Peace leapt into the air there is today 10 years in Ukraine. On November 21, 2013, the then Ukrainian government, led by the authoritarian regime Viktor Yanukovychannounced its intention to strengthen its relations with Russia and not sign a long-negotiated agreement with the European Union (EU) for greater integration of the Slavic country into the community club.
It was the spark that lit the fuse of Euromaidan (Fromaidan). A citizen protest that ended three months later with dozens of deaths, Yanukovych’s flight from the country and the end of international balances existing between the West and Moscow since the end of the Cold War. What was broken was not put back together.
Several smoldering crises since the dismemberment of USSR (of which Ukraine was a part), and geopolitical fault lines with an enormous draft, they overcame at that time and contributed to the outbreak of the revolt.
On the one hand, his the pulse with Moscow (firmly opposed to moving away from its sphere of influence to the neighboring country) and the West (favorable to the integration of Ukraine into its international organizations); on another side, the internal contrast between the two Ukraines, one Russian-speaking (mainly in the industrialized south and east) and more economically integrated with Russia, and the other determined to break this link; underlying everything, the unresolved question of generalization corruption and social injustice which afflicts this country endowed with great resources and enormous potential.
So much so that the Euromaidan protest arose from the ashes of the so-called Orange Revolutionfueled in 2004 mainly by opposition political parties, but which then betrayed many promises policies, legitimate desires for change and protests from a population also tired of a real scourge in the Slavic country: its oligarchs. Millionaires who, in many cases, after independence from Ukraine (1991) looted strategic industries and they massively occupied the spaces of economic and political power of the new state.
This has widened the gap between those who have more and those who have less. “Ukraine is a potentially rich country turned into poor because of a tragic story. In the years since independence, Ukraine has grown with the region, but despite high expectations, it has been a bitter disappointment,” reads a 2012 report from the Carniege Institute.
In this incendiary climate, in November 2013, a handful of young people settled on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square in kyiv), while other similar protests began to take place in different cities across the country. Initially with the public slogan of liberation a non-partisan demonstrationin favor of Europe and against the Ukrainian government, the demonstrators quickly ended up sharing the stage with representatives of the political opposition unlike Yanukovych. One of them: former boxer Vitaly Klitschko, then head of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) and now mayor of kyiv.
Thus, if Europe had initially been the magic word who united the demonstrators, then the different crises Ukrainian they meltedtransforming into an explosive cocktail.
The protest was also led by the Yanukovych, who reacted rigidly to dissent. The first critical moment was the accusation made by the police against the students on the night of November 29-30. After this, the use of violence against protesters led to during massive demonstrations that the president and his entourage could no longer control.
Peaceful mobilizations then they radicalized, also due to the emergence of far-right youth groups, who began to clash more frequently with the Ukrainian police. At the same time, the square began to openly demand Yanukovych’s resignation. In response, the Ukrainian executive has promoted various laws against freedom of concentration and expression.
There European diplomacywho had initially absentmindedly supported the protesters, then I tried to mediate. But it was not successful. One of Yanukovych’s rare attempts to calm things down: his decision to promulgate the February 1 law was also not effective. an amnesty law for those arrested during the demonstrations. It had no effect. The demonstrations continued and gave rise to increasingly violent clashes.
At that time, a dark episode was the leak of a conversation between the ambassador for European Affairs of UNITED STATES, Victoria Nuland, and the ambassador to kyiv, Geoffrey Pyatt. At one point in the conversation where it is suggested that the EU is being too lukewarm on Ukraine, Nuland says: “And you know, Fuck the EU“.
Then, between February 18 and 20, everything got out of control. Protesters They attempted to enter Parliament and attacked several public buildingswhich led to the bloodiest episodes of the protest: more than 100 dead in the clashes between demonstrators and riot police (the hated Berkut). “This senseless loss of life is deeply disturbing,” John Dalhuisen, director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia section, said on February 20.
In these circumstances, on February 22, the Ukrainian Parliament impeaches Yanukovychwho fled to Russia denouncing what he described as a Rebellion. Ukraine thus enters two other major crises: first in Crimea, then in eastern Ukraine, fueled by separatist tensions in these territories and supported by Russia. Germ of current world disorder.