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Ukraine Euromaidan and Beyond. Part 1

From the Euromaidan revolution to the ongoing crisis and the role of women in both.
University of Winnipeg. June 23, 2015. Room 2m70, 7.00 pm

Participants:
Alexandra Shkandrij, Moderator
MyroslavShkandrij, University of Manitoba
Natalia Obraztsova (Kuchmenko), Taras Shevchenko University, Kyiv
OksanaDudko, Lviv Catholic University
MyroslavaPidhirnyj, Former Policy Analyst, Province of Manitoba

 

1. Main events 2013-2014
2. Characterizing Euromaidan
3. Putin’s propaganda
4. Ideologists of Russian nationalism
behind Donbas rebellion
5. Stalemate in Donbas
6. Reality check: Putin’s Russia

1. Main events 2013-2014

November 21, 2013. 1,500 demonstrate on Maidan (Independence Square) in Kyiv, protesting President Yanukovych’s refusal  to sign an association agreement with the European Union.

November 24. 100,000 join the   demonstration

November 30. Overnight riot police attack   500 students in tent city. 500,000   come out in protest

December 11. Police attempt to clear Maidan

December 21-24. Attacks on activists, journalists, burning of cars belonging to   protestors

December 25  Journalist TetianaChornovol, who wrote about Yanukovych’s luxurious estate in Mezhyhirria, savagely beaten and left for dead.

 

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January 19

March to parliament stopped. Barricades go up.

January 22

Yuri Verbytsky

first activist to be killed.

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DmytroBulatov

Tortured, told to say he was American spy, left for dead. After hospitalization, police tried to take him away for “questioning.”

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Police target medical personnel and journalists, with rubber bullets  aimed at eyes.

By late January hundreds of killed, missing, arrested and injured

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January 23
Government offices occupied, picketed demands for radical changes people’s councils formed in various cities

January 28
anti-protest laws rescinded

February 13
occupation of Kyiv City Hall ends 200 arrested protestors freed

February 18-20
Snipers take up positions and use live ammunition and grenades. 82 dead, over 800 injured

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  •  transport and roads closed
  • civil society organizations called out for interrogation
  • nonetheless, 20,000 come to fight the police

 
 
February 18
Coordinated attack on protestors by Berkut riot police and armed, hired goons titushki

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February 19
Attempts to remove patients to waiting buses and unknown locations

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Secret police given powers

  • to search, seize property, detain without court or legal order
  • kidnap and keep in jail without notifying families for 72 hours

 

February 20
Shooting from Kalashnikov rifles shown on websites around world

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Snipers bullets same as used to stop vehicles

 

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Gas and stun grenades with nails, screws attached. This one overused scotch tape. [Polish journalist Piotr Andrusieczko in his publication Nowa Europa Wschodnia.]

Photo by Vlad Sodal

Photo by Vlad Sodal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Shoot to kill order issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Explains no attempt to destroy the evidence (empty shell casings).

 

February 21-22

  • Yanukovych flees
  • security troops disappear
  • parliament announces

–new government
–new Central Elections Committee
–new Court System
–elimination of Berkut police force

Yanukovych’s estate becomes“museum of corruption”

Revealed luxurious interiors, gold toilet bowl, gold loaf, gold-topped fence, galleon, three restaurants for personal use, replicas of Greek ruins, cars, zoo of exotic animals

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Also revealed files on journalists: Tatiana Chornovol’s file on right bribes to judges and politicians tax avoidance and money laundering schemes . Young journalists put all documents online: YanukovychLeaks.org For a documentary on this see: https://www.youtube.com/

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Corruption

  • no rule of law: judges bought, criminals freed if friends of Party of Regions
  • embezzlement

– government contracts given without tender
– kickbacks demanded
– no accountability for spending

  • Yanukovych family siphoned off $8-10 billion annually
  • his son Oleksandr worth an estimated $510 million
  • Haag International Court opens criminal proceedings against Yanukovych, Zakharchenko, Kliuiev, Rybak
  • Austria charges Andrii Kliuev with money laundering

Crony capitalism
20 billionaires control 25% of the GDP and receive   all government contract

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Economy bankrupted
businesses in dilapidated, inefficient Soviet-era facilities
dependent on government subsidies
coal mining enterprises alone get 3.6 percent of 2014 state budget in subsudues
[Viktor Maziarchuk, an analyst at the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kyiv] Drift to dictatorship
power concentrated in president
– appoints premier and ministers, head of national bank, heads of oblasts (provinces)
freedom of speech, assembly threatened
– NGOs shut down; journalists attacked, killed

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