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Event.png EuroMaidan  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Nuland cookies.jpg
US deep state actor Victoria Nuland handed out cookies to the protesters
Date21 November 2013 - 2014
SponsorsOpen Society Foundations
Interest ofMark Paslawsky
Inspired2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
SubpageEuroMaidan/Sniper shootings
DescriptionUkraine coup of 2014

EuroMaidan or the Maidan Uprising was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began on 21 November 2013 with large protests in Maidan (Independence Square) in Kyiv.

Official narrative

The protests were sparked by the Ukrainian government's sudden decision not to sign the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement, instead choosing closer ties to Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. Ukraine's parliament had overwhelmingly approved of finalising the Agreement with the EU, while Russia had put pressure on Ukraine to reject it. The scope of the protests widened, with calls for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych and the Azarov Government. The protesters opposed what they saw as widespread government corruption, the influence of oligarchs, abuse of power, and violation of human rights in Ukraine. Transparency International named Yanukovych as the top example of corruption in the world. The violent dispersal of protesters on 30 November caused further anger.[1]

During the uprising, Independence Square (Maidan) in Kyiv was a huge protest camp occupied by thousands of protesters and protected by makeshift barricades. It had kitchens, first aid posts and broadcasting facilities, as well as stages for speeches, lectures, debates and performances. It was guarded by 'Maidan Self-Defence' units made up of volunteers in improvised uniform and helmets, carrying shields and armed with sticks, stones and petrol bombs. Protests were also held in many other parts of Ukraine. In Kyiv, there were clashes with police on 1 December; and police assaulted the camp on 11 December. Protests increased from mid-January, in response to the government introducing draconian anti-protest laws. There were deadly clashes on Hrushevsky Street on 19–22 January. Protesters occupied government buildings in many regions of Ukraine. The uprising climaxed on 18–20 February, when fierce fighting in Kyiv between Maidan activists and police resulted in the deaths of almost 100 protesters and 13 police.[2]

As a result, an agreement was signed on 21 February 2014 by Yanukovych and leaders of the parliamentary opposition that called for the creation of an interim unity government, constitutional reforms and early elections. Shortly after the agreement, Yanukovych and other government ministers fled the country. Parliament then removed Yanukovych from office and installed an interim government. The Maidan Uprising was soon followed by the Russian annexation of Crimea and pro-Russian unrest in Eastern Ukraine, eventually escalating into the Russo-Ukrainian War.[3]


Euromaidan PR YT channel (Sep 27, 2014), Euromaidan - Ukrainians lynching MP in Zhytomyr oblast of Ukraine - text below the video: "The price winner of TrashBucketChallenge MP Zhuravsky is lynched once again during attempt to bribe in Zhytomyrskaya oblast before Parliament election in Ukraine by battalion Aydar fighters". Thugs (aka "right-wing militias") going around the country, throwing politicians that were not in line into garbage bins, or worse, was a thing in Ukraine in the 2014/15 period.[4][5][6][7]

John R. Haines for the Foreign Policy Research Institute wrote in 2015:[8]

The Euromaidan movement that emerged in late 2013 on Kyev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (“Independence Square”) first crystalized around opposition to increasingly authoritarian rule by President Viktor Yanukovych, especially his government’s effort to reverse the pro-Western policies of his predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko.

The namesake Independence Square has special meaning to Ukrainians. In 1990, what began as student protests on then Lenin Square ended a year later in a national referendum in which Ukrainians declared independence from the Soviet Union. A November 2004 rally on the now-renamed Independence Square against election fraud sparked a series of nationwide protests over the next seventeen days that became known as the Orange Revolution.

Euromaidan protestors eagerly took up the Orange Revolution chant “Together, we are many! We cannot be defeated!” Their claim was chillingly tested in late November and early December 2013, when an increasingly desperate Yanukovych sent Interior Ministry special forces to clear Independence Square. Yanukovych’s willingness to try and subdue protestors with armed force marked a critical turning point, both for his ill-fated government and for the Euromaidan movement.

Into this fray moved a mix of ultranationalist and assorted far right paramilitary groups, all decidedly at odds with Euromaidan’s progressive, democratic tenor. The largest of these, Svoboda, possessed a well-defined political program, having earned parliamentary seats in 2012 by winning a tenth of votes cast in nationwide elections. Several existing paramilitary groups coalesced to form Right Sector, the declared goal of which was not closer ties with Europe but to “build a nationalist Ukrainian state and stage a nationalist revolution.”

Svoboda and Right Sector possessed what the early Euromaidan protestors lacked — boots on the street that were primed to answer in-kind any exercise of violent force by the Yanukovych government. For the Euromaidan movement, it was a devil’s bargain. When an interim government formed after Yanukovych fled the country, Svoboda demanded powerful posts and control of the National Security Council. Unable to muster popular support — Right Sector’s Dmytro Yarosh managed only 0.7% in the May 2014 presidential elections, and Svoboda lost significant ground in the October 2014 parliamentary elections — both nevertheless wield outsized political power by virtue of large, well-armed paramilitaries.

As the conflict in eastern Ukraine escalated through 2014, the newly elected Poroshenko government in Kyev found itself dependent upon paramilitary forces as the sharp end of Ukrainian resistance to Russian aggression. The paramilitaries exploited this to demand significant concessions from the Kyev government, which well short of exercising a monopoly on armed force within the country was not even the preponderant force.

Today, as the Poroshenko government seeks a détente in eastern Ukraine, paramilitaries that have borne the brunt of the fighting are increasingly vocal in opposing any accord with the separatists. This poses a significant, and in the author’s view, disconcertedly underrated, dilemma for the Poroshenko government: how to prevent well-armed, anti-democratic forces within the country —vociferously opposed to both European integration and any accommodation with Russia and its (in their view) proxy forces in the east — from destabilizing Ukraine’s fragile democracy?


Related Quotations

Jean Bricmont“We often hear that the left-right opposition is outdated or no longer makes sense. But the problem is worse: on many issues, the left-right opposition has reversed itself, the left adopting positions that were those of the right or the far-right in the past and part of the right doing the opposite. Let's start with the question of peace and war. Since the wars have become "humanitarian", it is the left, including the bulk of the "radical" left, which supports them. When a perfectly orchestrated coup takes place in Ukraine, we celebrate the victory of democracy. In Syria, until recently, support, at least verbal, for the "rebels" was not debated in the left. During the bombings on Libya, Mélenchon argued that it was necessary to prevent the "tyrant" Gaddafi from killing the revolution. We realized a little late that the opponents of the said tyrant, like the bulk of the rebels in Syria, were also our opponents, that is to say fanatical Islamists. But the classical left, at least in its radical part, but sometimes also in a certain part of social democracy, was opposed to imperial policies, interference and American hegemony, especially during the Vietnam War. Today, the simple fact of defending the principle of national sovereignty passes for being far-right.”Jean BricmontJanuary 2017
Crimea“This scum should be given promises, guarantees, and any concessions...And hung...They should be hung later.”Boris Filatov2014


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
File:IAP Maidan Investigations Review.pdfreport31 March 2015Maidan IAPReport of the Council of Europe International Advisory Panel on its review of the Maidan Investigations. It focuses on the 12 month period following the February 2014 coup.
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