When presidential corruption surpasses all the limits and the entire nation suffers because of unfair one-sided laws and low salaries, every next decision made by the president can be turned into provocation against the society and cause big revolutionary movement. Viktor Yanukovich, became a president of Ukraine in 2010 and since that moment he has done everything to enrich himself, while every average person had to struggle because of new laws and fees.
Yanukovich had a questionable reputation way before his first appearance on the presidential election in 2005. At his young age he was convicted twice for the theft and the infliction of bodily harm. These facts didn’t stay unnoticed by the journalists, and shortly it became generally known. Regardless of the negative attitude to Yanukovich, he managed to win the election with a small lead. It caused a national indignation and Orange Revolution because people believed that it was an obvious cheating. The Supreme Court agreed to hold the third round of the election, which Yanukovich lost to his opponent Viktor Ushchenko.
However, once it was time for new election 4 years later, Yanukovich took the presidential seat without resistance. It became possible for him, because the high expectations of the people that were supporting Ushchenko did not turn into reality, and there was no new promising candidate, so many of them were just generally tired and disappointed. Once Yanukovich became a president he cleared his criminal history with the help of a court hearing, which recognized his convictions illegal.
For the next few years, bit by bit, he was taking advantage of his position by enriching himself in every possible way. For example, almost every month his security cortege would get brand new models of Mercedes vehicles. While hundreds thousands of dollars were spent just on the presidential transportation, all the previous models would always mysteriously disappear. By the year 2012 Yanukovich ranked 4th in the world on the list of “presidential expenses – average income” statistics.
When the president of Ukraine failed to sign the agreements with the European Union on November 29, students’ response was immediate – via social media, they decided to meet in the center of the city, on the Independence Square and stay for as long as necessary for the president to change his mind. Although almost everyone in the country was mad and disappointed, the situation wasn’t anywhere close to critical or unexpected, so just young adults were willing to fight for changes, while most of elderly people, and middle-aged adults weren’t motivated enough to make any actual moves against the government.
By the morning, around 500 harmless unarmed students that were still standing near the Independence Monument were attacked. Special police forces “Berkut”without any warnings started beating up everyone with batons, and drag whoever they could catch to the police cars. Upon waking up and reading the news, people were shocked. The nation could no longer deal with presidential inhumanity and lawlessness. The night incident galvanized the country, a result the president was not expecting. Thousands of people of all ages, started gathering together in the central squares asking for justice. For the next 2 months revolutionaries occupied the center of the city, demanding drastic changes in the government and laws, while well-paid special forces were trying to disorganize and weaken the revolution.
By the end of February it became already clear for everyone that there was no way back. After spending almost 3 months in the cold, fighting against the dictatorship, surviving in cold winter with almost no shelter and just support by other people from all over the country protesters could no longer afford giving up. The president and his associates realized that their crimes were not unnoticed anymore, but Yanukovich after years of spoiling himself wasn’t willing to give up on his power and treasures. He started enacting new ridiculous and dictatorial laws. For example, using helmets became illegal, punishable by jail without a court hearing. Because many people in the “Occupy” camp were using helmets, almost all the time, they automatically became criminals.
On February 18th the president implemented a law that would allow police use a real weapons against the protesters. All the special police forces were sent to the center of the city and were commanded to regain control of the Independence Square and all the adjacent streets. The assaults on the revolution camp were continuously happening for 3 days in a row, trying to exhaust already tired people and take the control over the situation by force. However, as soon as people got notifications about the latest news from Maydan, many left their job places, and rushed to the center of the capital to join the revolutionary forces. Police were trying to scare people away by pouring icy water on them, while professional snipers were injuring some of the most active protesters.
On February 22nd, policemen realized that no matter what they do, they just met higher resistance every hour. They started backing up while snipers were trying to shoot dead as many people as they could. Protesters with wooden shields, doctors with no body armor would get killed or injured while they were trying to just get bodies of the people that still could be saved. After policemen ran away, the country found out that president was no longer at his residence, and a few weeks after running away, he announced his presence far away in Russia.
- “History of Euromaidan” Insider. Web. 18 November 2015
- “History of Euromaidan: from the peaceful protests to bloody shooting” iPress.ua.21 November 2014. Web. 18 November 2015