Ukraine at a Crossroads of the past and the Future

Currently, Ukraine is stuck between Russia and Europe, the country’s past and future. This is the reason it is in the pit hole of rebellion, protest, and chaos.

This issue has not recently popped up. It dates back to 2004, when an uprising known as the Orange Revolution was sparked because many ethnic Ukrainians believed the 4th Election was corrupted by pro-Russian political figures, led by presidential nominee Viktor Yanukovych. While the protesters managed to reverse an election, they did not achieve to lift themselves out of bad economic conditions. That is why the president today in Ukraine is the one person that people fought so hard against: Viktor Yanukovych.

On November 21, 2013 the president made the surprising decision to abandon a crucial trade deal with Europe in favor of closer economic ties with Russia. He did this after the Ukrainian government had been working for years on a landmark trade deal with the European Union.

56616_cartoon_main Now half of the country, which wants to be European, is revolting to enter the EU and get more economic opportunity. These people would be allowed to travel the EU without visas and in return take on a program of new reforms. Radicals want to go as far as to split Ukraine in two, having one Russian and one European territory. Clearly, Ukraine needs to be stabilized. The EU does not want to get into any kind of conflict with Russia, so it does not seek active participation to help Ukraine; however, the power of Yanukovych and the influence of Russia have gotten out of hand.

 Tomorrow we will go forward together, and if it’s a bullet in the forehead, then it’s a bullet in the forehead, but in an honest, fair and brave way. –  Opposition Leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, @Yatsenyuk_AP

One way to support Ukraine and lend its people a helping hand is to freeze the out-of-country bank accounts that Viktor Yanukovych and his regime are currently using. These types of sanctions are an effective tool. They will minimize the harm that the people will receive, but maximize the blow it will have on the corrupt ruling members of the administration. Protest leaders such as Yulia Tymoshenko have already asked the West to do this, but many are holding out because of fear from Russia.

Ukraine’s rebellion is about more than just establishing trading ties for the Ukraine in the EU. It is about a government’s treatment of its people. Yanukovych’s administration is a mafia and threatening, imprisoning, murdering, or disappearing political opponents are just a few examples of that. Dignifying the honor of citizenship is on the line during this rebellion and the West needs to support this claim. Ukraine’s regime is using power to rule people tyrannically and that is simply unacceptable.

 

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