Euromaidan was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began on the night of 21 November 2013 with public protests in Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev. Wikipedia
Start date: November 21, 2013
Euromaidan (/ˌjʊərəˌmaɪˈdɑːn, ˌjʊəroʊ-/; Ukrainian: Євромайдан, Russian: Евромайдан, Yevromaidan, literally “Euro[pean] Square”[nb 6]) was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began on the night of 21 November 2013 with public protests in Maidan Nezalezhnosti (“Independence Square”) in Kiev. The protests were sparked by the Ukrainian government’s decision to suspend the signing of an association agreement with the European Union, instead choosing closer ties to Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. The scope of the protests soon widened, with calls for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych and his government. The protests were fueled by the perception of “widespread government corruption“, “abuse of power” and “violation of human rights in Ukraine“. Transparency International named President Yanukovych as the top example of corruption in the world. The situation escalated after the violent dispersal of protesters on 30 November, leading to many more protesters joining. The protests led to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.
During the Euromaidan, there were protests and clashes with police throughout Ukraine, especially at the Maidan in Kiev, which was occupied and barricaded by protesters. Dozens of communist monuments were also toppled or destroyed. Protests and clashes increased in January, after the Ukrainian parliament passed a group of anti-protest laws. Protesters occupied government buildings in many regions of Ukraine, and several activists were killed in clashes on Hrushevskoho Street in Kiev. The protests climaxed in mid-February. Riot police advanced towards Maidan and clashed with protesters but did not fully occupy it. Police and activists fired live and rubber ammunition at multiple locations in Kiev. There was fierce fighting in Kiev on February 18–20, in which almost 100 activists and 17 police officers were killed (see List of people killed during Euromaidan). As a result of these events, Yanukovych was forced to make concessions to the opposition to end the bloodshed in Kiev and end the crisis. The Agreement on settlement of political crisis in Ukraine was signed by Vitaly Klitschko, Arseny Yatsenyuk, Oleh Tyahnybok. The signing was witnessed by the Foreign Ministers of Germany and Poland, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Radosław Sikorski, respectively, and the Director of the Continental Europe Department of the French Foreign Ministry, Eric Fournier. Vladimir Lukin, representing Russia, refused to sign the agreement.
In late February 2014, Yanukovych and many other high government officials fled the country. Protesters gained control of the presidential administration and Yanukovych’s private estate. Afterwards, the parliament removed Yanukovych from office, replaced the government with a pro-European one, and ordered that former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko be released from prison. Events in Kiev were soon followed by the Crimean crisis and pro-Russian unrest in Eastern Ukraine. Despite the impeachment of Yanukovych, the installation of a new government, and the adoption of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement‘s political provisions, the protests have sustained pressure on the government to reject Russian influence in Ukraine.
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