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Political Issues in Ukraine
Transcript of Political Issues in Ukraine
Political Crisis in Ukraine
Protests initially started in November, 2013. President Viktor Yanukovych rejected the trade pact with the Europian Union. Instead, he favored ties with Russia. This made many citizens angry because they want to be considered a democracy with Europe rather than the communist state they are currently in.
The leaders of opposition factions have met with Yanukovych in attempt to solve the crisis. The president's rivals have been calling for the government to be disbanded, new elections put in place and the protest laws to be uplifted. Yanukovych offered Arseniy Yatsenuk, leader of the Fatherland party, to become the prime minister, but Yatsenuk declined. So, in order to keep from civil war, there have been special parliament meetings trying to free200 demonstrators since the protests began in November
by: Ethan Jackson and Gemma Saylor
Ukraine is the biggest nation separating Russia and the EU
Gained independence from Soviet Union in 1991
The EU, along with the US, has been working on its relations with former Soviet Bloc countries in hopes of restoring democracy
To the West (EU and US), the reach of democracy to the Ukraine would allow these ideas to spread to the East.
Russia sees the Ukraine as a way of holding on to their turf.
Ukrainians hoped a trade pact with the EU would assist their weak economy.
When the demands from the citizens of the Ukraine for the trade pact to be signed, protests continued to escalate quickly and violently in Kiev, the capitol of Ukraine. Meanwhile, President Yanukovych refused to sign due to economic pressure from Russia. Another factor that comes into play in the signing, is that the EU demands the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovych's political rival.
Several anti-protest laws have been put into effect to attempt to lessen the violence. Such laws include restrictions of helmets and masks worn to rallies, and tents being set up. These laws inflamed protestors even more.