Ukraine on the Edge of War:
Why Does it Matter?
Olena Nizalova
PSSRU/CHSS (SSPSSR)
University of Kent
Kyiv School of
Econo...
Ukraine in Civil Conflict:
Why Does it Matter?
Olena Nizalova
PSSRU/CHSS (SSPSSR)
University of Kent
Kyiv School of
Econom...
Ukraine’s Anti-criminal Uprising:
Why Does it Matter?
Olena Nizalova
PSSRU/CHSS (SSPSSR)
University of Kent
Kyiv School of...
Ukraine: country profile
• Second largest country in Europe
• Population: ~45 mln
• Natural resources: arable land,
coal, ...
Ukraine: history
• Medieval state of Kievan Rus
• External rulers of Ukrainian territory at various times:
the Golden Hord...
Ukraine: 1991-Nov 2013
• Transition from planned to market economy
• Privatization
BUT:
• High unemployment
• Low incomes
...
Since elections in 2010
• Rinat Akhmetov (main regime supporter): almost
tripled his capital ($15.4 bln in 2012)
• Olexand...
Recent Developments (1)
23-29.11.2013 President
Yanukovych refuses to
sign the EU Association

Massive peaceful protests o...
Recent Developments (2)
30.11.2013 Special
force units (“Berkut”)
brutally beat
protesters who
stayed overnight
290 “Berku...
Recent Developments (3)

People’s response: Hundreds thousands
protesting
Recent Developments (4)
• Government actions till January 16, 2014:
• No investigations against “Berkut” violations

• Con...
Recent Developments (5)
• In addition:
• Yanukovych goes to China and sells huge land
plots with the condition that they w...
Recent Developments (6)

• Protesters’ actions till January 16,
2014:
• Maidan tent camp
• Open Maidan University
• People...
Recent Developments (7)

• Protesters’ actions till January 16, 2014:
• AutoMaidan protests near the residence of the
Pres...
Recent Developments (8)
January 16, 2014 – Adoption of “Dictatorship Laws”
• Adopted in violation of all possible voting r...
“Dictatorship laws”: response (1)
January 19, 2014 – Radicalization of
protests
• Occupation of Main Government street –
G...
“Dictatorship laws”: response (2)
January 20-21, 2014 – Radicalization of anti-people actions
• Arrests of activists
• Wat...
19
First victims (20.01.2014)
First victims (21.01.2014)

Yuri Verbytskyy (scientist, mountaineer, pacifist);
Igor Lutsenko (KSE 2002 graduate, Economis...
First victims (22.01.2014)
Mihail Zhiznevskiy
(26 y.o., Belarus citizen)

Sergiy Nigoyan
(20 y.o., Ukrainian of
Armenian d...
Journalists:..

• 43 journalists (including foreign) injured,
equipment destroyed
Ukraine: January 22, 2014
President’s side

Party of Regions
(Parliament majority)
controlled by Oligarchs
close to the Family

Cabinet of Ministers...
President’s side: Courts
• Courts are not
independent and
included in
“bargaining”…
• 72 year old man
is imprisoned for
be...
President’s side

Special Force Units “Berkut”: 2 protesters killed
President’s side

Interior Troops
President’s side

“Titushky” – marginalized individuals who are skilled in street
fights, hired by the government and mana...
Maidan’s part of the problem

Young and inexperienced Opposition Leaders
Maidan’s glory
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Some MPs: Andriy Parubiy, Lesya Orobets, Anatoliy Grytsenko
Scientists, Professors, ...
Maidan’s emergency

AutoMaidan - Activists on wheels
Maidan’s surprise

Ultras
Maidan
•What for?
• EU association agreement?
• Dignity, human rights, and freedom

•What is it?
• Civil war?
• Anti-crimi...
Maidan: intangible results
• People are acquiring strong feeling of community,
support and kindness
• Patriotic feelings a...
Maidan: tangible results
• 10 out of 25 Local State Administrations are controlled
by the protesters
• Interior troops of ...
Maidan: on-going battle
• Atrocities in the region following the same scenario as in
Kyiv (thugs+police) – beating and kid...
Maidan: on-going cheating
• Government tries to lure the opposition leaders by key
posts, like Prime-Minister for Aresinii...
Maidan: people do not give up
Maidan: demands
• President resignation
• Return to the Constitution of 2004 (which Yanukovych and
the Party of Regions ch...
The situation remains volatile
• Government resignation and repeal of some of
dictatorship “laws” on January 28 is a posit...
Ukraine’s Anti-criminal
Uprising: Why Matter?
• Lesson to people on what can happen when civil society is
inactive, electi...
Maidan: help is needed
• Financial help by Ukrainians and friends from all over the
world to wounded and detained
• Spread...
Maidan: BBC overview

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe25890466
Ukraine on the Edge of War (Ukraine's Anti-criminal Uprising): Why Does it Matter?
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Ukraine on the Edge of War (Ukraine's Anti-criminal Uprising): Why Does it Matter?

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Some of the facts and my personal take on what is happening in Ukraine and why it matters for the EU and other global actors.

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Ukraine on the Edge of War (Ukraine's Anti-criminal Uprising): Why Does it Matter?

  1. 1. Ukraine on the Edge of War: Why Does it Matter? Olena Nizalova PSSRU/CHSS (SSPSSR) University of Kent Kyiv School of Economics 29th January, 2014
  2. 2. Ukraine in Civil Conflict: Why Does it Matter? Olena Nizalova PSSRU/CHSS (SSPSSR) University of Kent Kyiv School of Economics 29th January, 2014
  3. 3. Ukraine’s Anti-criminal Uprising: Why Does it Matter? Olena Nizalova PSSRU/CHSS (SSPSSR) University of Kent Kyiv School of Economics 29th January, 2014
  4. 4. Ukraine: country profile • Second largest country in Europe • Population: ~45 mln • Natural resources: arable land, coal, iron ore • Metallurgy (20-25% of GDP) • 1991-2000: severe economic recession (50% decline in GDP) • 2000-2008: economic growth • 2008-2009: 15% decline • est. 40% shadow economy
  5. 5. Ukraine: history • Medieval state of Kievan Rus • External rulers of Ukrainian territory at various times: the Golden Horde, Lithuania, Poland, Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Russian Empire • 1917-1919: Ukrainian People’s Republic • 1921-1991: USSR within Soviet Union (1939-1991 for Western Ukraine) • 1991: Declaration of Independence (>90% of Ukrainian citizens voted for independence)
  6. 6. Ukraine: 1991-Nov 2013 • Transition from planned to market economy • Privatization BUT: • High unemployment • Low incomes • Health crisis (life expectancy, TB epidemic, CVD mortality) • Deterioration of physical and social infrastructure • Corruption (Transparency International CPI rank 144/177) • Human rights violations (opposition leader in prison, massive election violations, court system and police – against people and businesses for the interests of ruling party and the ‘family’)
  7. 7. Since elections in 2010 • Rinat Akhmetov (main regime supporter): almost tripled his capital ($15.4 bln in 2012) • Olexandr Yanukovych (President’s son, dentist): becomes billionaire during the first year after the Presidential elections • Sergiy Kurchenko (connected to the “family”): a miracle of 2013, new billionaire involved in gas deals and oil/gasoline business • Other oligarchs supporting Party of Regions and the “family” directly • Mainly through state procurement and tax preferentials
  8. 8. Recent Developments (1) 23-29.11.2013 President Yanukovych refuses to sign the EU Association Massive peaceful protests on Independence Square (EUROMaidan) in Kyiv
  9. 9. Recent Developments (2) 30.11.2013 Special force units (“Berkut”) brutally beat protesters who stayed overnight 290 “Berkut” fighters severely injured 79 people (students, journalists, 64 criminal cases registered against protesters)
  10. 10. Recent Developments (3) People’s response: Hundreds thousands protesting
  11. 11. Recent Developments (4) • Government actions till January 16, 2014: • No investigations against “Berkut” violations • Continuing criminal court hearings against the protesters • Does not react even to the “March of million” 11
  12. 12. Recent Developments (5) • In addition: • Yanukovych goes to China and sells huge land plots with the condition that they will be developed by Chinese workforce (2.5 mln people), and signs the agreement to build super port in the midst of the Crimean recreation zone. • Yanukovych goes to Russia and signs “secret” agreement in return to $15 bln loan. • Government officials take Russian businessmen on tours to the remaining state owned enterprises
  13. 13. Recent Developments (6) • Protesters’ actions till January 16, 2014: • Maidan tent camp • Open Maidan University • People from other regions of Ukraine arrive • Maidan – huge festival (music, dancing, food, smiling faces, tours for foreigners) • Boycott to the trademarks and businesses belonging to the Party of Regions members 13
  14. 14. Recent Developments (7) • Protesters’ actions till January 16, 2014: • AutoMaidan protests near the residence of the President and his key supporters • AutoMaidan and other protesters blocked 3 buses with the Special force units (who beat protesters near one of the district courts earlier in the day) and forced them to take off helmets and masks to photograph and make known to the public • Manifestations of Ukrainians all over the world • People donate food, warm clothes, medicines • Opposition leaders attempt to dismiss the PrimeMinister and make accountable the Minister of Interior (failed) 14
  15. 15. Recent Developments (8) January 16, 2014 – Adoption of “Dictatorship Laws” • Adopted in violation of all possible voting rules in the Parliament • Some examples: • • • • • No motorcade of more than 5 vehicles No blocking of government buildings No installation of tents, stages, and sound equipment Anti-mask law, anti-helmet law No activity of information agencies without state licensing (FB? Twitter?) • Allowing trial in absentia • No gathering and disseminating of information about “Berkut”, judges, government officials and their families
  16. 16. “Dictatorship laws”: response (1) January 19, 2014 – Radicalization of protests • Occupation of Main Government street – Grushevs’kogo • On-going street fights without changing the positions • Strong demands towards the opposition leaders to act
  17. 17. “Dictatorship laws”: response (2) January 20-21, 2014 – Radicalization of anti-people actions • Arrests of activists • Water cannons (-10⁰C), light and noise grenades turned into combat grenades by attaching stones and nails by cello tape, gas, rubber bullets aimed at heads (particularly journalists, doctors/nurses) and cameras. • Hasty court hearings in violation of human rights (no lawyers, unknown place of hearing, night hearings, closeddoor hearings, separation of group cases to minimize the number of supporters outside) • Kidnapping of activists (severely beaten, then some released, others detained, others found dead in the forests)
  18. 18. 19
  19. 19. First victims (20.01.2014)
  20. 20. First victims (21.01.2014) Yuri Verbytskyy (scientist, mountaineer, pacifist); Igor Lutsenko (KSE 2002 graduate, Economist, civil activist)
  21. 21. First victims (22.01.2014) Mihail Zhiznevskiy (26 y.o., Belarus citizen) Sergiy Nigoyan (20 y.o., Ukrainian of Armenian descent) Yuri Verbytskyy (50 y.o., Ukrainian) + 2 more bodies unknown, taken by the “Berkut”
  22. 22. Journalists:.. • 43 journalists (including foreign) injured, equipment destroyed
  23. 23. Ukraine: January 22, 2014
  24. 24. President’s side Party of Regions (Parliament majority) controlled by Oligarchs close to the Family Cabinet of Ministers populated by loyal allies of the family (friends of President’s son – dentist who turned into a billionaire since 2010 election)
  25. 25. President’s side: Courts • Courts are not independent and included in “bargaining”… • 72 year old man is imprisoned for beating Berkut…
  26. 26. President’s side Special Force Units “Berkut”: 2 protesters killed
  27. 27. President’s side Interior Troops
  28. 28. President’s side “Titushky” – marginalized individuals who are skilled in street fights, hired by the government and managed by the Police
  29. 29. Maidan’s part of the problem Young and inexperienced Opposition Leaders
  30. 30. Maidan’s glory • • • • • • • • • • • Some MPs: Andriy Parubiy, Lesya Orobets, Anatoliy Grytsenko Scientists, Professors, university administration and support staff Writers, musicians, artists Professionals Students Independent mass media NGOs in various spheres of life Field medicine Small and medium businessmen Bankers, financial analysts Lawyers
  31. 31. Maidan’s emergency AutoMaidan - Activists on wheels
  32. 32. Maidan’s surprise Ultras
  33. 33. Maidan •What for? • EU association agreement? • Dignity, human rights, and freedom •What is it? • Civil war? • Anti-criminal Uprising!
  34. 34. Maidan: intangible results • People are acquiring strong feeling of community, support and kindness • Patriotic feelings are pervasive no matter what language people speak – they want to be Ukrainians and live in the independent country • People are no longer passive observers • New leaders emerge • Internal reflections on dignity, values, and the requirements towards the government • Enormous self-organization: from everyday needs to field medicine to security and education
  35. 35. Maidan: tangible results • 10 out of 25 Local State Administrations are controlled by the protesters • Interior troops of 4 cities resigned • Local members of the ruling Party of Regions resign • Businesses related to the ruling party suffer significant losses • Opposition is now truly accountable to people • Several important government buildings are in the hands of protesters
  36. 36. Maidan: on-going battle • Atrocities in the region following the same scenario as in Kyiv (thugs+police) – beating and kidnapping • Several more people killed • Hundreds of wounded • Wounded at hospitals often detained and sent to the Police without proper medical support • People who are detained suffer from serious beatings and humiliation • Those who are guilty of earlier atrocities still occupy their posts and implement their “responsibilities” • Interior troops and “Berkut” from January 27 are allowed to use live bullets and shoot without warning
  37. 37. Maidan: on-going cheating • Government tries to lure the opposition leaders by key posts, like Prime-Minister for Aresinii Yatsenyuk or Humanitarian Vice-Prime-Minister for Vitali Klitschko – the Heaviweight World Boxing Champion Emeritus • Government plays “cups and ball” with people and legislation (January 28 voting in Parliament)
  38. 38. Maidan: people do not give up
  39. 39. Maidan: demands • President resignation • Return to the Constitution of 2004 (which Yanukovych and the Party of Regions changed to strengthen the authority of the President • Agreeing on the date of new Parliamentary and Presidential elections (possibly local government elections as well) • Election of the technical government (possibly from the Maidan activists and professionals) which would not have the right to run for the key posts in the next election • Lustration of the government officials • Complete rehabilitation (not amnesty!) of all the activists and simply passers-by detained by the government • Thorough investigation of the interior troops and “Berkut” actions and punishment of all involved in the atrocities.
  40. 40. The situation remains volatile • Government resignation and repeal of some of dictatorship “laws” on January 28 is a positive step (???) (but some were immediately voted for again) • Prime-Minister Mykola Azarov resigned (but will fulfil his duties for another 60 days ???) • Yet, atrocities continue, government has not changed its tactics • Activists and journalists are being persecuted • No talk about presidential resignation and elections • Things can change any day
  41. 41. Ukraine’s Anti-criminal Uprising: Why Matter? • Lesson to people on what can happen when civil society is inactive, election turnout is low (60-70%) and the institutions are weak • Lesson to politicians that people cannot be harassed indefinitely • Lesson to EU: “Something that is yours forever is never precious” (Chaim Potok) • European choice is under threat throughout Eastern Europe • The EU’s name and reputation are at stake • UA government will struggle to maintain firm control in the west and centre of the country; the areas closest to the EU will be the most volatile and unstable
  42. 42. Maidan: help is needed • Financial help by Ukrainians and friends from all over the world to wounded and detained • Spreading true information about real faces of Ukrainian politicians whose children and families like civilized European countries and the US: EU public figures should not be friends with Ukrainian Criminal syndicate (Party of Regions) members • Criminals are criminals, even abroad: thorough investigations of businesses and accounts in EU countries (including UK) may reveal many interesting details for the authorities and applying the legal actions would be justified (Klyuev in Austria), look at yanukovich.info • Visa sanctions (some already implemented by the US and Canada) to involved officials
  43. 43. Maidan: BBC overview http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe25890466

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