Ukraine East vs Ukraine West: Vitaliy Against Yanukovich
Will it be Europe on the west or the Russia to the east of Ukraine that will win? Ukraine east vs. Ukraine west may seem like a bit of a misnomer, but it is not, especially when a large section of Eastern Ukrainians in the rural parts are totally against the protesters in Kiev. With the protests of Ukraine intensifying every day the government is showing signs of absolute panic. The handling of the crowds by the police force has become increasingly fierce for some days now and even President Viktor Yanukovich has asked them to show restraint. The cold war of Vitaliy against Yanukovich surfaced quite a few years ago and has intensified due to their conflicting stands on matters of foreign diplomacy.
The public protesters in Kiev are clearly demanding a pro-European stance from a global perspective and are pushing for the association deal with the EU (European Union). They have been so active that current president and the opposition leaders agreed on a round table conference. Leaders of the political party UDAR, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnybok, attended a conference with President Yanukovych to discuss options for easing tension in the region. The boxing legend of Ukraine and the party boss of the opposition, Vitaliy Klitschko expressed his annoyance of the fact that the army has been used to brutalize many a protester. Although, an amnesty has been proposed by the ruling government, it is crucial to watch the strategic political diplomacies which will unfold within a few days. It is not only Vitaliy against Yanukovich, but a clear segregation among the masses of Ukraine East versus Ukraine West over the sensitive issue of East Russia or West Europe. The issue is reaching a critical level.
In Kiev the situation is getting worse as thousands of people are courageously demonstrating. They have set-up barricades of snow, iron rods, tires, and even broken wood planks to keep away the forces of government. East Ukraine’s people still favor Russia, so they are not participating in this protest.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that, “If our friends have a desire for joint work we are ready to continue this work,” when asked about his views on the political situation in Ukraine. It is pretty clear from here that Russia is keen on gaining the confidence of the Ukrainian people on several issues of global importance. He also mentioned that the unity of the countries like Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Ukraine can be a real good thing.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine told the media that they want to deepen relations with the European Union, but there is no respite for the demonstrators. They have set-up camps around the main square and are disrupting the already debt stricken country. Although the cause of the protest is may be justified, the practical implications cannot be undone. Ukraine East Vs Ukraine West does sound spicy especially when it is a fight between Vitaliy against Yanukovich, but the country is basically losing thousands of dollars every day in this stalemate situation. It is in the best interest of every Ukrainian to reach a pact as soon as possible.
By Sunando Basu