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Title: Euromaidan  
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Subject: 2014 Ukrainian revolution, In the news/Candidates/December 2013, 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine, In the news/Candidates/February 2014, In the news/Candidates/January 2014
Collection: 2013 in International Relations, 2013 in Ukraine, 2013 Protests, 2013–15 Ukrainian Crisis, 2014 in International Relations, 2014 in Ukraine, 2014 Protests, 21St-Century Revolutions, Articles Containing Video Clips, Conflicts in 2013, Conflicts in 2014, Euromaidan, Hashtags, History of Kiev, Modern History of Ukraine, November Observances, Political History of Ukraine, Political Scandals in Ukraine, Post-Soviet Revolutions, Protests in Ukraine, Revolutions in Ukraine, Riots and Civil Disorder in Ukraine, Russia–ukraine Relations, Ukraine–european Union Relations, Ukrainian Democracy Movements, Ukrainian Nationalism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Part of the Ukrainian crisis
Clockwise from top left: A large EU flag is waved across Maidan on 27 November 2013, opposition activist popular singer Ruslana addresses the crowds on Maidan on 29 November 2013, Pro EU rally on Maidan, Euromaidan on European Square on 1 December, tree decorated with flags and posters, crowds direct hose at militsiya, plinth of the toppled Lenin statue
Date 21 November 2013 (2013-11-21) – 23 February 2014
(Minor protests went on until 2 December 2014)
Location Ukraine, primarily Kiev (notably Maidan Nezalezhnosti)

The main reason:

Other versions:

Methods Demonstrations, Internet activism, civil disobedience, civil resistance, hacktivism,[10] occupation of administrative buildings[nb 1]
Parties to the civil conflict

Supporters of the European integration of Ukraine

Parliamentary opposition parties:

Other parties:


Government of Ukraine

Government parties:


  • Civil servants and pro-government civilian protestors[39][nb 2]
  • Hired supporters[41]

Political groups:

  • Ukrainian Front[42]

Militant groups:

  • Titushky[43][44][nb 3]
  • Civic Patrols (Government sanctioned vigilantes)
  • Red Sector[46]
  • People's Militia of Donbass[47]

Anti-government but anti-protest

Groups from Russia

Lead figures

400,000–800,000 protesters[54]
12,000 "self-defense sotnia"[55][56]

Across Ukraine:
50,000 (Lviv)[57]
20,000 (Cherkasy)[58]
10,000+ (Ternopil)[59]
other cities and towns

Law enforcement in Kiev:

  • 4,000 Berkut
  • 1,000 Internal Troops

3,000–4,000 titushky[60]
Pro-government/anti-EU demonstrations:
20,000–60,000 (Kiev)
40,000 (Kharkiv)[61]
15,000 (Donetsk)[62]
10,000 (Simferopol)[63]

2,500 pro-Russia (Sevastopol)[64]
  • Died: 104–780[65]
  • Injured: 1,850–1,900 (sought medical help as of 21 January 2014)[66]
    681 (hospitalised as of 30 January 2014)[67][68]
  • Missing (probably abducted): 166–300[65][69] (as of 30 March 2014)
  • Arrested: 234[70]
  • Imprisoned: 140[70]
  • Died: 17[71]
  • Injured: 200–300 (sought medical help as of 21 January 2014)[72][73][74]
    52–75 policemen (hospitalised as of 2 Dec 2013)[73][74]

Euromaidan (; Ukrainian: Євромайдан, Russian: Евромайдан, Yevromaidan, literally "Euro Square") 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 ("Independence Square") in Kiev, demanding closer European integration. The scope of the protests expanded, with many calls for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych and his government.[75] The protests ultimately led to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. Many protesters joined because of the violent dispersal of protesters on 30 November and "a will to change life in Ukraine".[5] 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".[76]

The protests reached a climax during mid-February. Police and protesters fired guns with both live and rubber ammunition in multiple locations in Kiev. The riot police advanced towards Maidan 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. In connection with the tragic events of February 18–20 Yanukovych was forced to make concessions to the opposition to end the bloodshed in Kiev and end the sharp political crisis. Agreement on settlement of political crisis in Ukraine signed Vitaly Klitschko, Arseny Yatsenyuk, Oleh Tyahnybok. Witnessing the signing was made by the foreign Ministers of Germany and Poland, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Radosław Sikorski and head of the Department for continental Europe of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of France Eric Fournier.[77] Vladimir Lukin, representing Russia, refused to put his signature under the agreement.

In late February 2014, Yanukovych and many other high government officials fled the country. Protesters gained control of the presidential administration and Yanukovych's private estate. A while later, the parliament removed Yanukovych from office, 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. Despite the controversial impeachment of Yanukovych,[78] 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.


  • Overview 1
  • Background 2
    • Name history 2.1
    • Initial causes 2.2
    • Public opinion about Euromaidan 2.3
    • Public opinion about joining the EU 2.4
    • Comparison with the Orange Revolution 2.5
    • Escalation to violence 2.6
  • Demands 3
  • Timeline of the events 4
    • Riots in Kiev 4.1
      • 1 December 2013 riots 4.1.1
      • 11 December 2013 assault 4.1.2
      • 2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots 4.1.3
      • 2014 Ukrainian revolution 4.1.4
    • Protests across Ukraine 4.2
    • Occupation of administrative buildings 4.3
    • Protests outside Ukraine 4.4
    • Antimaidan and pro-government rallies 4.5
  • Euromaidan groups 5
    • Automaidan 5.1
    • Self-defence groups 5.2
  • Casualties 6
    • Deaths 6.1
    • Investigation into shooters/snipers 6.2
      • Hrushevskoho Street riot shootings 6.2.1
      • Snipers deployed during the Ukrainian revolution 6.2.2
    • Press and medics injured by police attacks 6.3
  • Impact 7
    • Support for Euromaidan in Ukraine 7.1
    • Public opinion about Association Agreement 7.2
    • Political impact 7.3
    • Economic impact 7.4
    • Social impact 7.5
    • Cultural impact 7.6
      • Music of Maidan 7.6.1
      • Films of Maidan 7.6.2
      • Art of Maidan 7.6.3
    • Sport 7.7
  • Trends and symbolism 8
    • Religion 8.1
  • Reactions 9
  • Legacy 10
    • Annual celebration 10.1
    • Filmography 10.2
  • See also 11
  • Notes 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14
  • Bibliography 15


The demonstrations began on the night of 21 November 2013, when protests erupted in the capital, Kiev, after the Ukrainian government suspended preparations for signing the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement with the European Union, to seek closer economic relations with Russia.[79] On 24 November 2013, clashes between protesters and police began. Protesters strived to break cordon. Police used tear gas and batons. Protesters also used tear gas and some fire crackers (according to the police, protesters were the first to use them).[80] After a few days of demonstrations an increasing number of university students joined the protests.[81] The Euromaidan has been repeatedly characterised as an event of major political symbolism for the European Union itself, particularly as "the largest ever pro-European rally in history."[82]

Pro-EU demonstration in Kiev, November 27, 2013

The protests continued despite heavy

  • Klaus Bachmann and Igor Lyubashenko.The Maidan Uprising, Separatism and Foreign Intervention. Ukraine's complex transition. (2014)


  • EuroMaidan collected news and commentary at the Kyiv Post
  • Euromaidan Press
  • Webcam on Maidan Nezalezhnosti
  • Espreso TV Live on YouTube (Ukrainian)
  • Maidan Massacre on YouTube (American documentary on the killing by snipers at the Maidan)
  • Katchanovski, I. (2015) The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine.

External links

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  13. ^ a b c d e f Ukraine protests 'spread' into Russia-influenced east, BBC News (26 January 2014)
  14. ^ a b Thousands mourn Ukraine protester amid unrest , (26 January 2014)
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  16. ^ Law on amnesty of Ukrainian protesters to take effect on Feb 17, Interfax-Ukraine (17 February 2014)
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  20. ^ Ukraine parliament passes protest amnesty law. BBC. 29 January 2014
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  22. ^ Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych takes sick leave as amnesty, other moves fail to quell Kiev protests. CBS news. 30 January 2014
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  28. ^ Cabinet resumed preparations for the association with the EU. Ukrinform. 2 March 2014
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  34. ^ Об’єднані ліві йдуть з Майдану (18 March 2014)
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  46. ^ Responsibility for burning private vehicles of protesters was taken by the Red Sector. TVi. 1 February 2014
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  50. ^ Luhansk administration is being guarded by Don Cossacks. 24tv. 26 January 2014
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  52. ^ Musicians liven up EuroMaidan stage, Kyiv Post (29 November 2013)
  53. ^ (Ukrainian) Ruslana together with like-minded hunger strike on MaidanРуслана Лижичко разом із однодумцями оголосила голодування на майдані , TSN (25 November 2013)
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  87. ^ Ukraine pro-Europe protesters hold first big rally of 2014, Reuters (12 January 2014)
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  99. ^ Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych pardons Yulia Tymoshenko allies, BBC News (8 April 2013)
  100. ^ a b EU Commissioner Fule expects Rada to pass European integration bills on November 21, Interfax-Ukraine (20 November 2013)
  101. ^ Ukrainian president asks for laws to be passed to facilitate EU association agreement, Euronews (3 September 2013)
  102. ^ EU-Ukraine Association Agreement to be signed, Ukraine to go to Europe - speaker, Interfax (25 September 2013)
  103. ^ Klimkin: Russia trying to force renegotiation of Minsk deals, Kyiv Post (18 January 2015)
  104. ^ a b Eased Russian customs rules to save Ukraine $1.5 bln in 2014, says minister, Interfax-Ukraine (18 December 2013)
  105. ^ Ukraine's Employers Federation: Russia's customs service halts all Ukrainian imports. Kyiv Post. 14 August 2013.
  106. ^ Russia sets off trade war to prevent Ukraine from signing agreement with EU, says UDAR. Kyiv Post. 14 August 2013.

    Does Russia Have a Secret Plan for Ukraine?, The Atlantic (21 August 2013)
    Caught in a Zeitnot, The Ukrainian Week (6 August 2013)
  107. ^ Ukraine media see Kremlin pressure over EU, BBC News (22 November 2013)
    Q&A: Stand-off in Ukraine over EU agreement, BBC News (29 December 2013)
    Analysis: Russia's carrot-and-stick battle for Ukraine, BBC news (17 December 2013)
  108. ^ Eased Russian customs rules to save Ukraine $1.5 bln in 2014, says minister, Interfax-Ukraine (18 December 2013)
    Russia to lift restrictions on Ukrainian pipe imports - Ukrainian ministry, Interfax-Ukraine (18 December 2013)
    Russia tightens customs rules to force Ukraine into union, Reuters (15 August 2013)
  109. ^ Russia cuts Ukraine gas price by a third, BBC News (17 December 2013)
  110. ^ Decline in industrial production in Ukraine in October 2013 slows to 4.9 percent, Kyiv Post (18 November 2013)
  111. ^
  112. ^ Cox-Kwasniewski mission to continue until Eastern Partnership Summit, Interfax-Ukraine (21 November 2013)
  113. ^ a b Ukraine to resume preparing agreement with EU when compensation for production drop found – Boiko, Interfax-Ukraine (21 November 2013)
  114. ^ Azarov: Ukraine would face crisis if it signed Association Agreement with EU, Interfax-Ukraine (21 December 2013)
  115. ^
  116. ^
  117. ^ MF not insisting on single-stage increase in tariffs, says resident representative in Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine (7 December 2013)
  118. ^ IMF links loan amount to Ukraine with reforms, Ukrinform (7 December 2013)
  119. ^ a b Ukraine to resume talks with IMF soon, says Yanukovych, Interfax-Ukraine (10 December 2013)
  120. ^ Ukraine fails to sign landmark deal at EU summit, Euronews (29 November 2013)
  121. ^ Ukraine's rejection of EU deal brings rival rallies at home, Euronews (29 November 2013)
  122. ^ Barroso: EU to continue its dialog with Ukraine on principles of mutual respect, transparency and responsibility, Interfax-Ukraine (29 November 2013)
  123. ^ EU and Ukraine say 'door still open' for future trade pact, Euronews (29 November 2013)
  124. ^ Yanukovych says Ukraine-EU deal is suspended, not cancelled, Euronews (29 November 2013)
  125. ^ "Interview with Ukrainian presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko". The Washington Post. April 25, 2014.
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  152. ^ In Ukraine, Protests Highlight 'Generational Rift', Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (27 November 2013)
  153. ^ a b (Ukrainian) Which way Ukraine should go – which union should join?, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (3 October 2013)
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  155. ^ "Ukraine president, protest leaders agree on truce", Associated Press via The Gainesville Sun (February 19, 2013).
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  157. ^ UkeTube on YouTube
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  159. ^ Ukraine president slams calls for revolution, Al Jazeera (10 December 2013)
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  162. ^ Ukraine's interior minister has no intention to resign, Interfax-Ukraine (5 December 2013)
  163. ^ More than 100,000 people petition Obama for sanctions against Yanukovych. Kyiv Post. 30 November 2013
  164. ^ White House website petition against Yanukovych signed by 63,000. Voice of Russia.
  165. ^ The United States will not consider a petition against Yanukovych, but relations between the two countries deteriorate – O.Haran.
  166. ^ Petition for sanctions against Yanukovych gathers 45,000 votes. ZIK.
  167. ^ Current political crisis cannot be resolved through parliamentary methods, Interfax-Ukraine (5 December 2013)
  168. ^ Ukraine opposition: no talks unless government fired, CBC News (7 December 2013)
  169. ^ a b Ukrainians to celebrate Day of Dignity and Freedom on November 21, Unity Day on January 22, Interfax-Ukraine (13 November 2014)
    (Russian) Opponents of suspension Ukraine's European integration in the night took to the streets of KievПротивники приостановки евроинтеграции Украины в ночи вышли на улицы Киева , NEWSru (22 November 2013)
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  218. ^ a b Ukraine opposition demands leader resign after EU snub, Seven News (30 November 2013)
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  281. ^ KMDA named another number of unidentified bodies. Urkayinska Pravda. 31 January 2014
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  298. ^ Leaked call raises questions about who was behind sniper attacks in Ukraine, CNN, 6 March 2014.
  299. ^ Estonia denies leaked call implicates Ukraine protesters in killings, Reuters, 5 March 2014.
  300. ^ Ukraine crisis: March 5 as it happened, entry for 15.17, The Telegraph, 5 March 2014.
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  309. ^ Only at Hrushevskoho suffered 42 journalists (Лише на Грушевського постраждали 42 журналісти). Ukrayinska Pravda. 22 January 2014
  310. ^ Journalists are disguising themselves as regular protesters for own safety. TSN. 22 January 2014
  311. ^
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  314. ^ Belarusian photocorrespondent in Kiev was shot. Belapan. 22 January 2014
  315. ^ Belarusian journalist suffered during the events in Kiev. 22 January 2014
  316. ^ In Kiev sniper wounded a journalist. Belarusian partizan. 22 January 2014
  317. ^
  318. ^ Ukrainian president demands all detained reporters be released immediately, Interfax-Ukraine (24 January 2014)
  319. ^ Berkut shoots at medic with raised hands. Ukrayinska Pravda. 31 January 2014. (video no longer available)
  320. ^ Ukraine Q&A: How protests turned violent and what comes next, Financial Times (26 January 2014)
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  326. ^ a b The socio-political situation in Ukraine: December 2013, Sociological group "RATING" (25 December 2013)
  327. ^ Davos leaves Ukraine PM out in the cold, Financial Times (23 January 2014)
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  333. ^ "Euromaidan: The Dark Shadows Of The Far-Right In Ukraine Protests", International Business Times, 19 February 2014.
  334. ^ a b Poroshenko Bloc to have greatest number of seats in parliament, Ukrainian Television and Radio (8 November 2014)
    People's Front 0.33% ahead of Poroshenko Bloc with all ballots counted in Ukraine elections - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
    Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
  335. ^ After the parliamentary elections in Ukraine: a tough victory for the Party of Regions, Centre for Eastern Studies (7 November 2012)
  336. ^ Svoboda party members in Ukrainian government resign – Deputy Premier Sych, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2014)
  337. ^ Three leaders of opposition and the president of Ukraine signed the document on settlement of a political situation
  338. ^ The Right Sector" is dissatisfied with the agreement with Yanukovych
  339. ^
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  343. ^
  344. ^ Protests in Ukraine up risk of growth in foreign currency demand, says Moody's, Interfax-Ukraine (4 December 2013)
  345. ^ Ukraine needs $10 bln to avoid default – deputy PM, Interfax-Ukraine (7 December 2013)
  346. ^ a b Ukraine might not be able to fulfill gas contracts with Russia, says Ukrainian premier, Interfax-Ukraine (3 December 2013)
  347. ^ Money for pensions, wages, social payments short due to actions of protesters, says Ukrainian premier, Interfax-Ukraine (5 December 2013)
  348. ^ Korolevska: Payment of pensions in January to begin according to schedule, Interfax-Ukraine (2 January 2014)
  349. ^ Azarov: Full repayment of debt on social payments postponed until end of this year due to protests, Interfax-Ukraine (11 December 2013)
  350. ^ Ukraine protesters defy police, leaders reject talks with president, Reuters (11 December 2013)
  351. ^ a b Fitch: Ukraine protests increase pressure on credit profile, Interfax-Ukraine (16 December 2013)
  352. ^ Ukraine's budget deficit in 2014 expected at 3% of GDP – Finance Ministry, Interfax-Ukraine (17 December 2013)
  353. ^ Nothing threatening Ukraine's economic, financial stability now – PM Azarov, Interfax-Ukraine (18 December 2013)
  354. ^ Russian bailout masks Ukraine's economic mess, BBC News (18 December 2013)
  355. ^ a b Protests cause multi-mln-USD damage to Ukrainian capital: official, Xinhua News Agency (21 January 2014)
  356. ^ EU’s Ashton demands more urgency from Ukraine politicians, Euronews (6 February 2014)
  357. ^ Ukraine Bonds Rally as Factions Sign Peace Pact to End Crisis, Bloomberg News (21 February 2014)
  358. ^ S&P downgrades Ukraine again over default fears, Euronews (21 February 2014)
  359. ^ Why Ukraine Is So Important, Business Insider (28 January 2014)
  360. ^ Ukraine unrest: Life as normal outside Kiev protest camp, BBC News (31 January 2014)
  361. ^ «Євромайдан»— слово року, і не тільки в Україні, Газета.ua, 14 January 2014 (Ukrainian)
  362. ^ Євромайдан і Тітушко— неологізми року в Росії, Газета.ua, 14 January 2014 (Ukrainian)
  363. ^
  364. ^
  365. ^
  366. ^ All Polish TV channels simultaneously turned on a song in sign of support for Ukraine. TSN. 2 February 2014
  367. ^ All Polish TV channels simultaneously turned on a song in sign of support for Ukraine. Mirror Weekly. 2 February 2014
  368. ^ Band Taraka moved hearts. Polskie Radio. 4 February 2014
  369. ^ Aflame the tire was on fire: new eurohit. Video. Ukrayinska Pravda. 29 January 2014
  370. ^ New hit of the revolutionary Maidan: "Aflame the barrel was on smoke". espreso TV. 4 February 2014
  371. ^ Band Skriabin at night on January 23 wrote a song. espreso TV. 23 January 2014
  372. ^ Race car driver Mochanov dedicated his song to titushky. espreso TV. 5 February 2014
  373. ^ DJ Rudy Paulenko created this track after being inspired by events on Independence Square on YouTube 4 March 2014
  374. ^ (Ukrainian) Klitschko at concert "Lapis Trubetskoi" autographed and shook hands, Tablo ID (27.08.2014)
  375. ^ Babylon'13: 35 films about the life of Euromaidan. Ukrayinska Pravda. 24 December 2013
  376. ^ Happy Kyiv. belsat. 10 February 2014
  377. ^ Group of activists-cinematographers initiated series of films about people of Euromaidan. Ukrayinska Pravda. 5 February 2014
  378. ^
  379. ^ Revolution through eyes of photograph. Hanna Hrabarska. Ukrayinska Pravda. 11 February 2014
  380. ^ Revolution through eyes of photograph. Irakliy Dzneladze. Ukrayinska Pravda. 7 February 2014
  381. ^ Revolution through eyes of photograph. Vladyslav Musiyenko. Ukrayinska Pravda. 4 February 2014
  382. ^ Epeople: the best project about the faces of Euromaidan. Ukrayinska Pravda. 30 January 2014
  383. ^ Illustrator Sasha Godiayeva. Emotional protest. Ukrayinska Pravda. 5 February 2014
  384. ^ Dynamo to play Valencia in Cyprus, Euronews (19 February 2014)
  385. ^ Dynamo to play Valencia in Cyprus, UEFA (19 February 2014)
  386. ^ a b Hockey heartache for hosts, Ukraine violence shocks Games, Reuters (19 February 2014)
  387. ^ a b Ukrainian Olympic alpine skier quits Sochi, blames Yanukovych for deaths on EuroMaidan, Kyiv Post (19 February 2014)
  388. ^ Budivelinik, Khimik home games moved, Eurocupbasketball(3 March 2014)
  389. ^ a b
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  394. ^
  395. ^
  396. ^


  1. ^ Since 1 December 2013 Kiev's Town Hall has been occupied by Euromaidan-protesters; this forced the Kiev City Council to meet in the Solomianka Raion state administration building instead.[11]
  2. ^ Reports of some protesters attending under duress from superiors[40]
  3. ^ "Titushky" are provocators during protests.[45]
  4. ^ Early November 2012 Communist Party party leader Petro Symonenko stated that his party will not co-operate with other parties in the new parliament elected in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[48] Nevertheless, in the current parliament its parliamentary faction usually votes similarly to the Party of Regions parliamentary faction.[49]
  5. ^ On 7 April 2013 a decree by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych freed Yuriy Lutsenko from prison and exempted him from further punishment.[99]
  6. ^ On 20 December 2013 Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated that the public had not been given clear explanations by the authorities of the reason of the decree suspended preparations for signing of the association agreement.[114]
  7. ^ On 10 December President Yanukovych stated "We will certainly resume the IMF negotiations. If there are conditions that suit us, we will take that path."[119] However, Yanukovych also (once again) stated that the conditions put forward by the IMF were unacceptable "I had a conversation with U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, who told me that the issue of the IMF loan has almost been solved, but I told him that if the conditions remained ... we did not need such loans."[119]
  8. ^ RSA stands for Regional State Administration.
  9. ^ According to the Financial Times people in East Ukraine and South Ukraine "tend to be more politically passive than their western counterparts. Locals say they still feel part of Ukraine and have no desire to reunite with Russia – nor are they likely to engage in conflict with the west".[320]


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See also

  • 2015 Quai d'Orsay. Les coulisses de la diplomatie (France), directed by Serge Moati (video)


In mid-October 2014, President Petro Poroshenko stated that 21 November (Euromaidan started on 21 November 2013) will be celebrated as "Day of Dignity and Freedom".[169]

Annual celebration


In a poll published on 24 February by the state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center, only 15% of those Russians polled said 'yes' to the question: "Should Russia react to the overthrow of the legally elected authorities in Ukraine?"[396]

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.[395]


According to Russian press, personalities from Protestantism and especially from Uniate Catholic Church and National Church of Ukrainian Native Faith (RUNVira) had leading positions in the Euromaidan.[394]


The red-and-black battle flag of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) is another popular symbol among protesters, and the wartime insurgents have acted as a large inspiration for Euromaidan protesters.[391] Serhy Yekelchyk of the University of Victoria says the use of UPA imagery and slogans was more of a potent symbol of protest against the current government and Russia rather than adulation for the insurgents themselves, explaining "The reason for the sudden prominence of [UPA symbolism] in Kiev is that it is the strongest possible expression of protest against the pro-Russian orientation of the current government."[392] The colours of the flag symbolise Ukrainian red blood spilled on Ukrainian black earth.[393]

A common chant among protesters is "Glory to Ukraine, Glory to Heroes!"[389] The chant has extended beyond Ukrainians and has been used by Crimean Tatars and Russians.[389][390]

Headquarters of the Euromaidan. At the front entrance there is a portrait of Stepan Bandera, a twentieth century Ukrainian nationalist.
The rally on European Square in Kiev, November 24, 2013
The Ukrainian ribbon. Ribbons are common symbols of non-violent protest

Trends and symbolism

On 4 March 2014, the 2013–14 Eurocup Basketball Round of 16 game between BC Budivelnyk Kyiv and JSF Nanterre was moved to Žalgiris Arena in Kaunas, Lithuania. On 5 March 2014, another Round of 16 game between Khimik Yuzhny and Aykon TED Ankara was moved to Abdi Ipekci Arena in Istanbul.[388]

On 19 February 2014, alpine skier Bohdana Matsotska refused to further participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in protest against the violent clashes in Kiev.[387] She and her father posted a message on Facebook stating "In solidarity with the fighters on the barricades of the Maidan, and as a protest against the criminal actions made towards the protesters, the irresponsibility of the president and his lackey government, we refuse further performance at the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014."[387]

On 19 February, the Ukrainian athletes competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics asked for and were refused permission by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to wear black arm bands to honour those killed in the violent clashes in Kiev.[386] IOC president Thomas Bach offered his condolences "to those who have lost loved ones in these tragic events".[386]

The 2013–14 UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match of 20 February 2014 between FC Dynamo Kyiv and Valencia CF was moved by UEFA from Kiev's Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex to the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus, "due to the security situation in the Ukrainian capital".[384][385]


Some photo correspondents created numerous unique pictures of everyday life at Maidan.[379][380][381][382] Some artists expressed their solidarity with Maidan.[383]

Art of Maidan

In 2015 Netflix released the Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom about the Euromaidan protests. The documentary shows the protests from the start until the resignation of Viktor Yanukovych. The movie won the Grolsch People's Choice Documentary Award in At the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

In 2014 Belarusian-Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa released the documentary Maidan. It was filmed by several cameramen instructed by Loznitsa during the revolution in 2013 and 2014 and depicts different aspects, from peaceful rallies to the bloody clashes between police and protesters.

The American filmmaker John Beck Hofmann made the film Maidan Massacre, about the sniper shootings. It premiered at the Siena International Film Festival, receiving the Audience Award.[378]

On 5 February 2014, a group of activist cinematographers initiated a series of films about the people of Euromaidan.[377]

Polish and Ukrainian activists created a short film, "Happy Kyiv", editing it with the Pharrell Williams hit "Happy" and some shoots of "Babylon'13".[376]

A compilation of short films about the 2013 revolution named "Babylon'13", was created.[375]

Films of Maidan

Belarusian rock band Lyapis Trubetskoy's song "Daybreakers" was one of the unofficial anthem's of Maidan.[374]

DJ Rudy Paulenko created a track inspired by events on Maidan called "The Battle at Maidan".[373]

The Ukrainian band Skriabin created a song dedicated to the revolutionary days of Maidan.[371] Another native of Kiev dedicated a song to titushky.[372]

Among other tunes, some remakes of the Ukrainian folk song "Aflame the pine was on fire" appeared (Ukrainian: Горіла сосна, палала).[369][370]

Ukrainian-Polish band Taraka came up with a song dedicated to "Euromaidan" "Podaj Rękę Ukrainie" (Give a Hand to Ukraine). The song uses the first several words of the National anthem of Ukraine "Ukraine has not yet died".[366][367][368]

Leading Ukrainian performers sang a song Kozak System "Brat za Brata" (English: "Brother for Brother") to support protesters. Song was one of the unofficial anthems of Euromaidan.[365]

Protester performs on the roof of burned "Berkut" bus. The barricade across Hrushevskoho str. Kiev, 10 February 2014.

Music of Maidan

According to a representative of the Kiev History Museum, its collection in the Ukrainian House on the night of 18–19 February, after it was recaptured by the police from the protesters.[363] Eyewitnesses report seeing the police forces plundering and destroying the museum's property.[364]

Cultural impact

"Euromaidan" was named Word of the Year for 2013 by modern Ukrainian language and slang dictionary Myslovo,[361] and the most popular neologism in Russia by web analytics company[362]

In Kiev, life continued "as normal" outside the "protest zone" (namely Maidan Nezalezhnosti).[359][360]

Social impact

On 21 February 2014, Standard & Poor's cut Ukraine's credit rating to CCC; adding that the country risked default without "significantly favourable changes".[357] Standard & Poor's analysts believed the compromise deal of the same day between President Yanukovych and the opposition made it "less likely Ukraine would receive desperately needed Russian aid, thereby increasing the risk of default on its debts".[358]

Kiev, 2 February 2014

On 5 February 2014, the hryvnia fell to a five-year low against the US dollar.[356]

On 21 January 2014, the Kiev City State Administration claimed that protests in Kiev had so far caused the city more than 2 million US dollars worth of damage.[355] It intended to claim compensation for damage caused by all demonstrators, regardless of their political affiliation.[355]

On 18 December, the day after an economical agreement with Russia was signed, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated, "Nothing is threatening stability of the financial-economic situation in Ukraine now. Not a single economic factor."[353] However, BBC News reported that the deal "will not fix Ukraine's deeper economic problems" in an article titled "Russian bailout masks Ukraine's economic mess".[354]

First Deputy Finance Minister Anatoliy Miarkovsky stated on 17 December the Ukrainian government budget deficit in 2014 could amount to about 3% with a "plus or minus" deviation of 0.5%.[352]

Fitch Ratings reported on 16 December that the (political) "standoff" had led to "greater the risk that political uncertainty will raise demand for foreign currency, causing additional reserve losses and increasing the risk of disorderly currency movement".[351] It also added "Interest rates rose sharply as the National Bank sought to tighten hryvnia liquidity."[351]

On 11 December, the second Azarov Government postponed social payments due to "the temporarily blocking of the government".[349] The same day Reuters commented (when talking about Euromaidan) "The crisis has added to the financial hardship of a country on the brink of bankruptcy" and added that (at the time) investors thought it more likely than not that Ukraine would default over the next five years (since it then cost Ukraine over US$1 million a year to insure $10 million in state debt).[350]

On 5 December, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stated that "money to finance the payment of pensions, wages, social payments, support of the operation of the housing and utility sector and medical institutions do not appear due to unrest in the streets" and he added that authorities were doing everything possible to ensure the timely financing of them.[347] Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Natalia Korolevska stated on 2 January 2014 that these January 2014 payments would begin according to schedule.[348]

On 3 December, Azarov warned that Ukraine might not be able to fulfill its natural gas contracts with Russia.[346] And he blamed the deal on restoring gas supplies of 18 January 2009 for this.[346]

Petro Poroshenko addresses Euromaidan on December 8, 2013

Moody's Investors Service reported on 4 December 2013 "As a consequence of the severity of the protests, demand for foreign currency is likely to rise" and noted that this was another blow to Ukraine's already poor solvency.[344] First deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov stated on 7 December Ukraine risked a default if it failed to raise $10 billion "I asked for a loan to support us, and Europe [the EU] agreed, but a mistake was made – we failed to put it on paper."[345]

The Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov, asked for 20 billion Euros (US$27 billion) in loans and aid from the EU[126] The EU was willing to offer 610 million euros (838 million US) in loans,[127] however Russia was willing to offer 15 billion US in loans.[127] Russia also offered Ukraine cheaper gas prices.[127] As a condition for the loans, the EU required major changes to the regulations and laws in the Ukraine. Russia did not.[126]

Spilna Sprava's tent at Euromaidan: "No elections - no tax payments!"

Economic impact

On 23 February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, the Rada passed a bill that would have altered the law on languages of minorities, including Russian. The bill would have made Ukrainian the sole state language at all levels.[342] However,on the next week 1 March, President Turchynov vetoed the bill.[343]

On the night of 22 February activists of Euromaidan seized the government quarter[339] left by law enforcement authorities and made a number of new demands—in particular, immediate resignation of the president Yanukovych.[340] Earlier that day, they stormed into Yanukovych's mansion.[341]

On 21 February, after negotiations between the president Yanukovych and representatives of opposition with mediation of representatives of the European Union and Russia, the agreement "About settlement of political crisis in Ukraine" was signed. The agreement provided return to the constitution of 2004, that is to a parliamentary presidential government, carrying out early elections of the president until the end of 2014 and formation of "the government of national trust".[337] The Verkhovna Rada adopted the law on release of all detainees during protest actions. Divisions of "Golden eagle" and internal troops left the center of Kiev. On 21 February, at the public announcement leaders of parliamentary opposition of conditions of the signed Agreement, representatives of "Right Sector" declared that they don't accept the gradualness of political reforms stipulated in the document, and demanded immediate resignation of the president Yanukovych — otherwise they intended to go for storm of Presidential Administration and Verkhovna Rada.[338]

In February 2014 IBTimes reported, "if Svoboda and other far-right groups gain greater exposure through their involvement in the protests, there are fears they could gain more sympathy and support from a public grown weary of political corruption and Russian influence on Ukraine."[333] In the following late October 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election Svoboda lost 31 seats of the 37 seats it had won in the 2012 parliamentary election.[334][335] The other main far-right party Right Sector won 1 seat (of the 450 seats in the Ukrainian parliament) in the same 2014 election.[334] From 27 February 2014 till 12 November 2014 three members of Svoboda did hold positions in Ukraine's government.[336]

A telephone call was leaked of US diplomat Victoria Nuland speaking to the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt about the future of the country, in which she said that Klitschko should not be in the future government, and expressed her preference for Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who became interim Prime Minister. She also casually stated "fuck the EU."[328][329] German chancellor Angela Merkel said she deemed Nuland's comment "completely unacceptable".[330] Commenting on the situation afterwards, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Nuland had apologised to her EU counterparts[331] while White House spokesman Jay Carney alleged that because it had been "tweeted out by the Russian government, it says something about Russia's role".[332]

During the annual World Economic Forum meeting at the end of January 2014 in Davos (Switzerland) Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov received no invitations to the main events; according to the Financial Times's Gideon Rachman because the Ukrainian government was blamed for the violence of the 2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots.[327]

US Senator John McCain addresses crowds in Kiev, 15 December.

Political impact

According to a 7 to 17 December 2013 poll by the Sociological group "RATING", 49.1% of respondents would vote for Ukraine's accession to the European Union in a referendum, and 29.6% would vote against the motion.[326] Meanwhile, 32.5% of respondents would vote for Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, and 41.9% would vote against.[326]

According to an 4 to 9 December 2013 study[128] by Research & Branding Group 46% of Ukrainians supported the integration of the country into EU, and 36% into the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Most support for EU integration could be found in West (81%) and in Central (56%) Ukraine; 30% of residents of South Ukraine and 18% of residents of Eastern Ukraine supported the integration with EU as well. Integration with the Customs Union was supported by 61% of East Ukraine and 54% of South Ukraine and also by 22% of Central and 7% of Western Ukraine.

Public opinion about Association Agreement

According to polls, 11% of the Ukrainian population has participated in the Euromaidan demonstrations, and another 9% has supported the demonstrators with donations.[325]

In the eastern regions of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv, 29% of the population believe "In certain circumstances, an authoritarian regime may be preferable to a democratic one."[323][324]

[321][5] The poll showed that 49.8% of the protesters are residents of Kiev and 50.2% came from elsewhere in Ukraine. 38% Of the protesters are aged between 15 and 29, 49% are aged between 30 and 54, and 13% are 55 or older. A total of 57.2% of the protesters are men.[322][5] 70% Said they came to protest the police brutality of 30 November, and 54% to protest in support of the European Union Association Agreement signing. Among their demands, 82% wanted detained protesters freed, 80% wanted the government to resign, and 75% want president Yanukovych to resign and for snap elections.[321][5] An

Another Research & Branding Group survey (conducted from 23 to 27 December) showed that 45% of Ukrainians supported Euromaidan, while 50% did not.[129] 43% Of those polled thought that Euromaidan's consequences "sooner could be negative", while 31% of the respondents thought the opposite; 17% believed that Euromaidan would bring no negative consequences.[129]

A poll conducted by the Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Fund and Razumkov Center, between 20 and 24 December, showed that over 50% of Ukrainians supported the Euromaidan protests, while 42% opposed it.[130]

According to an 4 to 9 December 2013 study[128] by Research & Branding Group 49% of all Ukrainians supported Euromaidan and 45% had the opposite opinion. It was mostly supported in Western (84%) and Central Ukraine (66%). A third (33%) of residents of South Ukraine and 13% of residents of Eastern Ukraine supported Euromaidan as well. The percentage of people who do not support the protesters was 81%in East Ukraine, 60% in South Ukraine[nb 9], in Central Ukraine 27% and in Western Ukraine 11%. Polls have shown that two-thirds of Kievans support the ongoing protests.[131]

Opposition leaders, 8 December 2013

Support for Euromaidan in Ukraine

Known impact to date includes the following:


  • On 21 January 2014, 26 journalists were injured, with at least two badly injured by police stun grenades;[312] 2 others were arrested by police.[313]
  • On 22 January, a correspondent of Reuters, Vasiliy Fedosenko, was intentionally shot in the head by a marksman with rubber ammunition during clashes at Hrushevskoho Street.[314][315][316] Later, a journalist of Espresso TV Dmytro Dvoychenkov was kidnapped, beaten and taken to an unknown location, but later a parliamentarian was informed that he was finally released.[317]
  • On 24 January, President Yanukovych ordered the release of all journalists from custody.[318]
  • On 31 January, a video from 22 January 2014 was published that showed policemen in Berkut uniforms intentionally firing at a medic who raised his hands.[319]

A number of attacks by law enforcement agents on members of the media and medical personnel have been reported. Some 40 journalists were injured during the staged assault at Bankova Street on 1 December 2013. At least 42 more journalists were victims of police attacks at Hrushevskoho Street on 22 January 2014.[309] On 22 January 2014, Television News Service (TSN) reported that journalists started to remove their identifying uniform (vests and helmets), as they were being targeted, sometimes on purpose, sometimes accidentally.[310] Since 21 November 2013, a total of 136 journalists have been injured.[311]

Press and medics injured by police attacks

In 2015 BBC published a story based on an interview with an anonymous sniper who said he was firing at anti-riot police from Conservatory (music academy) building on the morning of 20 January 2014. The sniper said he was recruited by a "former military" claiming to be working for Euromaidan leadership. These morning shots are said to have provoked return fire from police snipers that resulted in many deaths. Andriy Shevchenko from Euromaidan leadership said he received calls from anti-riot police command reporting that his people are being shot by sniper bullets from the areas controlled by the protesters. Another Euromaidan leader, Andriy Parubiy, said his team searched the Conservatory and found no snipers. He confirmed that many victims on both sides were shot by snipers, but they were shooting from other, taller buildings surrounding the Conservatory and was convinced they were snipers controlled by Russia.[308]

On 2 April, law enforcement authorities announced in a press conference they had detained nine suspects in the 18–20 February shootings of Euromaidan activists, acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine Oleh Makhnytsky reported. Among the detainees was the leader of the sniper squad. All of the detained are officers of the Kiev City Berkut unit, and verified the involvement of the SBU's Alfa Group in the shootings. Officials also reported that they plan to detain additional suspects in the Maidan shootings in the near future, and stressed that the investigation is ongoing, but hindered by the outgoing regime's destruction of all documents and evidence. Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed that Viktor Yanukovych gave the order to fire on protesters on 20 February.[305][306] During the press conference, Ukraine’s interior minister, chief prosecutor and top security chief implicated more than 30 Russian FSB agents in the crackdown on protesters, who in addition to taking part in the planning, flew large quantities of explosives into an airport near Kiev. Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the interim head of Ukraine’s SBU state security agency, said the agents were stationed in Kiev during the entire Euromaidan protests, were provided with “state telecommunications” while residing at an SBU compound, and in regular contact with Ukrainian security officials. “We have substantiated grounds to consider that these very groups which were located at an SBU training ground took part in the planning and execution of activities of this so-called antiterrorist operation,” said Nalyvaichenko. Investigators, he said, had established that Yanukovych's SBU chief Oleksandr Yakymenko, who had fled the country, had received reports from FSB agents while they were stationed in Ukraine, and that Yakymenko held several briefings with the agents. Russia's Federal Security Bureau rejected the comments as "groundless accusations" and otherwise refused to comment.[307]

On 31 March 2014, the Daily Beast published photos and videos which appear to show that the snipers were members of the Ukrainian Security Services (SBU) "anti-terrorist" Alfa Team unit, who had been trained in Russia. The media suggested that it was not the Ukrainian riot police which fired on the protesters as previously believed, although the members of Alfa Team are Ukrainian citizens.[303][304]

On 21 March 2014, Oleh Makhnitsky, Ukraine Parliamentary Commissioner for the supervision of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine and a member of the right-wing Svoboda party, stated that the government had identified the snipers shooting at the demonstrators in Kiev as "Ukrainian citizens," but did not release their names.[302]

On 12 March 2014, Interior Minister Avakov has stated that the conflict was provoked by a 'non-Ukrainian' third party, and that an investigation was ongoing.[301]

The IBTimes reported that a telephone call between Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton had been intercepted in which Paet stated that a doctor named Olga stated that victims from both sides were shot by the same snipers and that Olga had photos of the shooting victims with the same "handwriting." Paet said he found it "really disturbing that now the new coalition [doesn't] want to investigate what exactly happened," and that "there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition."[298] However, Paet later denied that he implicated the opposition in anything as he was merely relaying rumours he had heard without giving any assessment of their veracity, while acknowledging that the phone call was genuine.[299] Olga Bogomolets, the doctor, who allegedly claimed that protesters and Berkut troops came under fire from the same source, said she had not told Paet that policemen and protesters had been killed in the same manner, that she did not imply that the opposition was implicated in the killings, and that the government informed her that an investigation had been started.[300]

Following the revolution of 18–23 February that saw over 100 killed in gunfire, the government's new health minister, Oleh Musiy, a doctor who helped oversee medical treatment for casualties during the protests, suggested to The Associated Press that the similarity of bullet wounds suffered by opposition victims and police indicates the shooters were trying to stoke tensions on both sides and spark even greater violence, with the goal of toppling Yanukovych. "I think it wasn't just a part of the old regime that (plotted the provocation), but it was also the work of Russian special forces who served and maintained the ideology of the (old) regime," he said, citing forensic evidence.[295] Hennadiy Moskal, a former deputy head of Ukraine's main security agency, the SBU, and of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, suggested in an interview published in the Ukrainian newspaper Dzerkalo Tizhnya that snipers from the MIA and SBU were responsible for the shootings, not foreign agents, acting on contingency plans dating back to Soviet times, stating: "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."[296][297]

Snipers deployed during the Ukrainian revolution

On 10 October 2014 Reuters published a report about their examination of Ukraine's probes into the Maidan shootings.[290] They have uncovered "serious flaws" in the case against Berkut (special police force) officers arrested by the new Ukrainian government and charged with murder of 39 unarmed protesters.[291] For example, as Reuters' own investigation found out, the senior among arrested officers was missing right hand after an accident 6 years ago. This dismissed main evidence presented by prosecutor, a photograph of a man holding his rifle with both hands. Other "flaws" according to Reuters included the fact that no one was charged with killing policemen and that the prosecutors and the minister in charge of the investigation all took part in the uprising. For example, the General Prosecutor of Ukraine Vitaly Yarema is known for hitting a traffic policeman in the face during the protests,[292] which he denied,[293] but a video of the incident appeared later and confirmed his involvement in the attack.[294]

On 31 January 2014, Vitali Sakal, first deputy chief of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's Main Investigative Directorate told a press conference that "[w]e are pursuing several lines of inquiry into these murders, including [that they may have been committed] by Berkut (special police unit) officers."[278] On 31 January 2014 during a live broadcast on television channel "Rossiya", a Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky expressed threats towards the protesting events in Kiev stating the following:

A report published on 25 January by Armament Research Services, a speciality arms and munitions consultancy in Perth, Australia, stated that the mysterious cufflink-shaped projectiles presumably fired by riot police on Hrushevskoho Street at protesters during clashes were not meant for riot control, but for stopping vehicles, busting through doors and piercing armour. The bullets were reported to be special armour-piercing 12-gauge shotgun projectiles, likely developed and produced by the Spetstekhnika (Specialized Equipment) design bureau, a facility located in Kiev and associated with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.[288]

Oleh Tatarov, deputy chief of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's Main Investigative Directorate under Yanukovych, claimed in January that "[t]he theory we are looking at is the killing was by unidentified persons. This is an official theory, and the unidentified persons could be various people, a whole host of them… It could have been motivated by disruptive behavior, or with the aim of provocation." He then claimed the cartridges and weapons used in the shootings were not police issue.[278] Forensics experts found that protesters were killed with both buckshot and rifle bullets,[286] while medics confirmed the bullet wounds to be from firearms such as the Dragunov sniper rifle (7.62x54R) and possibly 9×18mm Makarov cartridges.[287]

During the 2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots of 22–25 January, 3 protesters were killed by firearms.

Hrushevskoho Street riot shootings

Investigation into shooters/snipers

At least 79 people were killed and 570 injured. At least 13 officers were killed and 130 hospitalised with gunshot wounds.[285]

On 20 February, gunfire killed 60 people, according to an opposition medical service.[284]

On 18 and 19 February, at least 26 people were killed in clashes with police,[282] moreover, a self-defense soldier from Maidan was found dead. Journalist Vyacheslav Veremiy was murdered by pro-government Titushky and shot in the chest when they attacked his taxi. It was announced that an additional 40–50 people died in the fire that engulfed the Trade Union building after police attempted to seize it the night before.[283]

On 31 January it was discovered that 26 unidentified, unclaimed bodies remained in the Kiev central morgue; 14 of which were from January alone.[279][280] Journalists revealed that a mass burial was planned on 4 February 2014.[279] The Kiev city administration followed on the announcement with its own statement informing that there are 14 such bodies; 5 from January.[281]

Ukrainian Red Cross Society volunteers administering first aid to a wounded protester, 19 January 2014.

The first of major casualties occurred on the Day of Unity of Ukraine, 22 January 2014. Four people permanently lost their vision,[272] and one man died by falling from a colonnade. The circumstances of his death are unclear. At least five more people were confirmed dead during the clashes on 22 January,[273] four people perished from gunshot wounds.[273] Medics confirmed bullet wounds to be from firearms such as a Dragunov sniper rifle (7.62mm) and possibly a Makarov handgun (9mm) in the deaths of Nihoyan and Zhyznevskyi.[274][275] There are photos of Berkut utilising shotguns (such as the RPC Fort), and reporters verified the presence of shotgun casings littering the ground.[276] Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office confirmed two deaths from gunshot wounds in Kyiv protests.[277] "We are pursuing several lines of inquiry into these murders, including [that they may have been committed] by Berkut (special police unit) officers," Vitali Sakal, first deputy chief of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's Main Investigative Directorate told a press conference in Kyiv on Friday...It was established that the weapons and cartridges that were used to commit these killings are hunting cartridges. Such is the conclusion of forensic experts. Most likely, it was a smoothbore firearm. I want to stress that the cartridges which were used to commit the murders were not used by, and are not in use of, the police. They have no such cartridges," said first deputy chief of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's Main Investigative Directorate. The MVS has not ruled out that Berkut officers committed the killings.[278]

US Secretary of State John Kerry looks at the photos of those killed at Maidan, at the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv.



Pravy Sektor coordinates its actions with Self-defence and is formally a 23-rd sotnia,[270] although already had hundreds of members at the time of registering as a sotnia. Second sotnia (staffed by Svoboda's members) tends to dissociate itself from "sotnias of self-defence of Maidan".[271]

Along with self-defence headed by Mr. Parubiy, there are some independent divisions (some of them are also referred to as sotnias and even self-defence), like the security of the Trade Unions Building until 2 January 2014,[265] Narnia and Vikings from Kiev City State Administration,[266] Volodymr Parasyuk's sotnia from Conservatory building,[267][268] etc. Mr. Parubiy officially asked such divisions to not call themselves Self-defence.[269]

The groups are divided up into sotnias, or 'hundreds', which have been described as a "resilient force that is providing the tip of the spear in the violent showdown with government security forces". The sotni take their name from a traditional form of Cossacks cavalry formation, and were also used in the Ukrainian People's Army, Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Ukrainian National Army etc. Activists estimate at least 32 such groups are in Kiev now, with more forming all the time.[264]

On 30 November 2013, the day after the dispersion of Euromaidan, Euromaidan organisers, aided by groups such as Svoboda, created Self-defence of the Maidan – formation for protecting protesters from police and providing security within the city.[261][262] Head of Self-defence is Andriy Parubiy.[263]

Self-defence of the Maidan

Self-defence groups

Automaidan was a movement within the Euromaidan, that sought the resignation of the Ukrainian president car procession on 29 December 2013 to the president's residence in Mezhyhirya to voice their protests at his refusal to sign the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement in December 2013. The motorcade was stopped a couple of hundred metres short of his residence. Automaidan was the repeated target of violent attacks by government forces and supporters.


Euromaidan groups

Pro-government rallies during Euromaidan have largely been credited as funded by the government. Several news outlets have investigated the claims to confirm that by and large, attendees at pro-government rallies do so for financial compensation and not for political reasons, and are not an organic response to the Euromaidan. "People stand at Euromaidan protesting against the violation of human rights in the state, and they are ready to make sacrifices," said Oleksiy Haran, a political scientist at Kyiv Mohyla Academy in Kiev. "People at Antimaidan stand for money only. The government uses these hirelings to provoke resistance. They won't be sacrificing anything."[260]

Antimaidan and pro-government rallies

were illuminated in blue and yellow as a symbol of solidarity with Ukraine. [259] borderCanada/US on the Niagara Falls and [258] 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. Notably, in December 2013, Warsaw's Euromaidans Smaller protests or

Euromaidan in Munich

Protests outside Ukraine

Starting on 23 January, several Western Ukrainian Oblast (province) Governor buildings and regional councils (RSA's[nb 8]) were occupied by Euromaidan activists.[13] Several RSA's of the occupied oblasts then decided to ban the activities and symbols of the Communist Party of Ukraine and Party of Regions in their oblast.[14] In the cities Zaporizhzhya, Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa protesters also tried to take over their local RSA.[13]

Occupation of administrative buildings

On 4 March 2014, a mass pro-Euromaidan rally was held in Donetsk for the first time. About 2,000 people were there. Donetsk is a major city in the far east of Ukraine and serves as Yanukovych's stronghold and the base of his supporters. On 5 March 2014, 7,000-10,000 people rallied in support of Euromaidan in the same place.[253] After a leader declared the rally over, a fight broke out between pro-Euromaidan and 2,000 pro-Russian protesters.[253][254]

In the beginning of March, thousands of Crimean Tatars in support of Euromaidan clashed with pro-Russian protesters in Simferopol.

The Crimean parliament repeatedly stated that because of the events in Kiev it was ready to join autonomous Crimea to Russia. On 27 February armed men seized the Crimean parliament and raised the Russian flag.[252]

In Vinnytsia on 22 January thousands protesters blocked the main street of the city and the traffic. Also, they brought "democracy in coffin" to the city hall, as a present to Yanukovych.[249] 23 January Odessa city council member and Euromaidan activist Oleksandr Ostapenko's car was bombed.[250] The Mayor of Sumy threw his support behind the Euromaidan movement on 24 January, laying blame for the civil disorder in Kiev on the Party of Regions and Communists.[251]

In Lviv on 22 January, amid the police shootings of protesters in the capital, military barracks were surrounded by protesters. Many of the protesters included mothers whose sons are serving in the military, and pleaded with them not to deploy to Kiev.[248]

On 22 January in Donetsk, two simultaneous rallies were held – one pro-Euromaidan and one pro-government. The pro-government rally attracted 600 attendees to about 100 from the Euromaidan side. Police reports claimed 5,000 attended to support the government, to only 60 from Euromaidan. In addition, approximately 150 titushky appeared and encircled the Euromaidan protesters with megaphones and began a conflict, burning wreaths and Svoboda Party flags, and shouted "down with fascists!", but were separated by police.[245] Meanwhile, Donetsk City Council pleaded with the government to take tougher measures against Euromaidan protesters in Kiev.[246] Reports indicated a media blackout took place in Donetsk.[247]

Police clash with protesters

On 11 January 150 activists met in Kharkiv for a general forum on uniting the nationwide Euromaidan efforts. A church where some were meeting was stormed by over a dozen thugs, and others attacked meetings in a book store; smashing windows and deploying tear gas to stop the Maidan meetings from taking place.[244]

In late December, 500 marched in Donetsk. Due to the regime's hegemony in the city, foreign commentators have suggested that, "For 500 marchers to assemble in Donetsk is the equivalent of 50,000 in Lviv or 500,000 in Kiev."[242] On 5 January, marches in support of Euromaidan were held in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, and Kharkiv; the latter three drawing several hundred and Donetsk only 100.[243]

New Year celebration on Maidan

On 22 December, 2,000 rallied in Dnipropetrovsk.[241]

On 14 December, Euromaidan supporters in Kharkiv voiced their disapproval of authorities fencing off Gennady Kernes, to be behind the attack.[240]

The removal or destruction of Lenin monuments and statues gained particular momentum after the destruction of the Kyiv Lenin statue. Under the motto "Ленінопад" (Leninopad, translated into English as "Leninfall"), activists pulled down a dozen monuments in the Kyiv region, Zhytomyr, Chmelnitcki, and elsewhere, or damaged them during the course of the EuroMaidan protests into spring of 2014.[236] In other cities and towns, monuments were removed by organised heavy equipment and transported to scrapyards or dumps.[237]

[235] On 9 December, a statue of Vladimir Lenin was destroyed in the town of

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 Kiev took place.[233] The statue made out of stone was completely hacked to pieces by jubilant demonstrators.

On 7 December it was reported that police were prohibiting those from Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk from driving to Kiev.[232]

In Dnipropetrovsk on 3 December, a group of 300 protested in favour of European integration and demanded the resignation of local authorities, heads of local police units, and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).[231]

On 2 December, in an act of solidarity, Lviv Oblast declared a general strike to mobilise support for protests in Kiev,[229] which was followed by the formal order of a general strike by the cities of Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk.[230]

On 1 December, the largest rally outside of Kiev took place in Lviv by the statue of Taras Shevchenko, where over 50,000 protesters attended. Mayor Andriy Sadovy, council chairman Peter Kolody, and prominent public figures and politicians were in attendance.[57] An estimated 300 rallied in the eastern city of Donetsk demanding that President Viktor Yanukovych and the government of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resign.[220] Meanwhile, in Kharkiv, thousands rallied with writer Serhiy Zhadan, during a speech, calling for revolution. The protest was peaceful.[221][222][223] Protesters claimed at least 4,000 attended,[224] with other sources saying 2,000.[225] In Dnipropetrovsk, 1,000 gathered to protest the EU agreement suspension, show solidarity with those in Kiev, and demand the resignation of local and metropolitan officials. They later marched, shouting "Ukraine is Europe" and "Revolution".[226] EuroMaidan protests were also held in Simferopol (where 150–200 attended),[227] and Odessa.[228]

Pro-European Union protests in Luhansk
The largest pro-European Union protests outside Kiev have taken place at the Taras Shevchenko monument in Lviv

[219][218] Like in Kiev, they locked hands in a [218] On 29 November, Lviv protesters numbered some 20,000.

On 28 November, a rally was held in Yalta; university faculty who attended were pressured to resign by university officials.[217]

On 26 November, a rally of 50 was held in Donetsk.[216]

On 25 November, in Odessa, 120 police raided and destroyed a tent encampment made by protesters at 5:20 in the morning. The police detained three of the protesters, including the leader of the Odessa branch of Democratic Alliance, Alexei Chorny. All three were beaten in the police vehicle and then taken to the Portofrankovsk Police Station without their arrival being recorded. The move came after the District Administrative Court hours earlier issued a ban restricting citizens' right to peaceful assembly until New Year. The court ruling places a blanket ban on all demonstrations, the use of tents, sound equipment and vehicles until the end of the year.[215]

7 people were injured after 40 titushky (thugs) attacked a tent encampment in Dnipropetrovsk, which was ordered cleared by court order on 25 November.[209][210] Officials estimated the number of attackers to be 10–15,[211] and police did not intervene in the attacks.[212] Similarly, police in Odessa ignored calls to stop the demolition of Euromaidan camps in the city by a group of 30, and instead removed all parties from the premises.[213] 50 police officers and men in plain clothes also drove out a Euromaidan protest in Chernihiv the same day.[214]

A 24 November protest in Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 28–29 November 2013.[207] A rally in Simferopol, which drew around 300, saw nationalists and Crimean Tatars unite to support European integration; the protesters sang both the Ukrainian national anthem and the anthem of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen.[208]

City Peak attendees Date Ref.
Kiev 400,000–800,000 1 Dec [54]
Lviv 50,000 1 Dec [57]
Kharkiv 30,000 22 Feb [176]
Cherkasy 20,000 23 Jan [58]
Ternopil 20,000+ 8 Dec [177]
Dnipropetrovsk 15,000 2 Mar [83][178]
Ivano-Frankivsk 10,000+ 8 Dec [179]
Lutsk 8,000 1 Dec [180]
Sumy 10,000 2 Mar [181]
Poltava 10,000 24 Jan [182]
Donetsk 10,000 5 Mar [183]
Zaporizhia 10,000 26 Jan [184]
Chernivtsi 4,000–5,000 1 Dec [180]
Simferopol 5,000+ 23 Feb [185]
Rivne 4,000–8,000 2 Dec [186]
Mykolaiv 10,000 2 Mar [187]
Mukacheve 3,000 24 Nov [188]
Odessa 10,000 2 Mar [189]
Khmelnytskyi 8,000 24 Jan [179]
Bila Tserkva 2,000+ 24 Jan [190]
Sambir 2,000+ 1 Dec [191]
Vinnytsia 5,000 8 Dec 22 Jan [192]
Zhytomyr 2,000 23 Jan [193]
Kirovohrad 1,000 8 Dec 24 Jan [182][194]
Kryvyi Rih 1,000 1 Dec [195]
Luhansk 1,000 8 Dec [196]
Uzhhorod 1,000 24 Jan [197]
Drohobych 500–800 25 Nov [198]
Kherson 2,500 3 Mar [199]
Mariupol 400 26 Jan [200]
Chernihiv 150–200 22 Nov [201]
Izmail 150 22 Feb [202]
Vasylkiv 70 4 Dec [203]
Yalta 50 20 Feb [204]

Protests across Ukraine

After a series of violent events towards protesters in Kiev leaving 100 of them dead.[172] President Yanukovych signed the Agreement on settlement of political crisis in Ukraine. The next day he fled the country and was removed from office by the Rada on 22 February 2014.[173][174][175]

2014 Ukrainian revolution

On 19 January, a Sunday mass protest, the ninth in a row, took place gathering up to 200,000 in central Kiev to protest against the new anti-protest laws, dubbed the Dictatorship laws. Many protesters ignored the face concealment ban by wearing party masks, hard hats and gas masks. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko appeared covered with powder after he was sprayed with a fire extinguisher. Riot police and government supporters cornered a group of people who were trying to seize government buildings. The number of riot police on Hrushevskoho Street increased after buses and army trucks showed up. The latter resulted in the buses being burned as a barricade. The next day, a clean-up began in Kiev. On 22 January, more violence erupted in Kiev. This resulted in 8-9 people dead.

2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots

Conquest of the Ministry of Justice, Kiev, January 27, 2014
Conquest of the Ministry of Justice, Kiev, January 27, 2014

11 December 2013 assault

1 December 2013 riots

On 30 November 2013, the protests were dispersed violently by the Berkut riot police units, sparking riots the following day in Kiev. On 1 December 2013, protesters reoccupied the square and through December further clashes with the authorities and political ultimatums by the opposition ensued. This culminated in a series of anti-protest laws by the government on 16 January 2014, and further rioting on Hrushevskoho Street. Early February 2014 saw a bombing of the Trade Unions Building,[170] as well as the formation of "Self Defense" teams by protesters.[171]

Riots in Kiev

The Euromaidan protest movement began late at night on 21 November 2013, as a peaceful protest.[169]

Euromaidan-protestors on 27 November 2013. Kyiv, Ukraine.
Bulldozer clashes with Internal Troops on Bankova Street, 1 December 2013
Bulldozer clashes with Internal Troops on Bankova Street, 1 December 2013

Timeline of the events

On 5 December Batkivshchyna faction leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk stated, "Our three demands to the Verkhovna Rada and the president remained unchanged: the resignation of the government; the release of all political prisoners, first and foremost; [the release of former Ukrainian Prime Minister] Yulia Tymoshenko; and [the release of] nine individuals [who were illegally convicted after being present at a rally on Bankova Street on December 1]; the suspension of all criminal cases; and the arrest of all Berkut officers who were involved in the illegal beating up of children on Maidan Nezalezhnosti."[167] The opposition also demanded that the government resumed negotiations with the IMF for a loan that they saw as key to helping Ukraine "through economic troubles that have made Yanukovych lean toward Russia".[168]

Ukrainian students nationwide have also demanded the dismissal of Minister of Education Dmytro Tabachnyk.

A petition to the US White House demanding sanctions against Viktor Yanukovych and Ukrainian government ministers gathered over 100,000 signatures in four days.[163][164][165][166]

After the forced police dispersal of all protesters from Maidan Nezalezhnosti on the night of 30 November, the dismissal of Minister of Internal Affairs Vitaliy Zakharchenko became one of the protesters' main demands.[162]

The resolution stated that on 1 December, on the 22nd anniversary of Ukraine's independence referendum, that the group will gather at noon on Independence Square to announce their further course of action.[83]

  1. Form a co-ordinating committee to communicate with the European community.
  2. To state that the president, parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers aren't capable of carrying out a geopolitically strategic course of development for the state and calls on Yanukovych's resignation.
  3. Demand the cessation of political repressions against EuroMaidan activists, students, civic activists and opposition leaders.

On 29 November, a formal resolution by protest organisers proposed the following:[83]

Opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnybok, addressing demonstrators, 27 November 2013


Political expert Anders Åslund commented on this aspect: "Revolutionary times have their own logic that is very different from the logic of ordinary politics, as writers from Alexis de Tocqueville to Crane Brinton have taught. The first thing to understand about Ukraine today is that it has entered a revolutionary stage. Like it or not, we had better deal with the new environment rationally."[161]

Select media outlets in the region have dubbed this staged movement, Eurorevolution[158] (Mikhail Saakashvili has described the movement as "the first geopolitical revolution of the 21st century".[160]

In a Skype interview with media analyst Andrij Holovatyj, Vitaly Portnikov, Council Member of the "Maidan" National Alliance and President and Editor-in-Chief of the Ukrainian television channel TVi, stated "EuroMaidan is a revolution and revolutions can drag on for years" and that "what is happening in Ukraine goes much deeper. It is changing the national fabric of Ukraine."[157]

In the early stages of Euromaidan, there was discussion about whether the Euromaidan movement constituted a revolution - or a staged 'Colour Revolution' by outside forces. At the time many protest leaders (such as Oleh Tyahnybok) had already used this term frequently when addressing the public. Tyahnybok called in an official 2 December press release for police officers and members of the military to defect to 'the Ukrainian revolution'.[156]

The latest bout of street violence began Tuesday when protesters attacked police lines and set fires outside parliament, accusing Yanukovych of ignoring their demands to enact constitutional reforms that would limit the president's power — a key opposition demand. Parliament, dominated by his supporters, was stalling on taking up a constitutional reform to limit presidential powers. Police responded by attacking the protest camp. Armed with water cannons, stun grenades and rubber bullets, police dismantled some barricades. But the protesters held their ground through the night, encircling the protest camp with new burning barricades of tires, furniture and debris.[155]

The movement started peacefully but did not end that way. Protesters felt authorised to use violence after the government's crackdown on protesters which happened during the night of 30 November 2013. The Associated Press described the evolution this way, on 19 February:

Euromaidan protest in Kiev, 18 February 2014

Escalation to violence

According to Hrytsak: "Young Ukrainians resemble young Italians, Czech, Poles, or Germans more than they resemble Ukrainians who are 50 and older. This generation has a stronger desire for European integration and fewer regional divides than their seniors."[152] In a Kyiv International Institute of Sociology poll taken in September, joining the European Union was mostly supported by young Ukrainians (69.8% of those aged 18 to 29), higher than the national average of 43.2% support.[153][154] A November 2013 poll by the same institute found the same result with 70.8% aged 18 to 29 wanting to join the European Union while 39.7% was the national average of support.[153] An opinion poll by GfK conducted 2–15 October found that among respondents aged 16–29 with a position on integration, 73% favoured signing an Association Agreement with the EU, while only 45% of those over the age of 45 favoured Association. The lowest support for European integration was among people with incomplete secondary and higher education.[139]

Paul Robert Magocsi illustrated the effect of the Orange Revolution on Euromaidan, saying, "Was the Orange Revolution a genuine revolution? Yes it was. And we see the effects today. The revolution wasn't a revolution of the streets or a revolution of (political) elections; it was a revolution of the minds of people, in the sense that for the first time in a long time, Ukrainians and people living in territorial Ukraine saw the opportunity to protest and change their situation. This was a profound change in the character of the population of the former Soviet Union."[151] Lviv-based historian Yaroslav Hrytsak also remarked on the generational shift, "This is a revolution of the generation that we call the contemporaries of Ukraine's independence (who were born around the time of 1991); it is more similar to the Occupy Wall Street protests or those in Istanbul demonstrations (of this year). It's a revolution of young people who are very educated, people who are active in social media, who are mobile and 90 percent of whom have university degrees, but who don't have futures."[83]

In an interview, opposition leader Yuriy Lutsenko, when asked if the current opposition was weaker than it was in 2004, argued that the opposition was stronger because the stakes were higher, "I asked each [of the opposition leaders]: "Do you realise that this is not a protest? It is a revolution [...] we have two roads – we go to prison or we win."[150]

[147] he made on the square saying that once the protest was 100,000-strong, "we'll go for Yanukovych" – referring to President Viktor Yanukovych.[149] "Friends! All those who came to Maydan [Independence Square], well done! Who has not done it yet – join us now!" The protest hashtag also gained traction on the VKontakte social media network, and Klitschko tweeted a link to a speech[148] wrote in a tweetVitali Klitschko [147] The hashtag #euromaidan (Ukrainian #євромайдан, Russian #евромайдан), emerged immediately on the first meeting of the protests and was highly useful as a communication instrument for protesters.[146] The pro-European Union protests are Ukraine's largest since the

Comparison with the Orange Revolution

In December 2013, then Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov refuted the pro-EU poll numbers claiming that many polls posed questions about Ukraine joining the EU, and that Ukraine had never been invited to join the Union, but only to sign the Association Agreement.[143][144]

Another poll conducted in November by IFAK Ukraine for DW-Trend showed 58% of Ukrainians supporting the country's entry into the European Union.[141] On the other hand a November 2013 poll by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology showed 39% supporting the country's entry into the European Union and 37% supporting Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.[142]

Authors of the GfK Ukraine poll conducted 2–15 October 2013 claim that 45% of respondents believed Ukraine should sign an Association Agreement with the EU, whereas only 14% favoured joining the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, and 15% preferred non-alignment. Full text of the EU-related question asked by GfK reads, "Should Ukraine sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and, in the future, become an EU member?"[139][140]

According to an August 2013 study by a Donetsk company, Research & Branding Group,[137] 49% of Ukrainians supported signing the Association Agreement, while 31% opposed it and the rest had not decided yet. However, in a December poll by the same company, only 30% claimed that terms of the Association agreement would be beneficial for the Ukrainian economy, while 39% said they were unfavourable for Ukraine. In the same poll, only 30% said the opposition would be able to stabilise the society and govern the country well, if coming to power, while 37% disagreed.[138]

Public opinion about joining the EU

A study conducted at Harvard University examining public opinion in regular and social media found that 74% of Russian speakers in Ukraine supported the Euromaidan movement, and a quarter opposed.[136]

In a March poll, 57% of Ukrainians said they supported the Euromaidan protests.[135]

According to a January poll, 45% of Ukrainians supported the protests, and 48% of Ukrainians disapproved of Euromaidan.[134]

In a poll taken on 7–8 December, 73% of protesters had committed to continue protesting in Kiev as long as needed until their demands are fulfilled.[5] This number has increased to 82% as of 3 February 2014.[132] Polls also show that the nation is divided in age: while majority of young people are pro-EU, older generations (50 and above) more often prefer the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia.[133] More than 41% of protesters are ready to take part in the seizure of administrative buildings as of February, compared to 13 and 19 percent during polls on 10 and 20 December 2013. At the same time, more than 50 percent are ready to take part in the creation of independent military units, compared to 15 and 21 percent during the past studies, respectively.[132]

According to December 2013 polls (by three different pollsters) between 45% and 50% of Ukrainians supported Euromaidan, while between 42% and 50% opposed it.[128][129][130] The biggest support for the protest can be found in Kiev (about 75%) and western Ukraine (more than 80%).[128][131] Among Euromaidan protesters, 55% are from the west of the country, with 24% from central Ukraine and 21% from the east.[132]

Public opinion about Euromaidan

On December 11, 2013 the Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov, said he had asked for 20 Billion Euros (US$27) in loans and aid to offset the cost of the EU deal.[126] The EU was willing to offer 610 million euros (838 million US) in loans,[127] however Russia was willing to offer 15 billion US in loans.[127] Russia also offered Ukraine cheaper gas prices.[127] As a condition for the loans, the EU required major changes to the regulations and laws in Ukraine. Russia did not.[126]

In an interview with Channel 5 — played a tremendously important role. ... On the 11th of December, when we had [U.S. Assistant Secretary of State] Victoria Nuland and [E.U. diplomat] Catherine Ashton in Kiev, during the night they started to storm the Maidan."[125]

President Yanukovych attended the 28–29 November 2013 EU summit in Vilnius (where originally it was planned that the Association Agreement would be signed on 29 November 2013),[100] but the Association Agreement was not signed.[120][121] Both Yanukovych and high level EU officials signalled that they wanted to sign the Association Agreement at a later date.[122][123][124]

On 21 November 2013 a Ukrainian government decree suspended preparations for signing of the association agreement.[111][112] The reason given was that the previous months Ukraine had experienced "a drop in industrial production and our relations with CIS countries".[113][nb 6] The government also assured "Ukraine will resume preparing the agreement when the drop in industrial production and our relations with CIS countries are compensated by the European market."[113] According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov "the extremely harsh conditions" of an IMF loan (presented by the IMF on 20 November 2013), which included big budget cuts and a 40% increase in gas bills, had been the last argument in favour of the Ukrainian government's decision to suspend preparations for signing the Association Agreement.[115][116] On 7 December 2013 the IMF clarified that it was not insisting on a single-stage increase in natural gas tariffs in Ukraine by 40%, but recommended that they be gradually raised to an economically justified level while compensating the poorest segments of the population for the losses from such an increase by strengthening targeted social assistance.[117] The same day IMF Resident Representative in Ukraine Jerome Vacher stated that this particular IMF loan is worth US$4 billion and that it would be linked with "policy, which would remove disproportions and stimulate growth".[118][nb 7]

In mid-August 2013 Russia changed its customs regulations on imports from Ukraine[104] such that on 14 August 2013, the Russian Custom Service stopped all goods coming from Ukraine[105] and prompted politicians[106] and sources[107][108][109] to view the move as the start of a trade war against Ukraine to prevent Ukraine from signing a trade agreement with the European Union. Ukrainian Industrial Policy Minister Mykhailo Korolenko stated on 18 December 2013 that because of this Ukraine's exports had dropped by $1.4 billion (or a 10% year-on-year decrease through the first 10 months of the year).[104] The State Statistics Service of Ukraine reported in November 2013 that in comparison with the same months of 2012, industrial production in Ukraine in October 2013 had fallen by 4.9 percent, in September 2013 by 5.6 percent, and in August 2013 by 5.4 percent (and that the industrial production in Ukraine in 2012 total had fallen by 1.8 percent).[110]

On 30 March 2012 the European Union (EU) and Ukraine initiated an Association Agreement;[97] however, the EU leaders later stated that the agreement would not be ratified unless Ukraine addressed concerns over a "stark deterioration of democracy and the rule of law", including the imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko in 2011 and 2012.[98][nb 5] In the months leading up to the protests Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych urged the parliament to adopt laws so that Ukraine would meet the EU's criteria.[100][101] On 25 September 2013 Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) Volodymyr Rybak stated he was sure that his parliament would pass all the laws needed to fit the EU criteria for the Association Agreement since, except for the Communist Party of Ukraine, "The Verkhovna Rada has united around these bills."[102] According to Pavlo Klimkin, one of the Ukrainian negotiators of the Association Agreement, initially "the Russians simply did not believe (the association agreement with the EU) could come true. They didn't believe in our ability to negotiate a good agreement and didn't believe in our commitment to implement a good agreement."[103]

Initial causes

The term "Ukrainian Spring" is sometimes used in reference to the Arab Spring, which was triggered by similar causes such as heavy-handed authoritarianism, widespread official corruption, kleptocracy, and lack of opportunity.[95][96]

The term "Euromaidan" was initially used as a hashtag on Twitter.[91] A Twitter account named Euromaidan was created on the first day of the protests.[92] It soon became popular in the international media.[93] The name is composed of two parts: "Euro" is short for Europe and "maidan" refers to Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), the main square of Kiev, where the protests are centred. Maidan is a Ukrainian word for "square, open space", ultimately from Arabic ميدان maydān which means "square" or "field".[91] During the protests the word "Maidan" has come to mean the act of public politics itself.[94]

Name history


A turning point came in late February, when enough members of the president's party fled or defected for the party to lose its majority in parliament, leaving the opposition large enough to form the necessary quorum. This allowed parliament to pass a series of laws that removed police from Kiev, cancelled anti-protest operations, restored the 2004 constitution, freed political detainees, and removed President Yanukovych from office. Yanukovych then fled to Ukraine's second largest city of Kharkiv, refusing to recognise the parliament's decisions. The parliament assigned early elections for May 2014.[90]

EuroMaidan [had] grown into something far bigger than just an angry response to the fallen-through EU deal. It's now about ousting Yanukovych and his corrupt government; guiding Ukraine away from its 200-year-long, deeply intertwined and painful relationship with Russia; and standing up for basic human rights to protest, speak and think freely and to act peacefully without the threat of punishment.[89]
magazine, NewsweekAccording to journalist Lecia Bushak writing in 18 February 2014 issue of

[13], protesters also tried to take over their local government building, and were met with considerable force from both police and government supporters.Dnipropetrovsk, and Sumy, Zaporizhzhya cities of Russophone In the [13] in a revolt by Euromaidan activists.were occupied (province) Governor buildings and regional councils Oblast Western Ukrainian Starting 23 January, several [88] Violent riots took place 1 December and 19 January through 25 in response to police brutality and government repression.[87][86]

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