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What Ukraine’s protest is about

Euromaidan HQ (Kyiv)

Soon after Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych came to power in 2010, he began installing an authoritarian regime. Corruption grew widespread. Yanukovych started persecuting activists and political opponents. Among them, his election rival Yulia Tymoshenko was jailed.

In 2012, Yanukovych decided to reactivate negotiations on Ukraine’s Association and Free Trade agreements with the European Union. Absolute majority of Ukrainians took that as the natural, only possible and long-awaited choice of bringing Ukraine back to the European family.

On November 28, 2013 summit in Vilnius, President Yanukovych abruptly refused to sign the already negotiated, and widely desired, agreements with the EU. His explanations were, and still are, an illogical and deceptive rant. This looks like escape from Europe and cruel fraud of his own people. Yanukovych betrayed Ukrainians.

Immediately, millions of indignant citizens poured onto streets of Ukrainian cities; worldwide wave of solidarity actions started. Permanent peaceful rally began on the central Maidan Square in capital Kyiv. But authoritarian President Yanukovych became irritated and intolerant of peaceful protest.

On the night of November 30, police brutally cracked down the rally in Kyiv, applying illegally excessive violence to peaceful protesters. Women and journalists are among dozens of injured. Authorities were quick to cover up and downplay the real extent and consequences of the bash. 

The whole Ukraine rose up after such a brutality. Even citizens loyal to Viktor Yanukovych repudiated him en mass. More and more people, already hundreds of thousands, take to the streets every day for peaceful, utterly non-violent protest. But the President keeps on using force against them and instigating violent provocations. Police and troops are fully mobilized; tension rises.

Ukrainians will not tolerate all that. Their demands are:

– Prosecution of those responsible for bashing peaceful protesters.

– End of political persecutions and release of innocent prisoners.

– Resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers.

– Immediate signing of the Ukraine-EU agreements on Association and Deep Comprehensive Free Trade.

– Early elections of the Parliament and President.

Yanukovych is defiant and avoiding consensus with its own people. Instead, he seeks protection from Vladimir Putin. The price for that protection: Ukraine’s submission to the Russian project of resurrecting the Soviet Union disguised as a trade block.

We are here to make President of Ukraine stick to the democratic principles of interacting with his own people. We are here, because we want the large European nation of Ukraine back to the European family of nations.

We are also here to thank all those thousands of people around the globe who already support with words and deeds our struggle for free Ukraine. Your help makes us even stronger.

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