With all of the hoopla and pageantry surrounding this year’s Olympics in Sochi, there lies a dark story that continues to develop on Russia’s doorstep.
It seems that many have still yet to catch wind of the ongoing situation in Ukraine. A short few months ago, the country was on a path toward greater inclusion and cooperation with the E.U by means of political and economic agreements, motions in favor by a majority of the country. Then, in a unforseen and sudden 180, President Viktor Yanukovych announced that the agreements were to be abandoned in favor of greater cooperation with Russia. Power politics at its finest lead to massive protests and tragic deaths. Yahoo! News has provided a much more in depth timeline:
Nov. 21 — President Viktor Yanukovych’s cabinet announces that they are abandoning an agreement that would strengthen ties with the EU, and instead seek closer cooperation with Moscow.
Nov. 30 — Police launch a brutal attack on protesters, detaining 35. Images of protesters bloodied by police truncheons spread quickly and galvanize public support for the demonstrators. A demonstration on Dec. 1 attracted around 300,000 people, the largest protest in Kiev since the Orange Revolution in 2004.
Dec. 17 — Russian President Vladimir Putin announces that Moscow will buy $15 billion worth of Ukrainian government bonds and allow for a sharp cut in the price Ukrainians will have to pay for Russian natural gas. Putin and Yanukovych claim that there were no conditions attached to the agreement, which did not require Ukraine to join a Russia-led free trade pact.
Jan. 22 — Two protesters die after being hit with live ammunition and the third after a fall during a confrontation between police and demonstrators manning barricades, the first protest deaths.
As Russia continues to flex its muscles in an effort to resurrect a Cold War geopolitical landscape, the E.U and the U.S will continue to work for their interests. What we can’t overlook, however, are the citizens of Ukraine. As the powerful jockey for position, the people of Ukraine are being overlooked and unfairly represented. The streets are bloody, and it may get worse.