Der Spiegel: Is a New Revolution in Ukraine Inevitable?

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in protest on the streets of Kiev two years ago. It is not likely to be the last revolution that takes place in former USSR territory. The privileged elite and the intrusion of foreign countries prepare the ground for such uprisings. Benjamin Bidder, a correspondent for Der Spiegel wrote about it in dedication to the anniversary of the beginning of Euromaidan.
Bidder noted that mass protests on the eve of Ukrainian Maidan don’t only concern the Ukraine. Now it’s a crisis between the East and the West, for reasons that originate from the Kiev events. The Kremlin and its allies are convinced that the United States organized the protests while Europe is certain that Ukrainians rebelled against Moscow’s dictates in the region. Bidder mentions that neither side pays any attention to the real cause—the cruel regime of former President Viktor Yanukovych, one of many symptoms of the massive crisis in Ukraine, a nation lost in corruption and oligarchy.
According to the veteran correspondent, Maidan is inevitable. Benjamin recalls that Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU because of Vladimir Putin’s promise to issue a $15 million loan. The former President wanted to buy the second presidential term in 2015 by increasing pensions and wages for public employees. When thousands of people showed up on the Maidan to protest against Yanukovych, he gave an order to lynch peaceful demonstrators as brutally as possible in order to discourage Ukrainians from ever protesting again.
However, the acts of cruelty caused a reaction that was directly opposite the desired outcome. The number of people in the square increased. It can be deduced that the protest was less about the agreement with the European Union and more about outrage at police violence and corruption. The feelings of resentment that had built up over the years would have to be released eventually. According to Bidder, it would not be the last Maidan. Another would be forthcoming, in the Ukraine or elsewhere. The ruling elite sows the seeds for that scenario in many countries of the former USSR.
In Moldova, protests erupted because of $1 billion that went missing from the bank system during the governance of the pro-European Coalition. Protests could also erupt in Armenia after new attempts to increase tariffs on electricity as it happened last summer. In Kazakhstan, people may rise up in the streets against Nursultan Nazarbayev, President for 25 years, who recently stated that there is no alternative to him.
Maidan can start in Russia, where the President, Vladimir Putin destroys all possible means of a peaceful transfer of power. The main reason for the beginning of protests in all these countries lies in the incompetence of their leaders, Yanukovych being one of them. He was democratically elected, but only a few followers remained with him after his escape. His residence was stormed by protesters who found there evidence of his boundless greed.
This greed was the true cause of Maidan. The Ukrainian President wasn’t the last incompetent governor in post-Soviet regions. Meanwhile, the celebration of the Euromaidan anniversary over the past weekend was not free of incident. Activists disrupted the concert dedicated to the second anniversary of Euromaidan. Curiously, the local guards didn’t deter their actions. The soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine, who keep peace and order on Maidan, made an attempt to suppress the activists. It led to a small riot whereby soldiers fled from the scene. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in protest on the streets of Kiev two years ago. It is not likely to be the last revolution that takes place in former USSR territory. The privileged elite and the intrusion of foreign countries prepare the ground for such uprisings. Benjamin Bidder, a correspondent for Der Spiegel wrote about it in dedication to the anniversary of the beginning of Euromaidan.
Bidder noted that mass protests on the eve of Ukrainian Maidan don’t only concern the Ukraine. Now it’s a crisis between the East and the West, for reasons that originate from the Kiev events. The Kremlin and its allies are convinced that the United States organized the protests while Europe is certain that Ukrainians rebelled against Moscow’s dictates in the region. Bidder mentions that neither side pays any attention to the real cause—the cruel regime of former President Viktor Yanukovych, one of many symptoms of the massive crisis in Ukraine, a nation lost in corruption and oligarchy.
According to the veteran correspondent, Maidan is inevitable. Benjamin recalls that Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU because of Vladimir Putin’s promise to issue a $15 million loan. The former President wanted to buy the second presidential term in 2015 by increasing pensions and wages for public employees. When thousands of people showed up on the Maidan to protest against Yanukovych, he gave an order to lynch peaceful demonstrators as brutally as possible in order to discourage Ukrainians from ever protesting again.
However, the acts of cruelty caused a reaction that was directly opposite the desired outcome. The number of people in the square increased. It can be deduced that the protest was less about the agreement with the European Union and more about outrage at police violence and corruption. The feelings of resentment that had built up over the years would have to be released eventually. According to Bidder, it would not be the last Maidan. Another would be forthcoming, in the Ukraine or elsewhere. The ruling elite sows the seeds for that scenario in many countries of the former USSR.
In Moldova, protests erupted because of $1 billion that went missing from the bank system during the governance of the pro-European Coalition. Protests could also erupt in Armenia after new attempts to increase tariffs on electricity as it happened last summer. In Kazakhstan, people may rise up in the streets against Nursultan Nazarbayev, President for 25 years, who recently stated that there is no alternative to him.
Maidan can start in Russia, where the President, Vladimir Putin destroys all possible means of a peaceful transfer of power. The main reason for the beginning of protests in all these countries lies in the incompetence of their leaders, Yanukovych being one of them. He was democratically elected, but only a few followers remained with him after his escape. His residence was stormed by protesters who found there evidence of his boundless greed.
This greed was the true cause of Maidan. The Ukrainian President wasn’t the last incompetent governor in post-Soviet regions. Meanwhile, the celebration of the Euromaidan anniversary over the past weekend was not free of incident. Activists disrupted the concert dedicated to the second anniversary of Euromaidan. Curiously, the local guards didn’t deter their actions. The soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine, who keep peace and order on Maidan, made an attempt to suppress the activists. It led to a small riot whereby soldiers fled from the scene. 

  Ukraine, Russia, the world, Euromaidan

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