Euromaidan

guys, if anyone’s reading this, please share it! we are practically getting killed now in Ukraine! our inside forces and police started using Kalashnikov’s and there is a lot of fire on the main street of Kiev. people are dying on the streets, hospitals are full. underground is closed, there is no way to get in or out of the city. please spread the word!!! everyone has to know what’s going on here!

EDIT/UPDATE TO: “PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST! Tomorrow, Ukrainians will be cut off from the world; no internet, no television, no telephones.”

EDIT: This post was made in January 2014 when I saw a Facebook article stating there was a very real possibility of massive censorship in Ukraine. Many friends of mine had shared the article, and the above title was a statement I saw with each post. Naturally, I became scared, both for my family and the people in Ukraine. I felt I needed to do something, anything, to spread awareness. I gathered the information that I could and created this post.

I understand now that the wording of the title is misleading. This was due to the article I read (found here) that stated the situation as such (there’s now a note from the editor, basically saying the info in the article was sensationalized). My intention was not to spread false information; however, I’m fully aware that this post and the information below is now a bit outdated. I’m including some updated links at the end of this edit, as many of the links now don’t work. Addressing the comments accusing me of using this information to just get notes and attention: in no way was I doing this for personal gain. It was a desperate attempt to spread awareness during a time where it seemed no one in the world knew what was going on apart from those within the Ukrainian community. 

~NEW INFORMATION~

BBC News compiled a collection of links about the crisis in Ukraine (found here). You’ll find articles providing more background on the crisis, updates on the MH17 crash, the occupation of Crimea, and more. The latest post seems to be from October 2015.

Here’s a similar collection from NBC News. This includes general updates on Ukraine in general as well, such as issues in Parliament, the migrant crisis and more. The latest post is from December 2015.

A December 2015 update on the extension of the Minsk II agreement, which outlines measures needed to be taken to hopefully end the conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

A live reddit thread on the conflict: https://www.reddit.com/live/3rgnbke2rai6hen7ciytwcxadi

A regularly-updated map (fueled by eyewitness reports) on what’s going on in Ukraine: http://liveuamap.com/

It’s not a very extensive list, but hopefully will be enough for those you interested in Keeping Up with the Konflict in Ukraine. There’s also an Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary, “Winter on Fire,” that is a great look into the conflict from 2013 to 2014. Some links: Wikipedia; New York Times.


Keep reading

You’ve probably seen at least some of the riot porn/“heroic protester” pics from the Ukraine these past few months (if not, here’s an example).

A BRIEF INTRO TO WHAT’S HAPPENING

Mainstream media’s take on the protests’ cause is Ukraine shooting down a cooperation agreement with the EU - protesters want that cooperation, rather than continuing to align the country with Russia.

What’s been happening on the streets: “mass demonstrations of many hundreds of thousands in the winter cold, people blockading government buildings, attacking a presidential palace and occupying the city government office, calls for president and government to resign, talk of a general strike”.

ISN’T THE PROTEST JUST FIGHTING FOR NEOLIBERALISM, BY ALLYING WITH THE EU?

That’s what some say - and even go as far as to say that protesting against Russian influence, even if it’s for neoliberal trade policies, may be necessary to challenge neoliberal capitalism in the long term - by ensuring political liberty in the here and now. I don’t agree!

There are a few decent posts on Libcom about what’s happening. A great one is Ukraine: what’s going on, and what does it mean?. According to that:

  • The business elite in the east of the Ukraine, including the president Yanukovych, are allied with Russia. Those in the west want closer business ties with the EU i.e. the business elite as a whole straddles the two, slightly leaning towards Russia.
  • The draft agreement would cause mass unemployment in the Ukraine, fuel bill rises, and would probably lead to Greek-style austerity.
  • The draft agreement was refused not because of any care for the Ukrainian people - it was simply because it didn’t generate enough income for the eastern elites, even though it would have bolstered western business elites with lucrative contracts.

…but a conflict between two warring business factions wouldn’t put hundreds of thousands in the street in the freezing winter, facing police brutality.

There are two separate sections to the protest: one political party dominated, and one by Occupy-inspired students that reject the binary party politics. These students grew up without the Soviet Union, and see themselves as part of Europe and not the corruption-ridden pro-Russian business policies - they just also don’t back the business-run EU integration that political parties want either.

A pertinent quote: “So far, most of the opposition leaders have refused to heed students’ requests to get rid of party symbols.”

The DIY horizontal attitude the student side is taking is an interesting remedy to the “general strike” pushed by the pro-business opposition parties. The danger is that they get too hung up on fighting for a mythical idealised EU that doesn’t reflect what us in the EU live in and see (more on that in  ‘Europe’ in Ukraine: many things to lots of people)

AREN’T THE PROTESTERS ALL FASCISTS?

The existence of fascists in the movement is undeniable. See photo evidence here and here.

Ukrainian nationalism seems to have an anti-Russian spin that focuses ire on Russian-speaking Ukrainians, rather than the oppressive state of Russia, enforcing an idea of what being a “real Ukrainian” is. This element sees the EU as a weapon to use against Russia and anything associated with Russia - not a progressive idea (unsurprisingly).

Fascists may have been behind much-shared-by-Western-radicals attempt to storm the presidential palace with a bulldozer (I hold my hands up as excitedly sharing the pic without being critical enough), and the occupation of a city government building.

However, these fascists are not the whole movement. A lot of it, as mentioned above, is people decrying the poverty forced on them in the Ukraine despite the growing wealth of dictators (see one example in comments of this Libcom article). However, that anti-elite element may be unwittingly siding with fascists in the (misplaced) idea of “we’re all in this together”.

To be blunt, I have no idea whether the fascist force outnumbers the anti-corruption anti-police-violence student-led movement. In my eyes, it’s an open question.

The reinvigorated crackdown by authorities on protest, based on new legal powers equating protest with “extremism”, threatens to cut off the Ukraine from us.

I hope our comrades in the Ukraine come out of this fighting. My fingers are crossed.

6

In Focus: Bloody Battles in Kiev

Flames engulfed the main anti-government protest camp on Kiev’s Independence Square as riot police tried to force demonstrators out following the bloodiest clashes in three months of protests. The iconic square turned into a war zone as riot police moved slowly through opposition barricades, hurling stun grenades and using water cannon to clear protestors. At least thirteen people were killed and scores injured today, as protestors took back control of Kiev’s city hall just two days after vacating the building. Also, see: Ukraine’s Revolution Is Being Broadcast Live.

Read more.

You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests. This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century.
— 

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, about Russia’s response to the fascist coup in Ukraine, on NBC’s Meet the Press, March 2, 2014

JOKE OF THE WEEK from the mouthpiece of the the U.S. administration that invaded Libya, threatens to bomb Syria, regularly massacres civilians with drones, proclaims its right to assassinate anyone anywhere anytime, is re-colonizing Africa, continues to occupy Afghanistan, etc.

Thanks to Tanya Gilbert

I wonder if Kerry’s speechwriters realize that they just wrote his epitaph…

Hotels in Kiev Are Being Used as Makeshift Morgues As the Death Toll Rises

Last night, protesters and police made an uneasy truce in Kiev, but this morning the ceasefire was well and truly broken as blood was shed once more in the streets of the Ukrainian capital. The death toll keeps rising. The Kyiv Post is reporting that at least 37 people have been killed—mainly from police gunshots. Yesterday, the country’s Lviv region declared independence from the central government after protesters seized the prosecutor’s office and the police surrendered.

President Yanukovych is today meeting with EU foreign ministers, and the EU will discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions. Yet it looks like Russia will prop up the Ukrainian economy by buying £1.2 billion in government bonds. Obama didn’t think much of this, attacking Putin for Russia’s role in the crisis and claiming to be “on the side of the people.”

VICE UK’s news editor, Henry Langston, is on the streets of Kiev. He called us this morning to give us an update on the situation.

VICE: Hi, Henry. Things sound pretty horrible out there. What can you tell me?
Henry: I’ve already seen several bodies, which have definitely been hit by gunshots. One guy was wearing a Kevlar vest but without the armour plate; there was a huge hole in it with blood surrounding it. They draped the bodies in a Ukrainian flag. They were young men, possibly in their mid 20s. Earlier, some protesters were shot when they were charging towards some police vans.

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Can you tell me how the truce broke down? I thought Yanukovych and the opposition leaders were trying to bring some stability to the situation.
At about 8 AM, the protesters re-took the parts of Independence Square that police had withdrawn from as part of the truce. In retaliation to that, the police opened fire. I have been shown rounds from handguns. There are lots of worried people; these people cannot fight against AK-47s. They have shields and clubs. We haven’t seen any guns on the protesting side. That said, there are reports that outside of Kiev a large number of weapons were seized by protesters who stormed government buildings.

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