Dean O'Brien's Blog

Ukrainians Take To The Streets

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There can be no denying that it’s been busy in Ukraine this past week.  At the weekend many remembered the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor, and rightfully so.  However, this was swiftly followed by news that Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych had reversed a decision to sign a key pact with the European Union.  This lead to many people taking to the streets in protests that spread worldwide.

As you can imagine, social media played its part.  By using the hashtags #euromaidan and #євромайдан the protestors reached the masses and this past week saw protests from as far away as Canada and India.

We’ve seen how in many Middle Eastern countries, mobile phone footage, Facebook, and Twitter have all played a vital role in telling the story. Governments no longer control what is, or in many cases isn’t shown.  Yes indeed, the role of the citizen journalist is very much alive and well.  And like a true Facebook relationship status ‘It’s complicated’.

Just how complicated things are in Ukraine I could not cover in one blog post alone.  But anyone will tell you that nothing is straightforward here.  And let’s not forget that this is not just about one ‘single’ issue. The jailing of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is still of major concern here and this was seen as a great opportunity to highlight the continued imprisonment of her.  In an address read by her daughter, Eugenia Tymoshenko said: “By mystical coincidence Yanukovych again brought us to the squares. We need to complete what we didn’t finish after Orange revolution back in 2004.”

So how will this end?  Many saw this integration with Europe as a vital step forward for Ukraine and its people.  The Orange Revolution of 2004 had a tremendous response from the people, but its legacy was short lived, and just what the outcome of this will be is anyones guess.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

November 25, 2013 at 10:23 am

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