For a long time now the protests in Ukraine have not been about a wish to be a part of either the European Union or the Custom Union; it is the desire of an entire nation to live in a free and democratic country free from a corrupt a brutal government.
In November 2013 the whole world was a witness to massive peaceful protests in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. At that point people were showing their wish to become a part of Europe. For Ukrainians closer ties to Europe meant to finally have:
– uncorrupted police
– uncorrupted courts
– uncorrupted ministers
– economic growth
– new opportunities
– and to be free of Russian dominance
However, Nov. 30 became a turning point for Ukraine and changed the nature of the rallies.
The moment the special police unit “Berkut” forcefully broke up the peaceful protest of students at the Independence Square, these rallies stopped being about Euro-integration and developed into anti-government protests aimed at President Viktor Yanukovich.
The dissatisfaction had been building for long time and focused on particularly glaring abuses of power:
- police raping women without punishment
- judges being bribed
- governmental branches involved in corruption
- people forced to do illegal actions at work on penalty of being fired.
- politicians stsealing public money and buying properties abroad.
- families of politicians suddenly becoming bankers, businessmen and multi-millionaires.
For years the situation in the country had been getting worse and the Association Agreement with EU became a new hope for many Ukrainians.
However, the Yanukovich government not only took this hope away, but has also turned violent against its own people. It became the last straw for many Ukranians who rose up against lawlessness and are now fighting for the right to live free and fearless in their country.
As Ukraine entered the fourth month of protests, it became clear this conflict couldn’t be solved by compromise. The people no longer believe Yanukovich’s promises and understand he has no intention of stepping down.
The president, who had been jailed two times, wants to set “prison rules” in the country and he will use any means to achieve his goals, including turning on his own people.
Nearly 70 Ukrainians were killed and hundreds were injured during the clashes in Kiev on Feb. 20. While the foreign ministers are meeting with the president and opposition leaders in an attempt to solve the crises without more violence and death, opposition is galvanizing. More and more Ukrainians coming to Independence Square to help their “brothers” and “sisters” to defend Ukraine.
Historically the Ukrainian nation was fighting for its freedom and it is even seen in the words of national anthem: “Souls and bodies we’ll lay down, all for our freedom”…. Today, Ukrainians are ready to “lay down” their lives for their freedom and they won’t give up until they bring down the ruling regime.