What’s Happening In Ukraine

Protests in Kiev. Courtesy of ABC News.

Protests in Kiev. Courtesy of ABC News.

A few weeks ago the peaceful protests in Ukraine were broken by a violent attack by riot police that left 26 people dead, 10 of which were police. This is the first clash since protests began. It all started when Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yanukovytch backed out of a trade deal with the European Union and seemingly made alliances with Russia instead. Many Ukrainians were outraged by this and wanted to continue affiliation with Europe, their western alliance. The sudden switch of alliances caused many to question Ukraine’s government system as being corrupt and thus lead to protests.

It is believed that Yanukovytch was pressured by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin into agreeing to a deal. The two had met for a meeting a few days before Ukraine’s deal with the EU was called off. Russia has a history of cutting off exports with Ukraine if they do something wrong. This puts a lot of pressure on Ukraine to please Russia and fall into deals with them. Many factors are leading to the assumption that it was with the pressure of Putin that Ukraine is now allied with Russia. The result of the deal Yanukovytch made with Russia is the adding of Ukraine to Russia’s customs Union that also includes Belarus and Kazakhstan. Ukraine was also pledged billions of dollars in emergency funds from Russia.

How the U.S. is Involved

The people of Ukraine are torn because many of the population desire to have a western oriented government. The European Union is not going to take action against Russia which is frustrating the U.S. government. The curious thing is why the U.S. is so quick to respond to this crisis and not the rest of Europe. The United States has even put travel bans on Russian and Ukrainian officials responsible for the crisis. Now anyone with the power to affect the stability of Ukraine is not allowed to enter the  U.S. The ban will be lifted when the crisis is close to a resolution. Comment on whether you think Ukraine should’ve stayed with the EU or formed alliance with Russia.

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Posted on March 7, 2014, in News, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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