Monday, December 2, 2013

Protests in Ukraine and Bulgaria

This is sad to see. In Maidan (Independence Square) in Kiev where Phin and I stayed just 4 months ago, violence has broken out. People are protesting the decision of Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovych to suspend negotiations with the European Union on closer integration. There has been some violence on both sides, with plenty of cell phone video footage to show these are not just exaggerations from variously biased media.

The Economist report covers the protesters' side well with a video of police beatings, while a day or two later this RT (Russia Today) report is more comprehensive and also well-supported by video. The people are not happy that the president apparently gave in to pressure from Vladimir Putin in Russia, but destruction of public buildings and provocations of police seem to be undermining their cause.

In contrast, the protests that have been going on here in Bulgaria since summer have so far been mostly peaceful and show a remarkable understanding between police and protesters. This report by a Bulgarian blogger living in Canada is informative, as is this one by a Bulgarian economist living in Germany.

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