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2014 Ukrainian Revolution is an ongoing series of protests in Ukraine that started in late November 2013 in response to the government’s suspension of signing diplomatic and trade agreements towards closer integration with the European Union.
The civil unrest in Ukraine began on the night of November 21st, 2013, when a large-scale protest erupted across the capital city of Kiev shortly after President Viktor Yanukovych announced the suspension of finalizing diplomatic and trade agreements with the European Union (EU), in favor of protecting its long-standing relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a regional organization consisting of former Soviet republics under the political influence of Russia. The decision, which came after months of fast-tracking political reforms to meet the EU standards and consequent decline in trade relations with Russia, was immediately met by from those who sought a closer European integration.
In reacting to the news, the opposition party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk called for a protest to be held that same night via Twitter, asking people to gather at Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) with the hashtag #Euromaidan. As the bulletin quickly spread throughout Ukrainian social networks and blogs, #Euromaidan became adopted as the banner of the pro-EU movement.
Euromaidan began as a peaceful assembly of 2,000 protesters at Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), however, by the third night of the protest, the number had grown to tens of thousands and as high as 200,000 by some reports. On the night of November 24th, police used tear gas to disperse a small group of protesters attempting to storm the Cabinet of Ministers building. According to the officials, 200 protesters and police were injured as a result of the clash.
Many refused to leave the Independence Square until the EU agreements were signed and a makeshift fortified camp was set up on-site in downtown Kiev. By the end of November, many university students and groups had joined the protests and a formal resolution was drafted and posted online:
1. Form a coordinating committee to communicate with the European community.
2. Call for Yanukovych’s resignation from his office, as the president, parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers aren’t capable of carrying out a geopolitically strategic course of development for the state.
3. Demand the cessation of political repressions against EuroMaidan activists, students, civic activists and opposition leaders.
Clashes with Riot Police
On November 30th, 2013, the protesters in Kiev were broken up violently by the Berkut riot police units, which in turn sparked a large number of similar protests across the rest of the country.
David Cameron’s Phone Call
On March 5th, 2014, a photograph of British prime minister David Cameron discussing the 2014 Crimean Crisis on the phone with President Obama was tweeted via Cameron’s official Twitter account. The photo was widely parodied by other Twitter users holding a variety of objects up to their ears while wearing concerned-looking facial expressions.
Natalia Poklonskaya Appointed Chief Prosecutor
On March 11th, 2014, former Ukrainian official Natalia Poklonskaya was appointed as the Prosecutor General of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea during the independence movement in the former Ukrainian region. Later that day, she made her first appearance at a press conference, during which she reportedly called the Ukranian officials “devils from the ashes,” and the footage was subsequently uploaded by YouTuber Andrey Russian on the next day. She subsequently gained an online fandom after being posted on Facebook and the /int (international) board on 4chan.
Yarosh’s Business Card
On April 20th, 2014, the Russian news outlet Life News reported that a business card belonging to Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist political party Right Sector and a candidate for the upcoming Ukrainian presidential election, was discovered in the aftermath of a shootout in Sloviansk, Ukraine (shown below). The incident, which occurred at a checkpoint controlled by pro-Russian activists at approximately 3:00 AM, claimed the lives of three people and left three injured. Following the alleged discovery of the business card, the Russian Foreign Ministry officially blamed the attack on members of Right Sector Ukrainian political party. Meanwhile, Ukrainians on Twitter responded to the accusations of Yarosh’s involvement by creating photoshopped parodies of the so-called crime scene evidence.
2014 Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Crash
On July 17th, 2014, the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a Russian surface-to-air missile and crashed near Hrabove in the Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine, approximately 40 km from the Ukraine-Russia border. The incident killed all 283 passengers and 15 crew members onboard.
On July 25th, 2014, the ebook Sucking Strelkov, which describes the fictional homoerotic escapades of Russian separatist military commander Igor Strelkov, was published on the Amazon Kindle store. The story details the adventures of a film crew who venture to the Ukraine to shoot a gay adult film and subsequently end up in an orgy with Strelkov and other soldiers from the region.
5,7 thousand words long, Sucking Strelkov is the story of a chance encounter with one of the most evil men in Europe. Contains depictions of rough M/M intercourse that may be found offensive. DRM-free. Lending is possible; share with your friends!
International Foundation for Electoral Systems – The Strategic Use of Social Media in Ukraine’s #Euromaidan Protests
Washington Post – Social networks and social media in Ukrainian “Euromaidan” protests