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(164 Posts)
telsa Wed 19-Feb-14 08:25:40

Ok, can anyone explain what is happening in Kiev. I am sure the govt are monsters, but is it right that the extreme. Right ( Pravy Sektor) are majorly involved in the uprising. What are the demands.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:19:06

It also contains millions of people who want to be part of Europe and the opportunites they see.

And who can blame them?

How do you handle a situation where the differences between what people want is so big?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:21:41

'How do you handle a situation where the differences between what people want is so big?'

The way some politicians have suggested. Let democracy take its course.

The riots began after the President accepted the Russian deal instead of the EU one.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:23:32

Democracy doesn't involve snipers on the streets.
Banning protests.
Not listening to the people.

Even Margaret Thatcher realised that after the Poll Tax riots.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:31:52

Did you not watch Newsnight last night?
Did you not see the Russian person asking the BBC presenter why the BBC reporter had not shown the policeman beaten to death with bricks as Russian media had shown and why the BBC did not mention that of the 25 people killed the previous day, 12 of them were policemen?

Have you not seen the beer bottles being filled with petrol to be used as molotov cocktails?

This is not a peaceful protest. The protestors are demanding that the President step down, and it all began after the President signed the Russian deal rather than the EU one.

"The acting head of the Metropolitan Police has clashed with the Prime Minister over a suggestion that the Army could be deployed to quell rioting in London.

Tim Godwin told David Cameron he would agree to troops on the streets of London only after ‘every one of my officers and borough commanders are standing on the police front line’.

The row happened last Tuesday morning in a meeting in Downing Street between the two men and Home Secretary Theresa May."

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:36:08

The protests are no longer peaceful.
"The protestors are demanding that the President step down, and it all began after the President signed the Russian deal rather than the EU one."

I think you are missing out a lot of the stuff that happened between that decision and the current situation. A lot of stuff.

I am sure someone who actually lives in Ukraine and knows what's been going on could inform you.

It did not go from that decision to Molotov cocktails. A lot of stuff and laws / Presidential decisions were made which stoked the anger.

I have no doubt that if our Government introduced such decision about the right to protest, we would see action on the streets.

ConcreteElephant Fri 21-Feb-14 09:37:34

Farage could stop calling the country the Ukraine for a start. It's offensive, dating back to when it was still a Soviet Republic and not properly representing it as an independent nation.

This BBC link explains it well

I took Russian Studies at University and spent 4 months in Kiev in 1996, living with a family and studying at the Uni. I was mainly there to develop my Russian but daily use of Ukrainian language and culture, and a burgeoning pride in the history and development of the nation were really beginning to be in evidence, just 5 years post-independence. I enjoyed my time there immensely, even if it was a bit surreal at times!

We spent many happy hours in Independence Square whiling away our afternoons, popping to the post office to see if we had any mail, enjoying the sunshine.

I lived with a wonderful Ukrainian family, quite young parents who were students at the time of Chernobyl. They had 2 sons, aged 8 and just over a year old at that time - they'd be about 26 and 20 now and I can't begin to imagine what they are feeling. We've lost touch but Nina, Kolya, Andrei and Dima - I'm thinking of you. And any MNers who are watching that lovely city and its people go through this.

Ukraine has always been a country 'on the edge' - its very name means borderland. The differences in outlook between, for example, people in Kiev, Odessa, Lviv etc are immense, it's a fractured nation from the start and this is a critical part of the problem.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:39:40

I suppose you believe that the Syrian lung-eaters and Al Qaeda mercenaries are all in Syria because of Assad preventing "the right to protest".

This is geopolitical and that is why it is so dangerous.

figgypuddings Fri 21-Feb-14 09:40:21

Oh, Nessie. sad

Slightly off topic but are you a Scot? Did you see the piper playing in the midst of all the fighting? I wondered who he was and why he was there.
I hope you and your family are ok.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:41:26


Is this about Syria, Farage or the Ukraine?

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 09:42:07

"This is geopolitical and that is why it is so dangerous."

No shit.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:42:11

'it's a fractured nation from the start and this is a critical part of the problem'

And why is it fracturing right now?
Is it anything to do with the signing of the Russian deal instead of the EU deal? Is it anything to do with spheres of influence?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 09:47:31

'Is this about Syria, Farage or the Ukraine?'

Of course it is. Don't you understand politics?

This is about EU/US/NATO vs Russia. So is Syria. Russia has stopped Syria falling. If Syria falls, Iran is next.

Now Russia is facing a similar crisis to Syria on its doorstep and in Kiev where its Black Sea Fleet is based.

Farage is a politician who wants to leave the EU and it is the EU that is expanding its sphere of influence and that is a threat to Russia.

All of these things are interlinked because it is geopolitical.

It is dangerous because it may be the beginning of the clash between EU and the West and Russia.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 10:03:58

Unfortunately looking at it rationally, the clash has already begun. Syria is one aspect of ot and now Ukraine.

This is from the Economist, an establishment journal for finaciers and world leaders, and it doesn't mince its words

"Confronting the Kremlin

It is past time for the West to stand up to this gangsterism. Confronting a country that has the spoiling power of a seat on the UN Security Council, huge hydrocarbon reserves and lots of nuclear weapons, is difficult, but it has to be done . At a minimum, the diplomatic pretence that Russia is a law-abiding democracy should end. It should be ejected from the G8 . Above all, the West must stand united in telling Mr Putin that Ukraine, and the other former Soviet countries that he regards as wayward parts of his patrimony, are sovereign nations."

and this is what Putin and the Russian have said

"We cannot characterise what is happening in Ukraine as anything except a violent attempt to seize power," said foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, blamed extremist groups, Ukraine's opposition and Western leaders for encouraging the violence. "Many western countries, who have tried to interfere in events and played games with insurgents, are also to blame. The west has solidly, repeatedly and shamefully avoided criticism of the actions of extremists, including Nazi elements."

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 10:06:30

Sorry, link to the Economist article and its very strong words is below

"There is a kind of rough justice in the timing of Ukraine’s turmoil. In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia, its tiny southern neighbour, just as the Olympic games began in Beijing, prompting formulaic Western protests but no meaningful retribution. The events in Kiev interrupted the winter Olympics in Sochi, intended to be a two-week carnival of Putinism. This time the West must make Mr Putin see that, with this havoc at the heart of Europe, he has gone too far."

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 10:08:00

I have Ukrainian family and friends there, some in Kiev and I'm very worried for their safety.

Firstly to truly understand the situation I will tell you a little bit of Ukrainian/Russian history.

There was a massive genocide of the Ukrainian people in the 1930's by Stalin. At the time Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. Ukraine is a very beautiful and fertile land and very profitable. The genocide was a man made famine, know as the Holodomor click Wiki link . The Holodomor famine caused more deaths than Jewish people dying in the gas chambers, yet only up until recently have the rest of the world accepted Holodomor was a genocide (this was because UK didn't want to upset Russia by acknowledging it).
The Communist regime set about destroying Ukrainian culture religion and heritage, and all food farmed was collectivised and had to be handed over to the regime. The Ukrainian people were forced to farm their land and hand over every single grain and vegetable to the authorities and were not allowed to keep any food for themselves resulting in mass starvation and death. Any person discovered with even a small cup of flour were either beaten, arrested (not to be seen again) or killed.
My grandmother remembered Holodomor, and she tells of resentment for neighbours they knew for years having lots of hidden food yet refusing to share. There were even reports of people having to eat their dead children.

You can begin to understand why Ukrainian have a deep rooted resentment for being controlled by Russia.

All of this preceeded WW2, and many Ukrainian people were propagandised by hearing on the radio that the German Nazi's were coming to Ukraine to liberate them from the oppression of Russia - another story but you can see how desperate they were to get rid of the Russians. And don't forget even the UK didn't realise the extent of the Nazi regime until after the war had ended.

After the war Ukraine was a broken country. My grandparents came to UK. My grandmother was too afraid to write home, all letters were intercepted anyway by the Soviets, and she was afraid her family may have been persecuted further. From the day she left Ukraine as a 14 year old she never heard from her family again.

Fast forward to 1990 and Ukraine finally gains independence. Since then Ukraine has not fared well, high levels of crime and corruption persist right up to top levels of the government even today.

The far east of Ukraine and Crimea are Russian speaking and pro Russia. Russian companies provide these areas with heavily industrialised jobs, mining, steelworks, shipworks etc. In Crimea, the Russians lease a strategic naval base in exchange for cheaper gas provided by Russia.

Todays trouble are because the people of Ukraine, mostly the central and western Ukrainian's want a closer link with Europe. In 2012 the EU and Ukraine entered an agreement but Ukraine had to agree to address concerns over democracy which President Yanukovych agreed.
Then in 2013, Russia changed its customs regulations on imports from Ukraine effectively creating a trade block, and some saw this as a protest from Russia against Ukraine's strengthening links with Europe.

In November 2013, President Yanukovych attended the EU summit where he was expected to sign the EU agreement, but did not.

The peaceful protests were violently dispersed by Berkut riot police who allegedly beat up children. This in turn escalated into full scale riots, and the protesting we are seeing today.

Most of the protests are disruptive yet peaceful, there are protests going on across the whole country of Ukraine involving thousands of people without violence. Some local authorities have denounced their government. Even the Mayor of Kiev resigned in protest. The violence occurs when police respond with heavy handed tactics.
The police have also targeted medics and journalists, including one medic who was shot after having his hands raised to the police.

It's been reported that Russia is sending the Ukrainian government help after accusing the EU of using blackmail against Ukraine.

All the protesters want is for the president to step down and allow democracy to rule without corruption. All they want is real freedom and independence!

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 10:09:18

I heard someone on the news say "without Ukraine, Russia is just a country. With Ukraine, it's an Empire".

Nuff said.

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 10:12:40

It seems Russia is using Ukraine as a pawn to warmonger with Europe.

cashewfrenzy Fri 21-Feb-14 10:14:09

Glossy that's a really good summary for simpletons like me, and it's fascinating to understand the history and reasons for people's actions today. Thank you.

I hope your family and friends all stay safe.

glossyflower Fri 21-Feb-14 10:22:59

Glad to be of help. xxx

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 10:31:46

There is a lot of history in such countries - lots that we in the West can never ever truly understand.

My heart goes out to you and your friends.

PoorOldCat Fri 21-Feb-14 10:46:09

But why on earth would Russia want to be at odds with Europe?

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 10:50:29

It doesn't. It is the other way around and that it is very sad.

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 10:52:11

And what do you base that claim on?

Do you have a good understanding of Ukraine and the history of Ukraine?

I don't. I just see people fighting for a right to be heard.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 10:55:34

'Do you have a good understanding of Ukraine and the history of Ukraine?'

I have a good understanding of geopolitics. This is about much more than "people fighting for a right to be heard".

itshardthinkingofanickname Fri 21-Feb-14 10:58:19

Of course there's geopolitics involved.

But why are you blaming Europe?

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