Socialist Worker

Protesters shake government in Ukraine

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2382

Mass Protests were loosening president Viktor Yanukovych’s control of Ukraine as Socialist Worker went to press. 

The centre of the capital Kiev remained defiantly out of government hands despite a ban on public protests. The government faced a no confidence vote.

The protests began almost two weeks ago, sparked by rejection of a deal with the European Union (EU) in favour of closer ties with Russia. 

They gained momentum after riot police attacked protesters staging an all-night vigil in the square in the early hours of Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands marched through Kiev in response.

Officials in the western cities announced strikes and protests. The mayor of Lviv warned that police would take off their uniforms and defend the city if the government sent reinforcements.

The EU deal would have would have removed trade barriers. The battle at the top is over which direction the economy takes. 

One wing of Ukraine’s elite want to tilt towards Western benefactors. Others, including the current president, want to be in hock to Russia. 

The risk is that rather than a revolution the protest movement stalls at a bosses’ fight with mass participation.

The crowds on the streets need to begin to make demands of their own. They should also involve an attack on those on all sides who have plundered the Ukrainian economy.


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News
Tue 3 Dec 2013, 18:15 GMT
Issue No. 2382
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