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January 29, 2014
January 29, 2014

A simple summary of the events in Ukraine for my international friends

Categories: Letters from home, Protest
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A simple summary of the events in Ukraine for my international friends

1. The nationwide protests started on November 21 as a result of the government backing out of EU association that the people were led to believe we were steadily moving towards.

2. The government tried to remove the protesters forcefully which led to even larger scale protests and international attention.

3. To avoid unwanted international attention, the nation was seemingly left by the government to protest as they wished. Meanwhile, the government used all possible methods to intimidate the protesters (e.g., journalists and activists got beaten and stabbed, their cars were burned down, etc.) and sabotage the peaceful assembly.

4. During the two months of the peaceful protests, the government did not satisfy any of the demands of the opposition and totally ignored the voice of the people.

5. Since the ignoring, the intimidation, and the violent provocations from the thugs paid by the government (called titushky) did not scare the people off, the president signed the laws that essentially limit the freedom of speech and the right for peaceful assembly.

6. The approval of the laws that go against basic human rights, after two months of ignoring the nation, caused the eruption of the protests of a more intense nature that resulted in clashes with the police.

7. The attempt to remove the protesters ready to oppose the police was made. The police shot with plastic, rubber, and metal bullets at the protesters who possess no firearms. A lot of journalists and medical personnel received serious injuries as they were clearly targeted. Five people were killed.

8. The evidence of the brutality of the police forces and their active use of physical torture towards the activists continued surfacing. The recorded cases include the captured activists being stripping naked and shot at with rubber bullets, held naked in the snow and beaten, held naked and stepped on to take a memorable picture, and many more.

9. The evidence of the police empowering and protecting groups of thugs, hired by the government for the sole purpose of violence against the anti-governmental protesters, also continued surfacing. Such evidence left the people desperate for change and firmly instilled the belief that there is no other way out than the resignation of the president and the parliament.

10. The violent and openly criminal actions of the government brought about the changes in all regions of Ukraine, including those that traditionally experienced more pro-soviet propaganda and stronger repressions. The event of particular significance here being the occupation or blocking of regional administrations that are in direct subordination to the president. In the regions where people succeeded to gain control over the regional administrations, citizen councils were formed.

11. Several rounds of negotiations between the president and the opposition took place over the past week. The offer of the governmental positions was rejected by the leaders of the opposition. Some developments in the parliament (i.e. the resignation of the PM and abolition of the non-democratic laws) took place on January 28.


1. the government is working hard on increasing the size of the internal forces. (Note, I have been using the notion “police” to refer to both, the police and the internal forces who share functions and are equally involved in oppressing the people.)

2. the police are covering for the actions of the paid thugs (not interfering when those thugs attack the protesters, hiding evidence after the thug activity) and harassing the citizens (arresting people on the streets because they are wearing helmets, confiscating driver’s licenses from people who are participating in car rallies in support of the anti-governmental protests, approaching people for buying wood or carrying warm clothes, and interfering in all possible ways to prevent the people from supporting each other in their attempt to gain a democratic society)

3. the people are opposing the police in the attempts to gain control over regional administrations, trying to protest peacefully, trying to survive under the conditions when state-protected criminals are protecting the criminals who rule the country.

Thank you for your support!


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A simple summary of the events in Ukraine for my international friends by Nadiya Slobodenyuk is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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