Ukraine is heating up...

Violent clashes have erupted during anti-government protests in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, with at least nine people, including two policemen, dead.

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To me it seemed from admittedly not very deep look that up to now the whole thing was, for majority of demonstrators, a kind of “let’s go and participate in historic stuff that is fairly safe” thing. Barricades, some rocks thrown, but no firearms. This is an escalation. These things tend to spiral out of control fast, once started. And I really don’t know what side I’d support. On one hand, Yanukovich is a thug, and on the other hand, some “Euromaidan” supporters I have seen from various sources are of the worst neo-nazi nationalist variety.

http://espreso.tv/stream - live reporting from the “Maidan” in Kiev, with sporadic commentary in Ukrainian (of which I understand maybe 50%)…

I’ve been peripherally following this story for the last few weeks, as I have a good number of Eastern European friends on my Facebook feed and the pictures and descriptions of what’s going on there have been popping up. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more coverage of it here, as it seems quite a volatile situation. Even two weeks ago I was hearing Ukraine was “on the brink of civil war.” Is that exaggerated, or are things really that bad there now?

I think today really pushed it into that direction. Once the sides get their martyrs, further violence becomes more and more justified.

Yipes. There’s this, and I’ve just recently heard that Bosnia has been flaring up, as well.

I have several friends in various cities in that region and they are trying to bail out of the area with their families. One of them had previously lived in Croatia in a war zone, so that tends to make me feel that it is definitely getting serious. Uprooting a family for a second time is not something you do lightly.

I see that this channel now titles its coverage “revolution” . There would have been 14 deaths today.

Following the coverage, protestors seem to have an unending supply of stuff to throw into the fire :confused:

I still don’t believe this will turn into a full scale civil war, though. But then again, I’m usually wrong every time I make a prediction about events in a foreign country.

Venezuela is apparently heating up right now, too.

Getting worse…

“A horrible tragedy has been happening on the streets in Kiev and other cities of Ukraine,” Valeria Lutkovska, human rights commissioner of the Ukrainian parliament, said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “Information that I have indicates that about 50 people have been killed as of today, but there have been reports that there are many more victims. Hundreds of people have been hospitalized.”

Oleh Musiy, coordinator for the protesters’ medical team, said at least 70 protesters were killed and more than 500 injured in Thursday’s clashes with police, and he warned that the death toll could rise, the Associated Press reported.

Whats the chance of direct Russian action?

I would say zero? There is no ostensible reason for them to intervene, Ukrainian army is still (I believe) in government control and could be used if the government decided to do so.

Things are spiraling out of control though. Kiev is where the visible action is, but there are other places/things happening. Like Lvov being basically under opposition control, or Crimea basically declaring independence. Now if Crimea asked for Russian assistance as things devolve further, that would make an interesting situation and then you may see Russian troops.

How would the Ukrainian army react? I would assume there would be both supporters of the government and the opposition in the military.

Definitely both. Using the army against the opposition would be very risky.

Just watched on the Ukrainian live channel a couple (mom/dad) who claim to have found out their son has been deployed in the interior ministry troops in Kiev against the demonstrators, traveled to Kiev, found the son and “took him away”. Not sure how truthful that is, but just an interesting tidbit.

Maks Chmerkovskiy posted this on his twitter. He’s Ukrainian and is following the protests. It must be very difficult seeing your homeland coming apart.

Starts out light hearted but gets serious as the protestors begin talking. The hope they have for a better future is inspiring.
http://elitedaily.com/news/world/ukrainian-protestors-dancing-happy-pharrell-puts-conflict-different-light-video/

What a nice surprise. :wink: The situation looked so grim yesterday. Lets hope both sides honor the agreement.

Reuters has more on the story. Right now it sounds very encouraging,

It will be interesting to see if Russia tries to get their fingers into this. They are not happy that they weren’t involved in the discussions, and they are definitely not happy with the resolution.

But on the other side, a large number of the protestors are not happy that Yanukovych will remain as President until elections late in the year.

In the latest news from Ukraine, it seems that the “self-defense forces” (the anti-government protesters) have taken the whole government district in Kiev, including the President’s administration building, the Russian representative at the crisis-resolution talks in Kiev (by the name of Lukin) refused to sign the resolution agreement, and Yanukovich has left (some say fled) Kiev and is currently in Kharkov. The parliament meantime has passed a resolution that releases the previous prime minister (Timoshenko) from prison, and is scheduled to vote on Yanukovich’s impeachment.

Parliament voted unanimously to remove the President from office, but he is refusing to step aside.