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Ukrainian journalist explains 10 things that the West needs to know about the situation in Kiev
ILKIV ARAS January 23, 2014 2:48 p.m. 431135278
[ Editor's Note : . " 10 things to understand the situation in Kiev" This article was submitted by the Business Insider Ilkiv Taras , who felt it was necessary to write these Ilkiv is the editor of Newsradio . com.ua , the site of the Voice of Capital and former editor of Korrespondent.net . It is Ivano- Frankivsk in western Ukraine, and lived in Kiev for the past seven years. The opinions expressed in this article are his own . ]
People are fighting for their rights, not to join the EU.
Protests in Ukraine are not pro - EU ( as written in most international news agencies ) . Breaking the association agreement with the European Union in November is only through local events . But after a peaceful student demonstration was violently dispersed by the " Berkut " [ special police ] in Kiev on November 30 , a million angry people have taken their outrage at the central square of the capital. Since then, the rebellion was not if, transformed into revolt against the government demanding the resignation of Prime Minister and Interior Minister and also the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych place . Most people are tired of the total corruption in all spheres of life and the lack of justice and compassion security officials . The middle class has become the engine of protest from harassment by tax agencies. Now , the event joined with the Radicals, who actually started a violent confrontation Sunday , tired of waiting for action by the Liberal opposition. However, they have the support of the majority of protesters.
The aim of these events is the democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych
During the presidential elections in 2010, according to the testimony of international observers , Viktor Yanukovych legitimately beat his main opponent - the famous wife and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Then, during his government, authorities sentenced for a gas contract with Russia disadvantageous and sentenced to seven years in prison! After Yanukovych and his government did not dare to go against the Russians and review the contract and settle the matter in court. This event has spoiled relations of the President of Ukraine with Western leaders . President Obama ignores Yanukovych and Putin - that Tymoshenko signed gas contracts in 2009 - declared its readiness to accept treatment of Tymoshenko in Russia for their disease .
Many Ukrainians are fed by the power of the "family"
Called the family ( of informal power structure , composed of officials close to the president ) is a very important part of the difficult situation in the country , as some of the most profitable sectors of the Ukrainian economy are under your control. This structure follows the expansion of the media market through the acquisition of large publishing houses . The largest media holding company , which publishes Forbes and other major brands, was recently acquired by 300 to $ 400 million . In addition, as most critics chains have tried to avoid the authorities, more or less real news were available on the Internet. The total wealth of the president's son, Alexander Yanukovych, who has tripled , reaching $ 510 million in recent years, and the President himself will not explain how this could happen.
Another problem : the high power vertical Ukraine
During his reign Yanukovych has transformed the country a parliamentary republic with a presidential system. He built a solid chain of command , where all power structures , tax services , prosecutors and the courts are directly subordinated to his will. He not only used as a tool to decimate your opponents, but also to solve their personal affairs.
People find it difficult to discover the truth
Ukraine has almost no independent media on the Internet. Some of the industrial East , bordering Russia , do not even know the truth about what is happening in Kiev. Central TV channels do not show, or distort information. The press is monopolized or owned by the oligarchs . Until recently , the only real island of freedom was the Internet , but last Friday Yanukovych signed a law that allows any party seeking to close all sites without notice or trial under minor complaint . Journalists face enormous pressure and extensive campaigns to discredit them. A journalist Tatiana Chornovol , who wrote about the wealth of Yanukovych, was recently beaten by five elements ( December 2013 ) .
Bullying has become a part of everyday life
In this strong repressive apparatus , courts and prosecutors can intimidate and public figures who disagree with the regime. Some people were forced to flee abroad , while others are privately owned . President attack in the courts, but everyone understands that the courts are fully controlled by it. For example , Yanukovych signed a law Friday allows a person to be convicted in his absence at the hearing, as it was at the time of Stalin in the mid-twentieth century. The government committed fighters even special sports clubs that perform "dirty" work to intimidate people who disagree . Many former supporters of Yanukovych lost their businesses in recent years due to the expansion of the family empire . The reporters found that this structure , which is controlled by the president's son , began to absorb more and more of other people's property .
The opposition is weak
The Ukrainian opposition going through difficult times . He is represented by at least three political forces. Part , which was once headed by Tymoshenko repeatedly been elected to Parliament and is widely discredited , but still elected. The second is led by world champion Vitali Klitschko boxing , and was able to get a lot of support lately. They were called the most suitable party for the presidential post. The third force is the nationalists, who gained popularity due to the success of their radicals among the electorate disillusioned slogans. After two months of protest , none of the parties have reached a compromise with the government , and none offered any clear plan of action for people. The leaders of the three parties are fighting among themselves implicitly to the position of single opposition candidate in the elections 2015. Their radicals were disappointed uncoordinated actions , which are now in conflict with the police Sunday, January 19 . After four days of bloody clashes , political leaders have been unable to find a way out of the situation. They have no control in the riots .
Units " Berkut " is a particular problem
The essence of the Yanukovych regime are Special Forces " Berkut " , the troops that are part of the Ministry of Interior. Although they do not have official status, they are formed by specially trained police officers to quell the uprising. Their number is small - only four miles - but they are particularly gross and received a good salary for his work. Only in recent days have been pictures circulating on the web these special forces beating peaceful protestors and journalists. Recently, they have had the protesters , stripped and doused with water at 14 ° C. In addition, these days, they fired indiscriminately on demonstrators - an act that is clearly contrary to the law. It is important to note that so far , the army has refused to defend the regime of Yanukovych and fight against the people, according to Ukrainian sources.
Most people think that the West has been too passive
Until this week the reaction of the United States and other Western countries for events in Ukraine was very discreet . Many protesters do not really believe that the EU and the United States are ready to help Ukrainians defend democratic values. In addition, there were rumors in the local press that America has decided to give Ukraine for Putin in exchange for an increased influence of the United States to Syria and other hot spots. The first change was detected on 22 January, when the United States finally announced visa sanctions against officials involved in the violence against peaceful demonstrators in the capital of Ukraine, after the death of several people at the event Kiev . The European Union has published diplomatic statements , saying he will not impose sanctions yet . Here's an interesting fact : For a tourist visa to visit a few days for the European Union , Ukrainians have to go through a very complex procedure and pay a fee of 35 € (the average wage in Ukraine is about € 300). All staff involved in the program Yanukovych has the right to travel freely within the EU.
The protests have been surprisingly innovative
If you walk through the center of Kiev, you will be shocked that the heart of the riot , the Independence Square ( Maidan Nezalezhnosti ) , works : People from all over come to Ukraine Maidan , bringing everything you need to live in military terms. There are many tents where you can rest , a couple of barrels of heating, field kitchens , stadium, Maidan own hospital , private security and even a University of fortune. There is no alcohol in this place, and strict discipline is the main advantage of Maidan. The boundaries of the site , they built huge barricades in case of attack the system. Despite media reports pro - government, all the people here are not " American money ", but for the idea and for a better future. A unique form of protest is " Automaidan " . Drivers just take their cars and buses blocking or entire buildings SWAT police to prevent possible illegal actions against peaceful people