader Yuriy Lutsenko, when asked if the current opposition was weaker than it was in 2004 he argued, that it was stronger because the stakes were higher, “I asked each [of the opposition leaders]: “Do you realize that this is not a protest? It is a revolution […] we have two roads – we go to prison or we win” Paul Robert Magocsi illustrated the effect of the Orange Revolution on Euromaidan, saying “Was the Orange Revolution a genuine revolution? Yes it was. And we see the effects today. The revolution wasn’t a revolution of the streets or a revolution of (political) elections, it was a revolution of the minds of people, in the sense that for the first time in a long time, Ukrainians, and people living in territorial Ukraine saw the opportunity to protest and change their situation. This was a profound change in the character of the population of the former Soviet Union.”Lviv-based historian Yaroslav Hrytsak also remarked on the generational shift, “This is a revolution of the generation that we call the contemporaries of Ukraine’s independence (who were born around the time of 1991); it is more similar to the Occupy Wall Street protests or those in Istanbul demonstrations (of this year). It’s a revolution of young people who are very educated, people who are active in social media, who are mobile and 90 percent of whom have university degrees, but who don’t have futures.”According to Hrytsak: “Young Ukrainians resemble young Italians, Czech, Poles, or Germans more than they resemble Ukrainians who are 50 and older. This generation has a stronger desire for European integration and fewer regional divides than their seniors”.In a Kyiv International Institute of Sociology poll taken in September, joining the European Union was mostly supported by young Ukrainians (49.8% of those aged 18 to 29), higher than the national average of 43.2% support.[A November 2013 poll by the same institute found the same result with 50.8% aged 18 to 29 wanting to join the European Union while 39.7% was the national average of support.An opinion poll by GfK conducted October 2–15 found that among respondents aged 16–29 with a position on integration, 73% favored signing an Association Agreement with the EU, while only 45% of those o ver the age of 45 favored Association. The lowest support for European integration was among people with incomplete secondary and higher education.

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Goverment’s respond to protests is very aggresively, arrests have been occurred. Police forces uses pepper gas to protestors. Also you can see on photos.

Timeline of the protests across Ukraine

“A 24 November protest in Ivano-Frankivsk saw several thousand protestors gather at the regional administration building.No classes were held in the universities of western Ukrainian cities such as Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Uzhhorod. Protests also took place in other large Ukrainian cities: Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Luhansk, Lviv, and Uzhhorod. The rally in Lviv in support of the integration of Ukraine into the EU was initiated by the students of local universities. This rally saw 25–30 thousand protesters gather on Prospect Svobody (Freedom Avenue) in Lviv. The organizers planned to continue this rally ’till the 3rd Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 28–29 November 2013. A rally in Simferopol, which drew around 300, saw nationalists and Crimean Tatars unite to support European integration; the protesters sang both the Ukrainian national anthem and the anthem of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen.

7 people were injured after 40 titushky (thugs) attacked a tent encampment in Dnipropetrovsk, which was ordered cleared by court order on 25 November.Officials estimated the number of attackers to be 10-15, and police did not intervene in the attacks. Similarly, police in Odessa ignored calls to stop the demolition of Euromaidan camps in the city by a group of 30, and instead removed all parties from the premises.50 police officers and men in plain clothes also drove out a Euromaidan protest in Chernihiv the same day.

On 25 November, in Odessa, 120 police raided and destroyed a tent encampment made by protesters at 5:20 in the morning. The police detained three of the protesters, including the leader of the Odessa branch of Democratic Alliance, Alexei Chorny. All three were beaten in the police vehicle and then taken to the Portofrankovsk Police Station without their arrival being recorded. The move came after the District Administrative Court hours earlier issued a ban restricting citizens’ right to peaceful assembly until New Year. The court ruling places a blanket ban on all demonstrations, the use of tents, sound equipment and vehicles until the end of the year.

On 26 November, a rally of 50 was held in Donetsk.

On 28 November, a rally was held in Yalta; university faculty who attended were pressured to resign by university officials.

On 29 November, Lviv protesters numbered some 20,000. Like in Kiev, they locked hands in a human chain, symbolically linking Ukraine to the European Union (organisers claimed that some 100 people even crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border to extend the chain to the European Union).

On 1 December, the largest rally outside of Kiev took place in Lviv by the statue of Taras Shevchenko, where over 50,t public figures and politicians were in attendance.An estimated 300 rallied in the eastern city of Donetsk d000 protesters attended. Mayor Andriy Sadovy, council chairman Peter Kolody, and prominenemanding that President Viktor Yanukovych and the government of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resign.Meanwhile, in Kharkiv, thousands rallied with writer Serhiy Zhadan, during a speech, calling for revolution. The protest was peaceful.Protesters claimed at least 4,000 attended, with other sources saying 2,000. In Dnipropetrovsk, 1,000 gathered to protest the EU agreement suspension, show solidarity with those in Kiev, and demand the resignation of local and metropolitan officials. They later marched, shouting “Ukraine is Europe” and “Revolution”. EuroMaidan protests were also held in Simferopol (where 150-200 attended), and Odessa.

On 2 December, in an act of solidarity, Lviv Oblast declared a general strike in order to mobilize support for protests in Kiev,which was followed by the formal order of a general strike by the cities of Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk.

In Dnipropetrovsk on 3 December, a group of 300 protested in favor of European integration and demanded the resignation of local authorities, heads of local police units, and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

On 7 December it was reported that police were prohibiting those from Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk from driving to Kiev.

Protests on 8 December saw record turnout in many Ukrainian cities, including several in eastern Ukraine.

On 9 December, a statue to Vladimir Lenin was destroyed in in the town of Kotovsk in Odessa Oblast.In Ternopil, Euromaidan organizers were prosecuted by authorities.

On 14 December, Euromaidan supporters in Kharkiv voiced their disapproval of authorities fencing off Freedom Square from the public by covering the metal fence in placards.They have since 5 December been the victims of theft and arson.A Euromaidan activist in Kharkiv was attacked by two men and stabbed twelve times. The assailants were unknown but activists told the Kharkiv-based civic organization Maidan that they believe the city’s mayor, Gennady Kernes, to be behind the attack.

On 22 December, 2,000 rallied in Dnipropetrovsk.

In late December, 500 marched in Donetsk. Due to the regime’s hegemony in the city, ‘500 marchers to assemble in Donetsk is the equivalent of 50,000 in Lviv or 500,000 in Kiev. On 5 January, marches in support of Euromaidan were held in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, and Kharkiv; the latter three drawing several hundred and Donetsk only 100.

On 11 January, 150 activists met in Kharkiv for a general forum on uniting the nation-wide Euromaidan efforts. A church were some were meeting was stormed by over a dozenthugs, and others attacked meetings in a book store; smashing windows and deploying tear gas to stop the Maidan meetings from taking place.

On 22 January in Donetsk, two simultaneous rallies were held – one pro-Euromaidan and one pro-government. The pro-government rally attracted 600 attendees to about 100 from the Euromaidan side. Police reports claimed 5,000 attended to support the government, to only 60 from Euromaidan. In addition, approximately 150 titushky appeared and encircled the Euromaidan protesters with megaphones and began a conflict, burning wreaths and Svoboda Party flags, and shouted “down with fascists!”, but were separated by police.Meanwhile, Donetsk City Council pleaded with the government to take tougher measures against Euromaidan protesters in Kiev.Reports indicated a media blackout took place in Donetsk.

In Lviv on 22 January, amid the police shootings of protesters in the capital, military barracks were surrounded by protesters. Many of the protesters included mothers whose sons are serving in the military, and pleaded with them not to deploy to Kiev.

In Vinnytsia on 22 January thousands protesters blocked the main street of the city and the traffic. Also, they brought “democracy in coffin” to the city hall, as a present to Yanukovych.23 January Odessa city council member and Euromaidan activist Oleksandr Ostapenko’s car was bombed. The Mayor of Sumy threw his support behind the Euromaidan movement on 24 January, laying blame for the civil disorder in Kiev on the Party of Regions and Communists.

On 28 January about 500 Crimean Tatars attended a peaceful rally in support of Euromaidan in Simferopol.”

Conclusion

The EuroMaidan is an ongoing protests so it is early to conclude Euromaidan. Protests are still continuing.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Revolution http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25808295 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euromaidan http://www.airpano.com/360Degree-VirtualTour.php?3D=Ukraine-EuroMaidan http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kaley-hanenkrat/euromaidan-protests-ukraine_b_4469680.html http://www.tcs.cam.ac.uk/international/0031386-euromaidan-in-kiev-the-meaning-of-political-ideas.html

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