Protest in Ukraine and Thailand

What links the protests in two different parts of the world, namely Kiev and Bangkok? In the former, police brutality appears to further encourage popular support of the E.U. accord that was not signed by President Yanukovich, and Russians watch “longingly“:

To many here, it was unclear whether Mr. Yanukovich’s calm demeanor reflected supreme confidence, complete denial or a combination of the two. Other political leaders in Ukraine acknowledged that the authorities were facing a serious civil disturbance, including the occupation by protesters of Kiev City Hall and the large Trade Unions building nearby, as well as a blockade of the Cabinet Ministry, which prevented top officials from reaching their offices.

via Amid Unrest, Ukrainian President Defends Choice on Accords –

And a drone-level view of Thailand offers unique perspectives on the crisis–even as foreign journalists are facing hostile crowds.  The police are trying a peaceful approach to reduce the conflict, even as the calendar seems to be playing in favor of the goverment.


8 thoughts on “Protest in Ukraine and Thailand”

  1. Honestly, I think that the Ukrainian President has no where to turn at the moment. I don’t really blame him for not doing anything to stop the fights. If he joins the European Union, he will get immense gains as far as trade and allies go, but he will gain a formidable enemy, Russia. Russia is their neighbor and has been linked closely to them throughout their history. It is no wonder that they are threatening severe trade sanctions if they were to turn to the other side. The Ukrainian President is stuck between a rock and a hard place, but his biggest responsibility is to the people and he should be responding to the blatant outrage at Russian negotiations.

  2. Both protesting groups are not happy with their prime ministers. I love the recent development of the Thai government to let protesters come in to the government buildings rather than fight with them. In Kiev it seems like protesters have taken the stance for peace first by decorating the streets in protest. It will be interesting to see how the government responds to the Ukrainian protests and attempts to squash it. It is hard to gauge if a Thailand approach would even work with Ukrainian protests, there is not the same pressure on Ukrainian protesters to cease for their king’s birthday or tourist season, and much of the population, including those from the country who call for a people’s council, the economy depends on Tourism. The only break for the government in Ukraine that I see is winter starting soon.

  3. The situation in Ukraine is interesting, especially following H.E. Igor Munteanu’s visit a few months ago. As the Moldovan ambassador to the US, Mr. Munteanu gave an interesting insight on his country’s and Ukraine’s bids to join the E.U. During his visit, Mr. Munteanu was very confident that his country would join the E.U. regardless of Russian backlash. With the decision in Ukraine, I wondered if Moldova would also back down in their desires, but it appears that they are receiving more support in their bid to join the E.U. than before. There was also an interesting article in the Washington Post yesterday explaining the reasoning behind the protests. The thing that struck out to me was that while the protests are being portrayed as being driven by pro-Western sentiments, the motivations are rather more economic than anything. That being said, if the fact that the Ukranian people prefer Western economics does not make them pro-Western I do not know what does.

  4. I certainly do not envy the decisions the Ukrainian President must make. Which is more important/beneficial to Ukraine, having good ties by joining the European Union or avoiding the potential/probable consequences from Russia? The president claims that his people are not behaving like Western Europeans by rioting and foregoing democracy. However, in order to get to the places where most Western countries are right now, they participated in revolts just like this. That being said, the European Union does have conditions a country must meet in order to join, and the rioting and instability are probably not doing the Ukrainians the biggest favor on their image to the EU.

  5. Despite the “Orange Revolution” nine years ago, corruption continues to run rampant in the Ukraine. You have to wonder how a person who was faced with so many allegations of ballot fraud less than a decade ago got elected in the first place. Personally, I side with the protesters on this issue. One of the sticking points for the deal with the EU was the release of former Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko from jail so that she can go abroad to seek medical attention. While I think that Russia’s influence certainly played the largest role in Yanukovich’s decision to refuse to sign the accords with the EU, it also helped that he wouldn’t be forced to release his former political rival. Yanukovich seems to be more concerned with what Russia thinks and with his own wishes than he is with the will and opinions of the people he was elected to represent. Civil unrest is never good for an economy, but if the government has stopped working for the people, then I agree with the Ukrainian citizens that it is time for new leadership.

  6. Its true Yanukovich has made some hard decisions in choosing Russia over Europe, but I think he still needs to remember what it means to be a part of a Democracy. I like to imagine what Obama would do if hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington DC to protest a decision he had made. I certainly don’t think he would throw it in their faces and say they don’t know what they are talking about. That would cause the end of his political power and death to his party. Even though he did not get voted out with the parliamentary vote of no-confidence I think it says something that more than a hundred representatives did not vote because they did not want to go on the record for voting for Yanukovich. So yes he is getting pressure from Russia but should he simply ignore the voice of his own people? I don’t think so.

  7. I feel like many of you do, that the Ukrainian President had nowhere else to go. H still should have curbed the beatings though. Police should not respond to protests they way they did, and it reflects very badly on the President.

  8. Personally, I side with the protestors on this issue. The current Ukrainian President came to power by rigged balloting. It is clear that corruption is rampant throughout the country. The Ukrainians already voted on closers ties with the EU and it passed by 60% percent. It may not be an easy path, but I believe the protestors have every right to do what it takes to promote democracy and inspire hope for a better future of Ukraine.

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