Ukraine Protests 2014 Explained By Chrystia Freeland

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Chrystia Freeland, journalist and Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, explains the events leading up to the 2014 Ukraine protests.

Freeland says, “these revolution are really human dignity revolutions… When I was there a couple of weeks ago, that was the thing that struck me the most. What first brought people to the square, and what brought more people out, was precisely that.”

An activist put out the ‘10 Commandments of The New Ukraine.’ It included be tidy, widen your horizons by working abroad, help old people around you, and more. Ukrainians started being the change they wanted to see.

Ukraine has been independent for 23 years. Freeland says, “what we are seeing in Ukraine and also in Russia, is the second act of the 1991 revolution.”

In 2004, Viktor Yanukovych was elected in a rigged election. Ukranians protested in what is known as the Orange Revolution.  The revolution ended when Yushchenko was fairly elected. Yushchenko was such a bad leader that Yanukovych was elected afterwards.

Yanukovych’s reign turned out to be even worse. In November 2013, Yanukovych made a deal with Russia instead of Europe.

By using Facebook, Afghan Refugee and journalist Mustafa Nayem gathered a group of protestors in Maidan.

The government’s reaction to the protests were strong, which caused more people to join.

In January, Yanukovych enforced laws that limited protests in Ukraine. Freeland says, “Someone told me that’s when we saw how far Yanukovych really wanted to go.  And that’s when we saw he wouldn’t remain president.”

Then Yanukovych began shooting at the protestors.

By the end, Yanukovych didn’t have any supporters. “He had fewer people willing to stand up for him than are seated at this podium. He had literally no one,” Freeland says pointing at the table beside her. Yanukovych fled Ukraine.

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