Crisis in Ukraine:

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1 DeMarquis2nd Dec 2013 09:30:23 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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Ukraine protests: Thousands march through capital- over 100,000 by some counts

Ukrainian protesters besiege government building

Clashes amid huge Ukraine protest against U-turn on EU

Over 300,000 defy protest ban in Ukraine- "Fierce clashes erupt after protesters take to streets again, chanting "revolution" as anger against government grows."

What started as a protest against the decision not to sign an agreement with the EU seems to have escalated into a "Color Revolution" or "Arab Spring" style movement to force the government to resign. By some reports, the police are using violent tactics to suppress the street protests.

The Western half of the Ukraine has historically felt closer to Europe , and wants to move Ukrainian society in that direction. Eastern Ukraine feels culturally closer to Russia, and favors closer relations with that country. The current regime of President Viktor Yanukovich is part of that camp. The current confrontations can be seen as a clash between these two halves of Ukrainian society.
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
2 DeviantBraeburn2nd Dec 2013 12:28:17 PM from Dysfunctional California
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3 SaintDeltora2nd Dec 2013 12:29:43 PM from The Land Of Corruption and Debauchery , Relationship Status: I'm just high on the world
The Mistress
I guess what someone said in a another thread about we, currently, being in a "age of protests" is turning out to be very accurate.
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4 GeekCodeRed2nd Dec 2013 01:00:59 PM from A, A, B, B, A , Relationship Status: TV Tropes ruined my love life
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So, why can't the Ukraine maintain good relations with both Russia and the EU?
They do have medals for almost, and they're called silver!
5 Quag152nd Dec 2013 01:07:52 PM from Portugal , Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Portugal according to Hetalia
They don't like to be called "the Ukraine", just "Ukraine". It would be best to change the title to "Protests in Ukraine". Just sayin'...

That being said, the protests are getting really intense, from what I've read online and seen on TV.
Those who are free from common prejudices acquire others.- Napoleon Bonaparte

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6 Rationalinsanity2nd Dec 2013 01:09:15 PM from Halifax, Canada , Relationship Status: It's complicated
Apparently the overwhelming majority of the protestors have been peaceful but a few thousand charged the presidential administration building and had to be beat back. Least that's what I read in the paper.
Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.
7 Ramidel2nd Dec 2013 01:13:56 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up][up][up]Because both the EU and the Russia/Belarus/Kazakhstan common market are customs unions, and Ukraine can only join one (and then would have to treat the other as an outside power where tariffs and border controls are concerned).

Plus, if Ukraine joins Europe, that would be a huge blow to Russia's prestige and their ability to keep the other CIS republics in line. Since Putin is trying to put the USSR back together, he's got to do his best to tie Ukraine back into the Russian web.

edited 2nd Dec '13 1:14:55 PM by Ramidel

Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
8 demarquis2nd Dec 2013 03:51:18 PM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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If Russia loses Ukraine from it's orbit, likely all the other smaller republics will leave as well. The stakes are actually rather high.
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
9 FFShinra2nd Dec 2013 05:08:29 PM from Ivalice, apparently , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
The territories most wanting to join Europe are areas that once belonged to Poland and what is now Slovakia, annexed to the USSR as repayment of WWII. There is a part of me that wonders whether it'd be better to simply let Lviv go back to Poland. Everyone wins.

Honestly wish the EU wouldn't distract themselves. Ukraine's economy isn't in the best shape, and there is enough bad sentiment from what's going on in southern Europe that it might not be in either Kiev's or Brussel's best interest just now.
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10 demarquis2nd Dec 2013 05:09:29 PM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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Nice summary of the main issues: "Over the past few days, demonstrators have surged through the streets of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, angry that their president, Viktor Yanukovych, had backed off on signing an agreement with the European Union on Friday that would have put the country, philosophically at least, in the European camp. Instead, he intends to improve relations with Russia. Ukrainians grew even more infuriated Saturday when police used force to disperse protesters. On Sunday, an estimated 300,000 or more demonstrators filled Kiev’s Independence Square, demanding the resignation of the president..."

The other side of the argument: "Even as thousands of protesters occupied Independence Square, blockaded the Cabinet Ministry and continued to demand his resignation, President Viktor F. Yanukovich of Ukraine on Monday defended his refusal to sign accords with the European Union, said he was on the verge of securing lower gas prices from Russia, and urged opposition politicians to wait for presidential elections in 2015 to challenge him..."
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
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Some of the pro-Russia parties like Russian Choice ran ads that if Ukraine joins the EU, then the country's gonna suffer problems like homosexuality.
"Exit muna si Polgas. Ang kailangan dito ay si Dobermaxx!"
12 Ramidel2nd Dec 2013 07:16:13 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up]And they're right, too. Ukrainians will be forced to accept EU antidiscrimination laws, and they aren't too cool with that.
Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
14 BokhuraBurnes3rd Dec 2013 07:07:43 AM from Inside the Bug Pit
Radical Moderate
@FF Shinra: Although the West of Ukraine is more pro-European (and feels a lot more like Central Europe than the former Soviet Union), they didn't have the greatest experience under Polish rule, either, so there's not a lot of desire to reintegrate with Poland. (They're different cultures — Ukrainian Catholic vs. Roman Catholic, etc.) Forming an independent Galicia, on the other hand, might be another story.

@Ramidiel: Yeah, I ran into some anti-homosexuality demonstrations when I was in Kyiv last summer. Not as disturbing as the racist/neo-Nazi stuff I saw in the country (even in the West), but still a bit off-putting.

EDIT: And President Yanukovych is off to China and Russia while things get critical in the country (the PM survives a no-confidence vote). Just a hunch, but could he be making sure his new authoritarian overlords have his back before he orders more forceful repression of the protests?

edited 3rd Dec '13 7:24:01 AM by BokhuraBurnes

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.
15 demarquis3rd Dec 2013 09:36:25 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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President-of-Ukraine-wavers-in-the-face-of-widespread-protest: "...As protesters declared a general strike and blocked access to the government's headquarters in central Kiev, Mr. Yanukovich spoke by phone with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso to ask whether Ukraine could send a delegation to discuss a previously scuttled free trade agreement, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported..."

So- are the protesters actually winning?

I do not compromise—I synthesize.
16 Euodiachloris3rd Dec 2013 11:36:12 AM , Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
[up]Dunno about winning. But, I think the sheer number of protests came as a bit of a surprise. <_<
17 DeviantBraeburn3rd Dec 2013 12:23:32 PM from Dysfunctional California
18 deathpigeon4th Dec 2013 03:39:57 PM , Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
19 demarquis4th Dec 2013 06:40:14 PM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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From the linked article: "...Not the whole movement consists of of supporters of the traditional opposition parties. There is a strong, student-based movement that tries to keep all politicians at a distance. Here is how Marina Lewycka, already quoted, describes it: “For the young people in the square, this whole game of political tit-for-tat is what they reject.” One of the places these wing of the movement appartently gets inspiration from is the Occupy movement, according to Claire Biggs who explains on 25 November: “Unlike the Orange Revolution, the current protests are divided into two separate rallies – one by young nonpartisan activists inspired by the Occupy movement, the second, concentrated on another Kyiv square, by political parties.” Now, the Occupy movement, whatever its failings, was not a very pro-EU movement, as people may recall. It was not a very pro-business movement either."

And so it goes. Occupy, which in some sense was partially inspired by the Color Revolutions, is now doing it's own inspiring. And it is notable that grass-roots political movements getting out of the control of the traditional elites, even the ones who are in opposition, is historically what tends to happen. First it starts out as an inter-business dispute, each side turns to the streets, and before anyone can stop it, fundamental political change has occurred.

It is in the spaces between the elites that the common people find their leverage.
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
20 demarquis5th Dec 2013 10:59:35 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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Ukraine police give protesters deadline, ministers urge calm- "...Ukrainian police on Thursday gave demonstrators five days to leave public buildings they have occupied in protest against a government policy lurch back towards Russia, as ministers at a European security conference urged a peaceful end to the confrontation."

edited 5th Dec '13 2:32:51 PM by demarquis

I do not compromise—I synthesize.
21 Ramidel5th Dec 2013 02:31:30 PM , Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up]That's a paper on Egypt, not Ukraine.
Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
22 demarquis5th Dec 2013 02:33:10 PM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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I do not compromise—I synthesize.
23 BokhuraBurnes6th Dec 2013 07:20:05 AM from Inside the Bug Pit
Radical Moderate
Out of curiosity, how long is Yanukovych's China/Russia trip supposed to take? If the answer is "four more days", color me unsurprised.
First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.
24 demarquis6th Dec 2013 07:57:32 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
I cant find a news source that states when the big Y is expected home. I would be surprised if it took him four days to convince Putin to give him money. It was Putin's pressure to back off the deal with the EU that started all this, after all.

In other news, it's Christmas for Yanukovych: yanukovych-secures-8-billion-investment-commitments-from-china
I do not compromise—I synthesize.
25 FFShinra6th Dec 2013 08:44:20 AM from Ivalice, apparently , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Beware the Crazy Man.
Wasn't solely that. The EU wasn't helping their own case by trying to force Yanukovich into releasing the former PM or in the whole "struggle now, enjoy fruits later" mentality they were trying to sell to a country that was already struggling.
Final Fantasy, Foreign Policy, and Bollywood. Helluva combo, that...

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