The latest Ukrainian protests are ongoing demonstration and a possible attempted coup that began 21 November 2013 and that has been going mainly on Maidan Nezalezhnosti and several government buildings in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, but also in several other Ukrainian cities. There have been several support operations abroad.
The protests began as demonstrations directed against a failure to cooperation between Ukraine and the EU as the opposition had hoped to give Ukraine a greater independence from Russia. While the demonstrations have been going on there has been acts of violence by governmental forces and from a trade agreement with Russia the focus of protests has shifted to a more general protest against President Viktor Yanukovych and Mykola Azarov government leading pro-Russian foreign policy and the use of violence against protesters. The most obvious reaction to the trade agreement with Russia is a conservative turn in the trend for the Ukrainian economy. Interest rates fell and the risk of a Ukrainian state bankruptcy has diminished. The demonstrations have been compared with the Orange Revolution in 2004.
In Kiev, the demonstrations have been going on almost daily since its launch November 21, 2013.
The demonstrations were highest on Sundays and reached its greatest extent 1 and 8 December, when 400,000 to 800,000 demonstrators gathered. Then participants fell to around 100,000 after Sunday and has since stabilized between 10,000 to 50,000 on Sundays, but far fewer other days.
The trade agreement with Russia, the beating of journalist Tetiana Chornovil, and terrorist conviction of three right-wing extremists and the subsequent violence scenes, the events during the time of the innings has given new impetus to the protests. The opposition got a second wind after a new law limiting freedom of assembly was introduced January 17, 2014. The law may complicate demonstrations, so Sunday, January 19 between 100 to 200,000 protesters gathered again on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in a peaceful demonstration, but in the vicinity of Parliament radical demonstrators clashed with the police. The opposition urged several times to the general strike to succeed in implementing its demands.
The demonstrations coincided with two annual events: The annual New Year’s concert on Maidan Nezalezhnosti gathered again this year about 200 000 people, but this year’s celebration was part of the protests and was arranged entirely by the protest leaders. On New Year’s Day 15,000 demonstrators from Svoboda and OUN marched through the streets of Kiev in the annual honoring of Stepan Bandera, some of the demonstrators were wearing old Ukrainian OUN uniforms.
The latest Ukrainian protests have been marked by brutal police violence, but also by the violent behavior of the protesters. Some of the protesters were armed with iron rods, crowbars, sticks, stones, chains, and smoke bombs. Protesters from different groups have been fighting with each other. Although the act of vandalism has occurred.
The former president Leonid Kravchuk took 9 December initiated a meeting between representatives of the government, but the opposition was not invited. The president Viktor Yanukovych issued an invitation to the opposition to discuss the existing crisis, but received no response.
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