Gas bombs, fire, fights, people occupying municipality building just to receive food and hot tea… These are not the scenes from the apocalyptic movie; this is today reality of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Last week-end Ukrainian Inner Special Forces “Berkut” in a rush of emotions from dispersing the protest started beating everybody: workers, teachers, doctors, journalists, men, women, teenagers…
But let’s begin from the start. On November 29 the President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovich did not signed the EU-Ukraine association agreement. He did not even sign any preliminary, preoperational or any other document. Most of the people did not wait for a miracle but still lived with the hope. Especially people who spent a week on the cold streets in Kyiv demanding to sign the paper. The final disappointment was so huge that people decided to move from the streets and make the last protest action on Saturday. But… Early Saturday morning, at 4 am, police began a special operation to “sweep the main square from people to install the xtmas tree”. After some time from the rows of protesters stones, fire, paint and gas spraying began to fly toward police. Later protesters will say that these people were specially “bought” provocateurs to provoke mass fights. Finally Special Forces “Berkut” joined police, and bleeding battle has begun. Some sources report about 30 people injured, others say about 100, and it’s impossible to know the real number. From the pictures that flooded Internet it’s obvious that there were a lot of them.
The main questions are still without answers. Who decided to begin the operation at 4 am? Who said it must be done with participation of Special Forces? Who gave an order to surround people without leaving them a chance to escape and beat everyone including journalists and teenagers? Even after the head of police said that the protesters provoked police throwing stones, even after the President said people who exceeded the powers will be punished, the situation stays unclear.
People exhausted by the long protest, and after losing the last hope that Ukraine would sign an agreement with Europe, went out of the control. Opposition leaders lost any influence on them, and on Saturday the protest grew into spontaneous and chaotic demonstration.
Protesters occupied Kyiv municipality building and used it as a place where people can warm up, sleep, eat or drink hot tea. They decided to block the building of the government and don’t allow deputies to go out until the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers will be adopted.
On Tuesday the opposition completely lost its overbalance in the parliament (which they had before, especially after several politics demonstratively left the rows of the ruling party), the President showed “the power of his authority” (based on the tricks of elementary bulling), and none of the proposals as for resignation of the Prime Minister or the President was adopted.
Today is Wednesday. People are still at the protest and still demand the resignation of the President. The biggest problem is that the opposition in the same time no offers a strong leader.
Time will show how the situation will change, but one thing is clear now. People who went to the protest still believe 1) they are Europeans, and 2) they want European future for their children. For these people the President betrayed them, their hope. This is a significant part of Ukrainians, and if Yanukovich wants to keep his position he must fix this issue urgently!