Monday, January 20, 2014

Where Things Stand in Ukraine after More than 24 Hours of Violence in Kiev: The End of the Beginning

When violence broke out in Kiev yesterday, the original instigators were identified as a radical right organization “Pravyi Sektor”  the Right Sector.”   Their involvement invariably leads to the question as to whether or not they were acting as provocateurs since they are a shadowy and small group whose base and funding are secret.  If indeed Yanukovych and his allies cynically enlisted the radical right yesterday as provocateurs to discredit the Maidan protests, as they have been accused of doing before, the Yanukovych team blundered terribly.  While the protests at the Maidan have remained peaceful, the “provocateurs” have become heroes.  From her cell imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has shown herself more in tune with many of her ostensible political allies who have spent time at the Maidan by declaring her support for those fighting government forces on Hrushevskyi street.  The inability of the government forces to restore order within 24 hours and without the use of deadly force cannot help Yanukovych either, since it makes him look weak.  That said, with reinforcements coming from Donetsk and with permission to use deadly force, it seems highly likely that government forces will eventually restore order, when they do a new stage in the revolution will begin. 

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