News update: current events in Ukraine

By Nick March
Business Manager

A revolution began in Ukraine shortly after its former President voted against an association agreement with the European Union. With this decision, the Ukrainian people began to fight against their government with hope of taking down the leaders that have pushed them to revolt. Protests began in mid December as Pro-European protest organizations were able to take over Kiev and occupy state buildings. With Kiev taken by the people, government opposition was sent in through the form of riot police. As tensions began to heat up, it became clear a peaceful solution was going to be harder to reach.

The people of Ukraine are torn between three political parties. One is the uprising of Ukraine that would be controlled by the people who believe this is Ukraine’s civil war. The second is the Ukrainian people who support current government leaders and hope the uprising is brought to a close as quickly as possible. The third are Ukrainians hoping for the Russian government to step in. With no certain leader, it became hard to tell where the future of Ukraine was heading.

Through the winter, Ukraine was in a political stalemate between the uprising of the people and their corrupt government. In mid January, laws were passed that said no protester could wear a mask nor were they allowed to set up tents without police permissions. The laws were then later repealed and the Prime Minister Azorov stepped down.

February kicks off as the most violent month as protesters and police clash harder than ever before. Then the Ukrainian government started to make deals with protesters, such as Kiev were to be released from the opposition for the exchange of the release of over 200 imprisoned protesters. After a few days of peace following the release of Kiev, the people started to fight the police yet again. As violence continued, Ukrainian President Yanukovych fled the country on February 22 and Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister, was released from jail. Days later Ukraine created a temporary government and gave Olesksandr Turnchinov presidential power. The new government then created a warrant for Yankukovych’s arrest.

As February comes to an end, Yankukovych was found in Russia. Yankukovych has been colluding with the Russian government and Vladimir Putin since he declined the trade agreement between Ukraine and The European Union. In December, Russia had announced they were buying fifteen billion dollars worth of Ukrainian government bonds. With Russia having a bigger role in this than was thought people became uneasy over the future of Ukraine.

Now, in the beginning of March, Russian soldiers take over Crimea, which is a peninsula connecting to Russia and the Ukraine. With the fear of Russia taking over all of Ukraine Obama and the U.S. government promise there would be costs for such an aggressive move. Secretary of State John Kerry then traveled to Kiev and promised a one billion dollar loan to help regain assets. With the Russians still in Crimea and no decision from the United Nations Ukraine could be the start of a much bigger issue as tensions across the world increase.

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