Ukraine’s current political climate seems to allude to an impending war.
What stemmed from a solitary rejection on behalf of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych last year, in regards to an economic deal struck with the European Union, is accountable for the current Russian-Ukraine conflict. Supposedly centered around an agreement that would propose more Eastern European economies to become part of their trade agreements, Ukraine would simultaneously be immersed in Western Europe’s economies prided for being a more modern and productive model.
President Yanukovych rejected the EU proposal entirely due to what the people of Ukraine were convinced were heavy outside pressures from President Vladimir Putin of Russia and instead accepted $15 billion in benefits for aid and the economy.
What this meant for Ukrainians was that their longstanding desperation for economic reform, to put the country’s economy in the running with other Western countries, instead fortified unity with Russia. What followed was an consensus of deep-rooted outrage and resulted in opposition from the majority of the country’s people and condemnation of the president’s patriotism.
When a mass of Ukrainian protestors took to the streets to voice their need for economic reform, they demanded a resignation on behalf of their president. The government in turn responded with extreme violence, bringing armed guards, policy and military units to dissipate the protestors. However, the protestors continued to carry out their demands and the number of people dead has been on a steep incline since.
Political corruption throughout the nation became most evident after protestors took over the capital and president’s home. Russia provided President Yanukovych safety after he fled, wanting his influence in government to remain in order to curb any democratic political reform that would result in waning alignment with Russia and a stronger alignment with Europe.
Now with Russia’s control over Crimea and more military influence occupying the area – to protect Russia’s interests – and the increasing amount of troops ordered to Ukraine, people are panicking and dangerously close to violent conflict. In response to Russia’s military aggression, the United States and the EU are now threatening economic sanctions and removing Russia from the G8 if troops are not removed.
Ukrainian people fear the loss of their country’s identity, a country that has always been dominated by powers larger than themselves until its independence after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, the country has been determined to maintain it.