Ukraine: The Next Syria?

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What started as a (relatively) peaceful protest against the government’s decision to withdraw from an EU agreement in favour of stronger ties with Russia is now threatening to tip Ukraine into civil war. Violence erupted on Wednesday night, with dozens of killed and injured reported, following the breaking of a brief ceasefire. But why?

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the origin of these protests. Fringe media groups such as Info Wars have attempted to examine intricacies of the protest in a way that the mainstream media has neglected to do.

Given the announcement that the US is drafting legislation to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian government (sound familiar?), I feel it prudent to point out that whilst Western media are painting the opposition as pro-EU, peaceful, and democratic; they are in fact the exact opposite. Despite repeated attempts at compromise by President Yanukovich, including offering protest leaders a chance to form an interim government and firing his staff at the request of said protesters, violence has dramatically escalated, with protesters seizing hundreds of weapons and firing on the police and media alike. RT News reported that one of their crews was fired upon by protesters whilst attempting to cover events. Moderate and peaceful? Apparently not.

The US has a recent history of sponsoring opposition groups, and is well known for arming them when direct intervention would not be looked upon kindly. Is it a stretch to suspect US involvement in this dramatically evolving crisis? Right on the doorstep of Russia? Think about the recording of US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland speaking to US Ambassador Geoffrey Pratt about the overthrowing the Ukrainian government, and decide for yourself. Whatever the cause, this is not something the rest of the world can afford to ignore until it is too late.

by Niall Brown

Niall Brown is a first year student of War and Security Studies at the University of Hull.

Photograph by Sasha Maksymenko, via Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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