Ukraine - Standoff on Hrushevskoho Street

22 images Created 19 Oct 2021

Euromaidan demonstrations in Ukraine

Kiev, January 2014. At -20 °Celsius temperatures, anti-government protesters and Ukrainian police preserve a tense status quo, few days after 4 protesters died during escalations. While the days pass off mostly calm with the situation heating up from time to time, the tensions erupt in the course of night resulting in violent clashes.

Starting in November 2013, for months thousands of Ukrainians gathered on Maidan Square to demonstrate against President Yanukowitsch’s administration. In January 2014, the demonstrations escalated on Kiev’s Hrushevskoho street with police firing live rounds leaving several wounded and, depending on different sources, four to seven dead.
A tense status quo with ongoing clashes and protesters occupying several administrational buildings was preserved until the 18th of February 2014, when police-forces moved in to clear Majdan Square.

On February 21st, after three days of intense fighting, hundreds of wounded and 80 dead on both sides, an agreement between president Yanukowitsch and opposition leaders Jazenjuk,Tjahnybok and Klitschko to end the extreme violence was achieved.

On the 26th of February, Arseni Jazenjuk was voted head of the provisional government. Presidential elections were agreed to be held on the 25th of May 2014.
The disagreement throughout the country led to the Crimean Crisis with the Republic of Crimea declaring independence from Ukraine and Russia claiming Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation.

Since March 2014, pro-Russian protests in Donetzk and Luhansk oblasts have escalated and turned into a full-scale conflict between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian government in the Donbass region.

As previously agreed and despite the ongoing conflict, Ukrainian Presidential elections were carried out on the 25th of May 2014. The elections weren’t held in the now Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula.
In the Donbass region, the election faced rejection and massive disruption by Pro-Russian separatists resulting in only 20% of the ballot stations being opened.
With a majority of 54,7 %, Petro Poroshenko aka. ‘the Chocolate-King’, a businessman and former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2009-2010) and Minister of Trade and Economic Development (2012), was elected President of Ukraine.

In July 2014, the Ukrainian military started an ongoing counter insurgency offensive during which Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to retake several cities and outposts occupied by Pro-Russian separatists.

On the 17th of July, a civilian Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down over Eastern Ukraine leaving all 298 passengers and crew on board dead. It is not yet clear which side fired the surface-to-air-missile.

As of December 2015, after one and a half years the armed conflict between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists is still going on. Despite an official truce, both sides regularly break the ceasefire resulting in a rising number of casualties.
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