News about Ukrainian revolution used to hit the news headlines in the past. Nowadays news does not say much about what is happening in the country, it may seem that the situation is stabilising. However, Ukraine now faces a lot of changes and I thought it would be interesting to provide an overview of what is happening in the country today.
ting to provide an overview of what is happening in the country today.
How it all started?
Ukrainian revolution (also known as Euromaidan) broke out in February 2014.
However, the background of the revolution dates back to November 2013, when now the former president of Ukraine Victor Yanukovich, chose closer ties with Russian Federation over signing the free trade agreement with EU. This decision could possibly be made because of the economic pressure Russia put on Ukraine. Moreover, Russia offered a higher loan, cheaper gas prices and did not, in contrast to EU, demand any changes in Ukrainian major laws. This decision was highly disapproved by the west of the country, but Yanukovich did receive support in the east, where more native Russians live. This was the first motive for the February riots.
In the beginning, the protests were quite peaceful. However, due to the fact that in January 2014 the Ukrainian Parliament started to repress the protest by various regulating laws, the violence appeared. Ukrainian government took ctive actions to cut out the protests, which did not have good results. Currently, there are 130 deaths, of both – civilian protesters and police officers, identified.
In order to receive more information about the February riots and the motives of people, I suggest watching an NETFLIX documentary called “Winter on fire”, which describes the February riots and explains what lead to them. Ukrainian revolution is a starting point of many changes that are happening in the country.
What has changed in the country since?
In the end of December, Victor Yanukovich disappeared, and the decision of removing him from the power was made. New elections were set for 25th of May. Petro Poroshenko won the election and became a new president of Ukraine.
On the 1st of March, president of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, requests to use force on Ukrainian territory to protect Russian interests and the Parliament of Russia approved the request. This decision causes a lot of controversies in Crimea region. The referendum was held later on and according to Russia, Crimea became an official part of Russian Federation. The EU and the US do not approve the annexion of Crimea; the crisis in Ukraine becomes a global event. Losing a part of Ukraine’s territory has a highly negative effect in the east of the country, where military operations against “pro-Russian” militants were launched afterwards.
Summing up, the politician arena changed a lot in Ukraine. Also, the protests lead to tension and war appearing between Russian Federation and Ukraine. Moreover, the EU and the US put sanctions on Russia, in order to remove the Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine, which does not have the expected effect.
The economic situation in Ukraine faces a crisis, as Russian government reduced the provision of gas to the country. As well as this, the country needs to invest money in the development of forces. Looking at the positive sides, Ukraine signed a landmark association agreement with EU. The agreement is focused on cooperation in political and economic questions; also, it is one of the steps towards a visa-free movement of people.
The citizens of Ukraine now experiences an unstable environment, loss of jobs; many young men are sent to the military forces. The United Nations refugee agency claims that more than 600 thousand people have now left the east of the country, most of them moved to Russia. People just want to escape from the war and protect themselves and their families, which is why there is a big flow of people towards the centre and the west of Ukraine and to other countries, especially Russia. The statistics for February 2015 says that nearly 6 thousand people died in the east of the country, with more than 14 thousand wounded. Now there is even more.
What is happening in the country now?
Today, the country is still coping with the appeared crisis. The political situation is very brittle, as the war in the east of the country is still on.
The latest news discusses the cease of all the diplomatic relations with Russian Federation; to start with, all the passenger flights between the two countries have been stopped earlier this year. In the east of the country, where the war began, hostility is still on. Petro Poroshenko himself states that the country is now in a political crisis.
However, relations between Ukraine and western countries grow. Recently, ministers of national defence of Canada and Ukraine considered cooperation in terms of weapon supplies. The referendum held on the 6th of April this year, discussed the EU-Ukraine association agreement. One of the main points was to isolate Russia as a potential threat and provide more economic support to Ukraine. The country now needs to orient on western market and find new trade partners. You can read more about this topic in the article of Daan Grootenboer.
As Ukraine lost one of the major companions and support (Russian Federation), the country faces an economic crisis as well. Ukraine had to buy gas from other countries, which was 30% more expensive than usual. As well as this, Ukraine lost its biggest market – Russia, so the export of the products suffers. Moreover, the national currency (grivna) has fallen by two-thirds. People are faced with more expensive products, loss of jobs. This lead to falling of the living standards nearly by half. The government is now focusing on developing agriculture and information technology to help the economy grow.
Speaking about people, a patriotic vibe in the country is stronger than before. The TV programmes and films in the cinema are now mostly in Ukrainian, not in Russian. The music culture of the country is cherishing and musicians are writing songs in the native language. The war affected each of the families in Ukraine, so people support each other and always try to help families in a worse situation than they are.
Although, Ukraine has been through a lot and the nation is now faced with the crisis, people believe in a brighter future for their
Giving my personal opinion, I feel that it will take a lot of time for Ukraine to get out of the crisis, but with the right approach, it is possible. The revolution itself changed peoples’ beliefs and the whole nation mind as well. I can already see some positive changes in the country, which can lead to Ukraine’s growth and development.