Many of us know about the Sochi Winter Olympics currently hosted by Russia at this time. A time when countries set aside their differences to participate in a friendly competition for sports such as curling, figure skating, ice hockey, and much more. However at the same time the world’s countries are getting together to compete in good spirits, nearby in the country of Ukraine, a less friendly situation has arose.
Ukraine has been faced with a situation where they are stuck between a rock and a very hard place. The country of Ukraine has to chose between having Europe or Russia being their economic ally, each have its own pros and cons. The government supports Russia as their economic ally as Russia backs and supports the Ukrainian government. On other hand, the people of Ukraine want to have Europe as their economic ally as they believe it would bring them a more democratic government and greater rights. Joining the Russians would probably result in an oligarchy where the government would have significantly more power than under a democracy. The protesters in Ukraine also want re-elections and a more powerful parliament as they believe that the president currently holds too much power.
A truce was recently agreed upon by the government and protesters, an agreement where the arrested protesters would gain amnesty if the protesters vacated the captured government buildings. The terms of truce also included that the Ukrainian parliament would agree to discuss changing the constitution to lessen the president’s power. However, when Parliament failed to do so, the protesters marched onto parliament resulting in a confrontation between law enforcement and the protesters. The protesters rioted, erected barricades, torching buildings, and throwing objects at the police varying from rocks to Molotov cocktails. The police responded back with AK-47’s and sniper fire. The death toll has been rising and human rights violations are being committed left and right, thoroughly documented through live streams and videos recorded by news agencies and journalists
Watching videos and reading about the Ukrainian revolution made me think about the French revolution when the Parisians constructed barricades and created the Paris Commune after the Franco-Prussian war. The Ukrainians also built barricades and fought back against government troops. History often repeats itself with some slight variations, but the ideas are often the same throughout history. A government obtains too much power, neglects the people, and the people rise up and overthrow the government. The unrest in Ukraine also made me think about the book “All Quiet on the Western Front” as WWI resulted in a completely different Europe that consisted of different countries. The same region still contains unrest today.