Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Euromaidan Revolution of Dignity

The term "Euromaidan" was initially used on Twitter. A Twitter account named Euromaidan was created on the first day of the protests.  
Euromaidan was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began on the night of 21 November 2013 with public protests in Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv, demanding closer European integration. Former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili has described this movement as "the first geopolitical revolution of the 21st century".
The scope of the protests expanded, with many calls for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych  and his government. 
A 24 November protest in Ivano-Frankivsk saw several thousand protestors gather at the regional administration building. No classes were held in the universities of western Ukrainian cities such as Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Uzhhorod. Protests also took place in other large Ukrainian cities: Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Luhansk, Lviv and Uzhhorod. The rally in Lviv in support of the integration of Ukraine into the EU was initiated by the students of local universities. This rally saw 25–30 thousand protesters gather on Prospect Svobody (Freedom Avenue) in Lviv.
Ukrainians supported European integration and protested against the decision of the Ukrainian government to refuse signing of association with EU in Vilnius on 27 November 2013. 
Automaidan was a movement within the Euromaidan. It was made up mainly of drivers who would protect the protest camps and blockade streets. It organised a car procession on 29 December 2013 to the president's residence in Mezhyhiria in December 2013. The protests ultimately led to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.
 Many protesters joined because of the violent dispersal of protests on 30 November and "a will to change life in Ukraine".
The protests continued despite heavy police presence, regularly sub-freezing temperatures, and snow. The movement started peacefully but did not end that way. Protesters felt authorized to use violence after the government's crackdown on protesters which happened during the night of 30 November 2013.
A petition to the US White House demanding sanctions against Viktor Yanukovych and Ukrainian government ministers gathered over 100,000 signatures in four days.
Protests on 8 December saw record turnout in many Ukrainian cities, including several in eastern Ukraine. On the evening, the fall of the monument to Lenin in took place. The statue made out of stone was completely hacked to pieces by jubilant demonstrators.
Smaller protests or Euromaidans have been held internationally, primarily among the larger Ukrainian diaspora populations in North America and Europe. The largest took place on 8 December in New York, with over 1,000 attending.
Pro-government rallies during Euromaidan have largely been credited as funded by the government.

The assault of Euromaidan by security forces on 11 December 2013 was an attempt of Viktor Yanukovych’s regime to wind up Euromaidan by means of a night assault using  Berkcut special police units and soldiers of internal troops.
The protests reached a climax during mid-February. On 18 February, the worst clashes of Euromaidan broke out after the parliament did not accede to demands the Constitution of Ukraine be rolled back to its pre-2004 form, which would lessen presidential power. 
The first of major casualties occurred on the Day of Unity of Ukraine, 22 January 2014. Hennadiy Moskal a former deputy head of Ukraine's main security agency suggested that snipers received orders to shoot not only protesters, but also police forces; this was all done to escalate the conflict, to justify the police operation to clear Maidan. Police and protesters fired guns, with both live and rubber ammunition, in multiple locations in Kiev. The riot police advanced towards Maidan later in the day and clashed with the protesters but did not fully occupy it. The fights continued through the following days, in which the vast majority of casualties took place. At least 79 people were killed and 570 injured. At least 13 officers were killed and 130 hospitalised with gunshot wounds.
 On the night of 21 February, Maidan vowed to go into armed conflict if Yanukovych did not resign by 10:00 AM. Subsequently, the riot police retreated and Yanukovych and many other high government officials fled the country. Protesters gained control of the presidential administration and Yanukovych's private estate. The next day, the parliament impeached Yanukovych, replaced the government with a pro-European one, and ordered that Yulia Tymoshenko be released from prison. In the aftermath, the Crimean crisis began amid pro-Russian unrest.
By 25 January 2014, the protests had been fuelled by the perception of "widespread government corruption, "abuse of power ", and "violation of human rights in Ukraine.  
Despite the impeachment of Yanukovych, the installation of a new government, and the signature of the political provisions of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, the protests have been ongoing to sustain pressure on the government, counter pro-Russian protests, and reject Russian occupation of Ukraine. The general area of the pro-Ukraine and pro-Europe protests has shifted from Kiev and western Ukraine to include the eastern and southern areas of the country as well.
A common chant among protesters is "Glory to Ukraine, Glory to Heroes!"
The red-and-black battle flag of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) is another popular symbol among protesters.
The E.U. has imposed sanctions and President Obama of the US has signed an Executive Order with a framework for sanctions in response to Russian intervention in Crimea.

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