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You're reading: Euan MacDonald: Ukrainians are right to threaten force to defend their freedoms

 There’s a joke being swapped on the Ukrainian pages of Facebook just now: “If you’re in a café in Kyiv, and a man in a mask and helmet carrying a wooden club walks in, then… he’s probably got two university degrees and speaks a foreign language fluently.” 

 What could have happened in Ukraine to make middle-class people, professionals, businessmen, students, teachers, intellectuals, musicians, artists and office workers drop their books, tablets and pens and take up clubs and cudgels against their own government? 

For make no mistake: although there are a few violent extremists among the anti-government protesters, the majority of them come from a broad cross-section of Ukrainian society. 

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