Ukraine. On New Year’s Day, Russian gas supplies to Ukraine were stripped after the country refused to join the Russian Federation’s price increase for 2009. According to countryaah, the countries also disagreed on the terms of Ukraine’s unpaid debts. The conflict led to energy crisis in several EU countries in Central Europe, which suffered from severe cold and whose gas supplies from the Russian Federation went through Ukraine. Moscow accused Ukraine of theft of transit gas and asked the EU to monitor deliveries through the country. The EU sought to mediate in the gas conflict, but when deliveries got underway, they were stopped again by Ukrainian Naftogaz who did not accept the terms of transit. The heads of government from three vulnerable countries, Slovakia, Moldova and Bulgaria, came to Ukraine to discuss the crisis. The conflict was resolved after a two-week energy crisis at a meeting in Moscow between Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Ukraine must agree to pay so-called European prices for the gas, however, with a 20 percent discount in 2009. Ukraine had previously paid about US $ 180 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas, while EU countries paid over US $ 400. Gas price increases became evident in Ukraine’s deep economic crisis, where the country struggled to meet the terms of the IMF aid loans the autumn before.
In January, the country’s industrial production fell by a third and the already severe unemployment increased. GDP fell by 20 percent before the quarter and was expected to decline by 15 percent during the full year. President Viktor Yushchenko criticized the government of Tymoshenko for not taking the crisis seriously enough and to counteract budget cuts, prompting the IMF to postpone loan payments. Around 20,000 people protested against the government and the president in April demanding their resignation. Addressing the economic crisis, Tymoshenko was called “Mrs. Ruin”.
The 2000 murder of regime-critical journalist Georgij Gongadze appeared to be clear when the former police chief Oleksij Pukatj was arrested in July. He acknowledged participation in the act, which was suspected of being ordered by former President Leonid Kuchma.
In October, the campaign began before the presidential election scheduled for January 2010. The election campaign coincided with an outbreak of swine flu, prompting Prime Minister Tymoshenko to order temporary closure of schools, while opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych demanded the resignation of the Minister of Health. They were both main rivals in the election campaign and were accused of trying to exploit the swine flu for political purposes.
When Parliament voted in October to raise minimum wages and pensions, the IMF protested, saying that the decision threatened to stabilize the economy that had begun. Prime Minister Tymoshenko was also opposed to the raises, accusing opposition leader Yanukovych of wanting to deteriorate the economy and thus be able to increase his own opinion support. In December, the government was forced to request extended credit from the IMF in order to be able to pay off the previous loans and at the same time meet the central government’s current expenditure. Otherwise, the Treasury would have run out of money for salaries and pensions and for gas bills from the Russian Federation.
Before the end of the year, Ukraine managed to conclude an agreement with the Russian Federation on the continued transit of Russian gas and Russian oil through Ukraine to the EU. This meant, among other things, that the Russian Federation agreed on increased transit fees.
2014 State Cup made in USA
In 2013, Ukraine’s economy was close to the edge of the bankruptcy. For two years, the country had negotiated an association and free trade agreement with the EU to provide the country with better growth opportunities. The agreement was to be signed at an EU summit in Vilnius in November 2013, but immediately before the summit, requirements were added from the IMF to the agreement package. The IMF’s demand was for severe government cuts and the removal of energy subsidies, which would lead to a 40% increase in energy prices. Faced with these demands, Ukraine chose to step down and reject the agreement package.
History could have stopped here, but the United States could not allow Russia another victory at home. In June 2013, the whistleblower had unveiled the NSA’s global espionage network and subsequently been allowed to stay in Russia, and in September Russia negotiated a compromise in place with Syria’s Assad for the destruction of its chemical weapons. In doing so, the West lost an argument for attacking Syria militarily. The United States therefore decided that Ukraine’s elected president should be overthrown and replaced by a hand-picked man. The United States had done the same in Iran in 1953, in Guatemala in 1954 and most recently in Venezuela in 2002. Ukraine fell victim to a major political game between the West (primarily the United States) and Russia.
When it became clear in November that the government would not sign the agreement with the EU / IMF, the opposition launched demonstrations at the Maidan Square in Kiev facing the government. Initially the protesters were few – around 2000 – but on November 24, 50-200,000 demonstrated. The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, but on the 24th a smaller group of protesters tried to storm the government building, but were driven back by tear gas. The day after, opposition leader Yulia Tymochenko launched a hunger strike in support of the demand for the resignation of the government and the president. The following days, the number of protesters remained at approx. 2000 again. The EU was now also trying to fish in agitated waters. On November 26, Loreta Graužinienė’s chairman, Loreta Graužinienė, spoke to the protesters and the following day was Polish MP Marcin Święcicki. At the same time, the Kiev city government set up a heat tent as a service to the protesters, from which hot and sandwiches were served. Early in the morning of the 30th, the security forces cleared Maidan Square, and those who were not fast enough got the hang of it. Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko later apologized on TV to the police’s harsh conduct and promised that an investigation would be conducted.
The contours of US tactics were now beginning to emerge. In the following months, the United States paid 10-15,000 unemployed youths from western Ukraine to travel to Kiev and take part in the demonstrations, and the superpower began simultaneously training and arming right-wing radical groups affiliated with Svoboda or even further to the right. By December 1, authorities had banned demonstrations, but about 100,000 defied the ban, demonstrating various locations in Kiev. However, what overshadowed the demonstrations were small violent groups of protesters who attacked security forces and attempted to occupy a number of public buildings. They failed to occupy the President’s administration building, but in return they occupied the City Hall and the Trade Union House.
The protesters simultaneously retook the Maidan square and created what the BBC correspondent David Stern termed “almost a military camp with an impressive barricade around the square”. The following days, 2-10,000 people participated in the occupation of the square.