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. After pilfering as much as he could from the country’s coffers, Viktor Yanukovich declined to join the European Union. The agreement meant a lot for the country’s economics progress and for the further improving relationship and becoming a part of the EU. Most of the civilized Ukrainian community was looking forward to signing the agreement that would later raise Ukrainian economics to European level without offending country’s uniqueness. Instead, the president made an announcement about his decision to start working closer with Russia. The country, well-known for it’s imperialistic tendencies , subordinating all smaller and weaker countries and treating those just as inferior provision providers, couldn’t possibly satisfy the needs and the pride of Ukrainian nation. That’s when the history of Ukrainian 2014 revolution started, more commonly known here as Euromaidan.
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 of Ukrainian truth, 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. In the year 2012 Yanukovich ranked 4th in the world on the list of “presidential expenses – average income” statistics.
Because his presidential term was coming to the end in 2014, Yanukovich was worried about keeping his position more than anything. Good relationship with Russia and applying some of Russian strategies would help him a lot. Before the summit, according to the government portal, prime-minister of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov insisted on the participation of Russia in consultations, so Russian side would make sure that agreements satisfy all Ukrainian and Russian needs. Also, Ukraine and Russia were mentioned as one side of participants. Because Russia was not supporting “European” future of Ukraine, and offered Yanukovich some “great” deals, the president failed to sign papers with EU.
The morning after the summit, on November 29, 2013 pro-government political party gathered people on the European square in Kiev, to show the support to the president; everyone was told that they will get paid 200 hryvnas for coming. Well-taught cameramen were recording cheerful happy people, taking the shots that would make the crowd seem bigger, and streaming on many leading TV channels. The event was against moral principles of many Ukrainians, but an “itch for money” made many seekers for easy profits show up and actually support the real corruption. Some of the people, from Eastern part of Ukraine mostly, were blindly supporting Yanukovich for many years, even after he failed to improve the quality of life and imposed new taxes, making it even harder for the people with low income.
At the same day after summit thousands of young people followed a reputable journalist’s Mustafa Nayem’s call – via social media, students decided to meet in the center of the city, on the Independence Square and stay for as long as necessary for peaceful protests until president changes his mind. The amount of protesters was pretty impressive and noticeable for local citizens, however, it was barely mentioned during the news and considered as insignificant event. According to honorable Ukrainian businessman and politician, Petro Poroshenko, Many Ukrainians preferred to build relationship with EU rather than with Russia, because many people’s mentality in Russia “got stacked” in the years of Soviet Union while most of Ukrainians have already moved on, so almost everyone in the country was disappointed. However, 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 late night time, because of multiple reasons, like cold and studying, many of them left for the night, with intention to come the next day. By the morning, around 500 harmless unarmed students that were still standing near the Independence Monument were attacked. At 4.30 am special police forces called “Berkut”,without any warnings started beating up everyone with batons, and dragging whoever they could catch to the police cars. At the same time, communal vehicles appeared and workers started cleaning up the square and preparing foundation for the Christmas tree like nothing had happened.
Ukrainians woke up and found out about the terrible night accident, and it changed the attitude of thousands and gave a life to new revolution. The night incident galvanized the country, a result the president was not expecting. All those radically minded people of all ages, started gathering on Myhaylivskiy square and by night all the crowd moved back to the Independence square and increased to almost 100 thousand people that wanted Yanukovich give up the presidency and demanding drastic changes in the government and laws. For the next 2 months revolutionaries occupied the center of the city, while well-paid special forces were trying to disorganize and weaken the revolution.
On December 8th presidential party organized protests against the revolution by bringing people from mostly Eastern part of Ukraine, were president had most of proponents, and “buying” them by promising good money for a small favor – supporting the president. On Sunday almost half of the million of people joined the national viche (gathering of community members to inform everybody of important events and come up with a collective planning for the near future) on the Independence square to vote for what they believed in. Some people started blocking entrances to the government blocks, building barricades and setting up tents. Next two and a half months people spent waiting, and fighting for every inch of the central streets with “Berkut” special forces.
Because some major disadvantages were caused by revolution, it made some people question the necessity of radical changes. For example, multiple stores and companies located in the center of the city could not function properly or at all for about 3 months. The price of Ukrainian currency on the International Market started speedily decrease, which shortly caused into increasing prices for all the products, so many foreign businessmen stopped investing their money in the country and small companies were either really struggling, or just falling apart. With the same salaries and prices up to two times higher than usual, many people had a really hard time making living, most of them even without participating in revolution. Hundreds of people that were supporting revolution financially from other cities would find their cars completely broken with the threatening notes, some people would be kidnapped and get beaten by some shady persons.
However, for Ukrainian economics it was important to move away from Soviet ideology that was lately propagandized a lot in some post-Soviet countries, especially Russia. Not signing papers with EU would be followed by closer partnership with Russia. The country would eventually become a part of Russian Federation, enriching their economy and destroying Ukrainian. Knowing Ukrainian president’s greed for money and power, the corruption in the country would keep increasing, slowly turning democracy into absolute dictatorship. People that decided to join revolution were mostly fighting AGAINST worsening the situation in the country, they got tired of a leader who does not lead country to the better future, but takes advantage of his high position for himself and his own family. New president wouldn’t necessarily rapidly solve all the problems in the country, but it was clear, that presidential madness and greed surpassed all the limits of disgrace of a normal human being.
People from all over the country couldn’t let that happen. They were leaving their jobs, families and moving to live in tents in cold winter believing that they can make the difference. Revolutionists were getting support not from the government or any organizations, but from millions of Ukrainians, who couldn’t be present in the Revolution camp physically, but could help by sending food, clothes, medication and whatever else was needed in the “small town” of Ukrainian revolution in the heart of the country. The structure of the camp was well-organized: within a few days, medical tents, information and announcements desks, tents with food and just for sleeping were set up all over the central streets. Volunteers were guarding all the important entrances, cooking food, improving barricades, taking care of sick people, all depending on skills and preferences. Many businessmen left their companies without oversight, their comfortable large houses and were working and living equally side by side with poor villagers that barely owned something financially valuable. The camp had its warm and friendly ambiance, it became popular among all the capital residents. Every person was welcome to sit near the fire place and get some dinner and hot tea absolutely for free.
On the other side of barricades, well-payed special units of “Berkut” and some Eastern Ukrainians that were supporting “Russian direction” and Yanukovich, were the only people left to refuse changes, even after army and police refused to join them. .Presidential party “Partiya Regioniv” organized transportation and provided tents, food, and warm clothes for people in Mariyinskiy park that were willing to support their president for promised 200 hryvnas, while lots of people were sleeping many days on the Independence Square without shelter. However, it didn’t work out well: “hired” supporters were fighting for food, cursing each other, they were angry and disappointed because some of them got paid just 50 instead of promised 200, while others didn’t get payed at all. Also, journalists from Korrespondent noticed some young males looking like sportsmen passing through the police circle without any restrictions. After making research on many photos and videos from reports they found information about some hired provokers from the presidential party that were supposed to start aggressive fights with police, to allow them use force against the protesters and then “sportsmen” would go deep behind policemen.
Police forces tried multiple times to break the defense of “Praviy sector”, main self-organized forces of the revolution, find the weakest spots and attack in the least expected moments. All the assaults were followed by beating up every reachable person , without looking at the age or gender, but still people could successfully keep the main camp undefeated. On one side, revolutionists kept the center of the city safe for the citizens, all the stores in the area were open and untouched, revolutionists respected public property, they weren’t violent and were not destroying anything. Public buildings that were occupied by revolutionists, mostly women and sick people, were clean and organized. On the other side, policemen that would win the control over some buildings, would violently break windows, doors, destroy all the provision, medications and small libraries organized in occupied buildings by activists, then leave and then blame everything on “violent revolutionists”.
On December 31st hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were celebrating the coming of New Year by lighting up their phones while singing Ukrainian National anthem. During Christmas holidays which are in first two weeks of January, the revolution camp was half empty, but still many people with an incredible power of will were not going to give up half way.Meanwhile, government, was trying to make the revolution fade away by chasing significant figures of the revolution, torturing and killing them one by one, breaking the cars of the people that were bringing provision to “Praviy Sector” and legalizing ridiculous 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.
By the end of February it was clear for everyone that there was no way back for either side. 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 no longer unnoticed, but Yanukovich after years of spoiling himself wasn’t willing to give up on his power and treasures.
Things got worse when president decided to resort to drastic actions – On February 18th, the president implemented a law that would allow police to 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. Police were trying to scare people away by pouring icy water from water cannons, while professional snipers were injuring some of the most active protesters. 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.
On the third day police forces realized that they can’t win the fight against the huge amount of people – no matter what they do, they just met higher resistance every hour. They started running away to Hrushevskogo street, where they started shooting unarmed protesters and medics, including women and teenagers. The only thing people had to protect themselves from snipers were wooden shields. Some revolutionists were getting shot, but others wouldn’t give up, or leave their friends dying, people kept walking forward with thin wooden shields that couldn’t protect them from bullets, but would give them hope and belief that the entire nation can’t be stopped. More than a hundred people were killed and lots more were injured that day, but thanks to them, revolution succeeded – president ran away to Russia, and the country started restoring from his destructive presidency.
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2.”Yanukovych was not stealing hats. He was convicted of stealing a watch” Ukrainian Truth. Web. 27 May 2004. 3 December 2015
3.“Poroshenko: We are moving away from the “scoop” * and not from Russia” Korrespondent. Web 26 November 2013. 3 December 2015
4. ”Mykola Azarov: Further consultations between the EU and Ukraine should be held with the participation of Russia“Korrespondent. Web 27 November 2013. 3 December 2015
7. “Viktor Yanukovich” Wikipedia. Web.25 November 2015. 3 December 2015
8.” The auto park of Yanukovich will be filled up with confiscated Mercedes Benz S600″ Novosti mira. Web 28 May 2012. 3 December 2015