Big Day of Protest in Ukraine
Viktor Yankuvych, president of Ukraine, announced this week that Ukraine will not be signing the Association Agreement with the European Union. The agreement, which was negotiated over a five year period, was planned to be signed during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius on November 28-29 2013.
The official reason given for the suspension of the EU negotiations was that Ukraine had planned to focus on strengthening economic relations with Russia.
The decision came as a surprise to many who had seen the strengthening of relations between Ukraine and the EU as a first step to greater integration. Writing for New Eastern Europe, Ukrainian analyst, Yegor Vasylyev, however admits: “It is easy to overstate the value of this decision, but, in a way, it also seems inevitable. As there is no place for ideas and beliefs in the interests-based governance of post-Soviet rulers, there is also no place for real strategic choices and devoted action on their implementation.”
Nevertheless, as a result of the decision, many Ukrainians, especially those living in the big cities, mostly Kyiv, took to the streets to protest this change. Protests began on November 21st and continued throughout the weekend.
November 24th 2013 also marks the ninth anniversary of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. Opposition leaders took the opportunity to organise a large protest on November 24 in conjunction with both events. Reports indicated that between 50,000 -100,000 people gathered to rally in Kyiv. Rallies in support of Ukraine were held around the world as well.
On social media we asked for contributors to send their photos from the November 24th protests. We are presenting some of what we received, along with some posted on social media.