[ View the story "Ukraine's east-west divide" on Storify] Ukraine's east-west divide Are President Yanukovych's concessions enough to end weeks of protests?
The Stream· Mon, Dec 16 2013 10:31:45
Thousands of Ukrainians have taken to the streets since late November in the biggest organised protest since the
2004 Orange Revolution
. President Victor Yanukovich recently turned down a deal to increase Ukraine's economic and political ties with the European Union, a move that has been widely condemned by protesters. Historically, Ukraine has been dependent on Russia for energy and trade, with many
that Russia's influence is behind the President's decision.
Protesters are calling for a stronger partnership with the EU, arguing that it would modernise the country and make it more democratic. Some
that Russian pressure on Ukraine is President Putin's attempt to craft a Eurasian trade bloc to unite former Soviet republics. Maidan, Kiev's central square is home to the biggest gathering and has been renamed Euromaidan, by protesters, to highlight their support for EU.
, protesters express their opposition to Russian influence and the Ukrainian government:
Putin dissolves state news agency, tightens grip on Russia media
#euromaidan Another reason for Ukraine to go WestDora Chomiak
Government gave an order SBU under the guise of ordinary people to provoke a fight on a peaceful rally on #euromaidan
by @aliceruban "Karma Police, Arrest This Man" Євромайдан #fun #karmapolice " via @InstaReposts @euromaidan Головний Євромайдан в Києві! Ukraine is Europe! Розміщуйте свої фото, відео, коментарі та новини з Євромайдану в Україні з тегами #euromaidan, #євромайдан, #евромайдан та посиланням на наш канал @euromaidan #ukraine#kiev#germany#lviv#украина#киев#Київ#Україна#харьков#donetsk#львів#zhitomir#чернівці#odessa#николаев#austria#europe#revolution#italy#eu#if#Polska#poland#луганск#lugansk @euromaidanifua @euromaydan_ua @euromaydan_lvivinstagram.com
Images and videos of the protests have been circulating online:
Мітинг на #ЄвроМайдан'іradiosvobodaorg
Maidan watch: Here's what Kiev's Independence Square looks like right now. Energy still high. #euromaidan
Number range from 200 to 500 thousand of people joined protest in #Kiev, anyway in one word a lot. #euromaidan
Social media has played a
role in the protests. The use of Twitter and Facebook has increased rapidly, in a country where the most popular social media networks are
of regular Internet users in Ukraine engage with social media. Other channels are being used to reach out to the international community. The Euromaidan
have both English and Ukrainian pages.
Unlike the Orange Revolution, these protests use the internet to mobilise, manage and organise protesters. Online campaigns are
to feed protesters, Facebook pages were created for
, while numerous videos of the protests spread their message around Ukraine and the world.
Вперше чую - Не треба | Євромайданtsnukraine
The Wall (Стіна)Maxim Donchik
One of Ukraine's major Internet providers, Volya Cable,
it would increase network connectivity for the protesters and asked clients to provide their WiFi passwords to everyone in the square in Kiev. Below is their translated message to subscribers:
Dear friends, Now you and I have witnessed the power of actions that endanger the lives and health of the In this regard, to enable to carry out an emergency call and promptly zvya'zuvatys with close line during a peaceful action on December 1, we open for two days (1-2 December) maximum speed Internet at your address!watcher.com.ua
The European Union is divided on the issue, with some officials announcing
of trade talks with Ukraine, while others
that the door is still open. The United States represented by Senator John McCain is
sanctions if the government uses violence against protesters. Senator McCain also tweeted pictures of himself at the protests:
Inspiring opportunity to speak to the Ukrainian ppl today at Maidan - America stands w/ you! From #euromaidan stage:
However, this weekend, a smaller number of pro-government protesters
a kilometer away from Kiev's Independence Square.
Our community shared their views on Ukraine's relationship with Russia and the impact of these protests:
@AJStream #Ukraine govt under intense pressure frm #Russia over Gas deal, customs barrier & hardline foundation & #EU can't offer all..Firebrand Leftist.
@AJStream Because he is more interested to sign a Deal WITH Putin & that's only possible if he rejects to sign anything regarding EUAndrij
@AJStream Potential loss of trade with Russia led customs union; Prez fears that EU deal wd affect econ esp farming, industry & engineering.alhaji hamidu chodi
Others discussed the impact of social media on the protests:
@AJStream -phenomenal. Ukraine wouldn't have successfully done it without social media. Democratic people won ultimately. Excellent workPaul Westwood
@AJStream # Tool used by both sides of the divide,in steering and proclaiming each others stance.Rimi Mohammed
@franklylife @AJStream Huge. They using all facets of social media to spread support and word. + transparency 24hr streams. #euromaidanlukiacostello
@franklylife @AJStream Make no mistake, this is a highly coordinated and planned endeavor. #euromaidan.lukiacostello