Two Russians on their way for business to Dnipropetrovsk rearranged their itineraries to spend a night and support EuroMaidan before they continue south on the morning of Dec. 17. Alexey Vargasov, 42, and Maxim Vasilchenko, 39, said they will brave the bone-chilling weather and will “sleep on the train tomorrow.”
Between 1,000 and 500 EuroMaidan activists picketed the headquarters of the state security service, or SBU, on Dec. 15 calling for the KGB-successor agency not to arrest Tetyana Chornovol, a journalist and civic activist.
Kyiv city manager Oleksandr Popov and assistant national security chief Volodymyr Sivkovych were suspended indefinitely by President Viktor Yanukovych on Dec. 14, the head of state’s official website states.
Opposition leaders are warning that the government will send in rent-a-thugs to incite violence at the Dec. 15 rally, giving President Viktor Yanukovych a pretext to call for a state of emergency and use military and riot police to clear out EuroMaidan from Independence Square.
President Viktor Yanukovych and his appointed government is fast losing any shred of credibility with the West which has called for dialogue to be used instead of force to resolve an escalating political crisis in Ukraine.
EuroMaidan is a purely “people’s” movement that foremost wants protesters freed from custody, and for President Viktor Yanukovych to resign along with his appointed government headed by Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, a poll of protesters found.
After 67 years, Kyiv’s main statue to Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin was taken down.
The State Security Service (SBU), Ukraine’s KGB-successor agency, is investigating an unspecified number of unnamed politicians for “attempting to seize state power,” its official website states.
The prospect of Ukraine joining the Kremlin-led Customs Union wasn’t discussed and no bilateral documents were signed during President Viktor Yanukovych’s Dec. 6 meeting in Sochi with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the official Ukrainian presidential website states.
Russia was the only participating country out of 57 to oppose a decision on the protection of journalists at an Organization for Security and Cooperation meeting taking place in Kyiv on Dec. 5-6.
Ukraine’s foreign reserves shrunk to an unexpected $18.8 billion in November, $400 million more than market forecasts, suggesting capital flight was underway amid a growing appetite for U.S. dollars, analysts said.
Ukraine is having a second revolution in less than a decade. But despite the obvious similarity of having thousands of people in the streets, their social fiber is quite different. The Orange Revolution was extremely political: organized by politicians, it had purely political demands and politicians as leaders.
Investors didn’t take kindly to Ukraine’s rejection of a far-reaching free trade deal with the European Union. Immediately after the debacle in Vilnius on Nov. 28-29, and continuing this week, prices for Ukrainian eurobonds – rated as “junk” by credit worthiness agencies – dropped as their yields spiked keeping Ukraine’s sovereign debt the third most expensive in the world after Argentina and Venezuela.
The media freedom representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe expressed concern over the “magnitude of violence against members of the media at the demonstrations in Kyiv” that took place on Dec. 1.
Ukraine forged ahead with diversifying energy supplies on Nov. 27 when it signed a production sharing agreement with a consortium of investors led by Italian energy major Eni to explore and develop unconventional hydrocarbons in the Black Sea.
Ukraine and the European Union may have failed to align their political institutions and conclude a free trade deal at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, but both sides agreed to unite their air space.
FIFA, the world soccer governing body, upheld on Nov. 26 an earlier ruling that ordered the Ukrainian national soccer team to play its first home match during the 2018 World Cup qualifying cycle in an empty stadium for racist and threatening fan behavior.
Ukraine might only be able to gain a short-term respite for its ailing economy, following the government’s abrupt withdrawal on Nov. 21 from a far-reaching political and free trade pact with the European Union, according to Fitch Ratings.
In the confusing world of Ukrainian politics where theatrical acts are a constant presence, it is difficult to determine who is a paid or genuine protester, a provocateur or a concerned citizen.