Skip to comments.The 2014 Ukrainian Maidan Revolt
Posted on 02/22/2014 9:29:04 PM PST by Jeff Head
"Vladimir, they aren't coming back"
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, on July 16, 1990, the Ukrainian parliament voted for a Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine. This declaration established self-determination for the Ukrainian nation, its political and economic independence, and the end of Soviet law in the Ukraine.
A referendum on the matter of Ukranian independence and the first presidential election took place on December 1, 1991. More than 90 percent of the electorate expressed their support for Independence, and they elected the chairman of the parliament, Leonid Kravchu,k as the first President of the country.
The Ukrainian economy stabilized in the late 1990s. The hryvnia, was introduced in 1996 as the new currency. Since 2000, the country has enjoyed steady economic growth and averaged close to 7% annual growth. A new Constitution was adopted under the second President, Leonid Kuchma, in 1996. This constitution established the Ukraine as a republic with seperate branches of political power. This stable political system was mean to lead the Ukraine into the future with continuing economic growth and stability. However, Kuchma was criticized by opponents for corruption, electoral fraud, discouraging free speech and concentrating too much power in his office.
In 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, then Prime Minister, was declared the winner of the presidential elections. But the people of Ukraine, and numoerous foreign observers felt the election had been illegally influenced and rigged. The results caused a public outcry in support of the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, who challenged the outcome of the elections. This resulted in the peaceful and well known, "Orange Revolution." The Ukraninan Supreme Court ruled that the elections we fraudulent and annulled them. Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko were elected in the ensuing elections.
CONDITIONS LEADING TO THE REVOLT (To November 2013):
As a result of failures to resovle this issue, and on promises of working well with the Russians, Viktor Yanukovych, who had been oputsed in the fraaudulent elections of 2004, was elected President in 2010 with a minority of 48% of the vote.
Yanukovych immediately made overtures to the Russian government and Vlademir Putin. Many Ukrainians wanted and were looking forward to closer ties with the European Union, feeling that such ties could alleviate the dependencises and continuing ties to Russia. But, President Yanukovych's government rejected a far-reaching accord with the European Union in November 2013 in favour of continued stronger ties with Russia. Thousands of people, outraged that a long-standing aspiration for integration with Europe had been ditched overnight, poured into central Kiev for peaceful protests. They have occupied Independence Square, known as Maidan.
THE MAIDAN REVOLT BY THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE (February 2014): After the peaceful but very large demonstrations in Maidan square, European leaders expressed support for the Ukrainian protestors, while RUssian leaders continued to support the Ukrainian President. The Amrican President, though distracted by domestic policy issues, did express support for the protests and called for calm, and the Secretary of State also expressed support for the Ukraining oppostion. In his turn, the Russian President, Vlademir Putin, called for the Eurpoean countires to stop meddling in the affairs of the Ukraine.
Emboldened by Russian support, and what was viewed as a weak US response, the Yanukovych administration allowed police attacks on student protesters, enacted severe new anti-protest laws, and abducted opposition activists. This caused the demonstrations to caused intensify and grow larger. Remembering their success in the Orange Revolution, the people appreared to become less concerned about European alignment and more intent on getting rid of Yanukovych again, who they believed was using events to strengthen his power and serve the interests of his own close circle and Moscow.
The European Union has strongly condemned the actions of the Yanukovych gobvernment, and what the obvious attempts by Russia and Putin to take advantage of the situation, and called for negotiations with the protestors untder the threat of sanctions. Ukraining opposition leaders stepped up their support for the protests. Russia denounced the violent protests, also called for negotaiations, but reminded Europe and the United States that Yanukovych was elected in a fair election and should be able to act in his office. President Obama has condemned violence on both sides, but has also had his Secretary of State meet with opposition leders, as have various European leaders, notable Merkel of Germany.
VIOLENCE, BLOODSHED, AND GUNFIRE (2/17-21/2014):
International efforts to quell the violenmce stepped up. European leaders and Russia negotiatied with the Ukrainian government and the opposition and a cease fire was agreed to on February 21st. Some opposition leaders indicated, and the Poland negoatiator himself said that the opposition had to accept this deal under the threat of martial law and the use of Ukraines military. Th deal was accepted by the leaders, voted and for by the Ukrainian parliment. It called for new elections.
But the protestors in the street were not satified, vowed not to bow to threats, and indiacted that they felt their military would not fire upon them. So the confrontations continued the next day, and saw some security forces in the capitol and from other parts of the country changing sides.
PRESIDENT YANUKOVYCH FLEES AND THE UKRAINIAN PARLIMENT IMPEACHES HIM (2/22/2014):
President Yanukovych saw his support in the capitol failing. On Friday night and into Saturday morning (Feb 21-22) the heavily armed guard around the presidential offices melted away. At this point, Yanukovych left the Presidential quarters and compound and fled to Kharkiv in the southeaast of Ukraine where he has strong support. From there he gave a TV interview insisting he was still in power.
While this was occurring, His arch-rival and opposition leder, Yulia Tymoshenko, who was jailed in 2011, was freed and has flown to Kiev, where on Saturday, February 22, the Ukrainian Parliment voted to impeach and remove President Yanukovych. After the vote, protestors occupied and guarded the residential residence and compound.
SUMMARY (To date, 2/22/2014):
You have a weak American President, whose word is doubted, whose will on the international stage is questioned, and who is distracted domestically by his own many scandals and issues.
You have an emboldened and re-emergent Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, who has shown himself to be a strong Russian leader and willing to push the west, particularly in the absence of strong leadership in the United States.
You have a majority of the Ukrainian people who wish closer ties with the European Union, who are willing to stand a fight for those desires. This event is a clear example of what a dedicated, committed, populace can accomplish when they feel their rights and their constitutional constraints are being violated (perhaps America should remember this...and its own history). But you also have a large minority in the south and east of the country who wish a tighter alignment with Russia.
Hopefully, things will settle down and the Ukrainian people can come together without firther interference and decide what they want for their own country and do so in a peaceful and reasoned manner. However, there is already blood on the ground...on both sides...and that makes a peaceful and reasoned settlement all the more difficult.
Now the question is how all this ends.
need one here imho
Very good! Thanks for the synopsis.
Yes we do. A few million armed Americans heading into DC from the south, north and west would send a nice shock down their backs as they try to get out of town.
Look how our Revolution ended up. Obama is president and our Liberty is at risk everytime he opens his mouth or every time congress meets. The NSA spies on everyone all the time and the IRS tracks down dissidents.
Thank you so much for this informative essay-post, dear Jeff!
Besides, no one really pays attention to sub human mongrels.
Stories of the savagery and depravity of what the Soviet Union thugs did to the citizens of Ukraine are still being told to the people. They had Soviet rule once, and they don't want any more of it. Ever. And it's worth fighting and dying to remain free.
Great work, as always, JeffHead. Thank you.
“You have a weak American President, whose word is doubted, whose will on the international stage is questioned, and who is distracted domestically by his own many scandals and issues.”
Problem is, half of America doesn’t know this, and think he is cool and sexy.
No coup d’etat in Kyiv, says Sikorski
Feb. 22, 4:50 p.m. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in his Twitter that there is no coup d’etat in Kyiv, and backed most of the decisions taken by Ukraine’s parliament. “No coup in Kiev. Government buildings got abandoned. Speaker of Rada elected legally. President Viktor Yanukovych has 24h to sign 2004 Constiturtion. into law.”
"This event is a clear example of what a dedicated, committed, populace can accomplish when they feel their rights and their constitutional constraints are being violated (perhaps America should remember this...and its own history)."
At least he’s 1/3 lazy as well. That gives us time.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.