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What Is the Cause of the Ukraine Conflict

Updated on September 21, 2014

According to political scientists, the protests revolution from Kiev to other regions of Ukraine saw the social and political demands increase. This revolution created the ideal opportunity for those who wanted regime change to have their say.

However, some regions such as Lviv Oblast chose to stay away from the conflict as they announced to be politically sovereign from the Central government in early 2014.

At the height of the demonstrations, there were actions such as vandalism of Lenin’s statue in Kiev sparking various combinations of feelings among the public. He was not at all popular in the West of Ukraine but the north and the Russian speaking East regarded him highly; and thus welcomed the falling of Lenin with quite some fury.

This statue was a Ukrainian icon; one of its symbolism being strong union between Ukraine and Russia. It also used to be a representation in the capital for the ruling party, Party of Regions belonging to the President at the time, Viktor Yanukovych.

His decline to endorse a European Union agreement on association during the European partnership summit in Vilnius in November 213 was the reason for sparking the entire protest.

As the demonstrations escalated, their goals changed to wanting the Party of Regions out of power. This refereed to the president as well. President Yanukovych’s rule was blamed for the negative state of affairs some including the continued deterioration of the country’s economy as well as the immense corruption.

The agreement between the Ukrainian president and the Russian president Vladimir Putin while in a meeting in Sochi further aggravated the situation. The agreement was that in exchange for their future alliance in the Customs Union led by Russia, Ukraine would be given funds and the prices for gas would be lowered.

Russia was also accused of pushing Ukraine into not signing the association agreement with the E.U despite the approaching time limit.

Russia on the other side through propaganda was claimed to have a hand in driving Ukraine into the deal by highlighting too much of the negative side of the trade agreement deal with the European Union.

Other fears claimed that Russia had when it came to the deal was that the trade agreement would interfere negatively with the already existing trade agreements with Ukraine.

This was not taken with any joy by those pro the European Union and the protesters argued in support of freedom versus the high cost of gas from Russia. This was characterized by their slogans during the ongoing demonstrations.

The Customs Union on the other hand is a replica of the European Union with it members being Belarus, Russia and Kazakhsta.

This organization meant for integration of the regions was being formulated at a time when Ukraine and the EU were trying to find the middle ground in the proposed association agreement.

The trade agreement proposed by the European Union would create European Union’s partnership with the East which they needed.

This agreement would in addition largely benefit Ukraine in the long term because of the rise in economic growth and competitiveness as a result of more investment into the country.

Some of the said unappealing factors of the trade agreement with the European Union

The financial bit of the agreement was not as pleasing to the government of Ukraine. Having the terms in financial properly revised was not done effectively and on time either. This combined with the current financial crisis in Ukraine, fostered the country’s move to taking the deal with Russia.

Despite there being both disadvantages and advantages of both deals, some factors stood out

At first, Ukraine after signing this document would have to lose some money as a result of the sudden increase in competition.

The advantages of the trade agreement would also come if Ukraine agreed to put into place a number of reforms which would mean that some laws and regulations would change.

The agreement was not just a trade agreement but it mean that Ukraine would have to stick to European standards and values. This did not go down well with the pro-Russians as it did with the more westernized generation. This was witnessed by the majority of the protesters being relatively young and mainly students.

With the Custom Union, it meant no more quotas, lesser tariffs and the evading the punitive measures by Russia. The resistance against the unification with the Eurasian Customs Union by the younger citizens of Ukraine was among others because of the claims that the country together with Russia to be ridden of cronyism.

The signing of the deal with Russia was also a signal that the two were closer and it was also a failure to take into account the opinion of Ukrainians.

Those pro the E.U deal was looking to have the economy of the country grow as per the Western economies. The protestors viewed the former president as a traitor to his country.

The pro E.U demonstrations were peaceful until early 2014 due to parliament’s development of new laws, meant to contain the protests most of which were claimed to be too extreme.

The then president was also accused of having received financial support from Russia to curb the protests. This was also one of the strategies taken by Russia to foster a closer relationship with Ukraine.


The Ukraine revolution

The region began to be termed as Euromaiden as a result of the continued protests in ejection of the president. The demonstrations have been termed as revolution of dignity and the protests were characterized by a number of incidences of violence in Kiev as well as other cities in Ukraine.

These demonstrations resulted in the clash between police and protesters and later resulted in the death of tens and injury of thousands. The demands during this revolution included having the Ukraine constitution returned back to the form it was in 2004.

The demonstration turned very violent and resulted into the invasion of the party of Region head offices by the protesters and the burning down of the Trade Unions Building which was the headquarters of the Euromaidans by the police.

Continued conflict despite interventions led to the declaration of the president’s seat to be vacant by the parliament in 22nd January 2014.

The then parliament speaker Oleksandr Torchynov was named the interim president the next day. An arrested warrant for Yanukovych who had been said to be residing in the East of Ukraine was issued.

All this has then resulted in tension between Russia and Ukraine that is with time continuing to escalate.

How to solve the Ukraine conflict

Every problem has a solution. If you are interested in finding out how this conflict can be solved then feel free to check out this article: 3 Ideas To Solve The Crisis In Ukraine


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