The current situation in Ukraine is worse than what it was like during the Orange Revolution.
On Tuesday, the country witnessed the bloodiest day in its post-Soviet history just when it looked like the unrest between the two conflicting parties – the government and the opposition – was going to end in a stalemate.
The clashes left around 26 people dead of both the sides and several hundred injured.
Not more than three days ago, anti-government demonstrators ended their nearly three-month occupation of the capital city’s Kiev city hall, in accordance with the arrangement reached with the authorities to release all imprisoned activists.
Even the Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, along with the entire parliament, gave in and resigned on January 28 in an attempt to find a peaceful solution.
However, things went back to square one on Monday after Russia announced it would renew loans to Ukraine – which basically was the root of all the tension that prompted the protests in the first place.
In November last year, the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych accepted a $15 billion loan from Russia while the opposition wanted to trade and establish closer ties with the European Union (EU).
The decision infuriated all those who wanted to get rid of Russia’s political and financial influence for good. Though initially peaceful, the protests and demonstrations that followed ultimately led to death and destruction this month.
Many believe the current political turmoil is similar to what happened during the Orange Revolution when mass demonstrations were carried out against the results of the 2004 presidential election.
The protesters claimed that Viktor Yushchenko lost to Viktor Yanukovych because of massive corruption, voter intimidation and Russian influence in the electoral process.
The nationwide demonstrations succeeded when the results were annulled within a month and a revote was ordered by Ukraine's Supreme Court in December 2004 subsequently leading to Yushchenko’s victory.
However, the present situation in Ukraine – especially after the events this week – is much more severe than the Orange Revolution. It has its roots in 2004, no doubt about that, but it’s so much more than just choosing between two politicians.
It’s become a matter of Ukraine’s identity as a whole; whether it should lag behind with Russia or go forward with the West.
Images From The Protests:
Image Source: Reuters