Written by Chris Stockdale
On the 13th of March, 2012 the European Union prepared to finalize an association agreement. However, due to the Ukraine’s deterioration of political freedom as well as the corruption prevalent in the former soviet nation, association talks began to slow. Despite president Yanukovych’s assurance that Ukrainian law would soon align with that required by the EU, all progress effectively stopped after reports of industrial production had fallen by 5.4%.
On the 21st of November, 2013 a government decree officially ceased all association talks with the EU as the government began taking steps towards a pro-Russian trade alliance. It was at this point that the Euromaidan demonstrations began. Starting as peaceful protests, they were quickly escalated by police brutality into a series of domestic-skirmishes.
By December the Euromaidan movement had become the next Orange Revolution, a similar series of protests that lead to Yanukovych’s resign in 2004.
On January 16th, 2014 as what is now known in the Ukraine as “Black Thursday”, the government passed laws prohibiting any and all forms of public protest, assembly, and restricting heavily the Ukrainian’s freedom of speech. These laws have taken on the name “The Dictatorship Laws”.
January 21st saw the most radical of these protests to date. Being streamed live by multiple sources, what is now being called the “Ukrainian Revolution” has seen massive support from both western and southern Ukraine, with more protesters arriving daily, in spite of heavy police presence.
On January 22nd, the Kiev protesters organized both an opposition government, as well as an election council. Despite efforts to seek a peaceful resolution, Yanukovych’s government continues to resist opposition demands.
As of today (January 24th), Euromaidan still holds Independence square in Kiev. Though suffering hundreds of injuries as well as up to ten deaths, as well as losing small amounts of ground to police forces, the Kiev protesters have erected their second barricade and are determined to see the laws that were forced upon them repealed.
A live feed of the events can be found here:
For live updates on the situation, an active thread is available on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/1vwshh/ukraine_revolt_livestream_sticky_post/