Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Protesting Ukraine's Truce Agreement

As though Ukraine doesn't have enough distractions and experiences of violence, their borders breached, a critical portion of their geography annexed by neighbouring Russia, an influx of Russian troops and tanks under cover guiding ethnic Russian militant Ukrainians to foment unrest and demand autonomy, there is its fascist element among its nationalist contingents, threatening the government in Kyiv, prepared to carry out their truce agreement with decentralization of power in eastern Ukraine.

The infamous Svoboda fiercely nationalist party, with its handful of seats in parliament, represents the proverbial minority whose loud clashes and demands ensure they are noticed within the country and outside, as a ferociusly destabilizing element. Protesting the vote ratified to allow greater autonomy to the country's eastern separatist regions, some among the crowd storming the parliament got downright dirty, and at least one among them tossed a grenade.

A policeman helps a wounded colleague in Kiev

That's a serious demonstration of vicious intentions, enough so that a policeman was killed. One hundred others were injured. Most of the protesters were armed with sticks and truncheons, some of them bravely masked to hide their identities. At a time when the country should be unified, to cope with the conflict and the threat from Russia, let alone its precarious economic situation and the government's attempts to counter ingrained corruption in hopes of entering the EU, the last thing it needs is more violence from within.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, speaking of the clashes between protesters and police as "a bloody provocation", spoke of the need to prosecute the attackers. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov confirmed that thirty people were detained, among them the protester who tossed the grenade. He, it would be assumed, will be charged with manslaughter at the very least, the others as criminal enablers.
Protesters in Kiev try to seize riot gear from the security forces
Image caption Some protesters seized riot gear from the security forces -- BBC News

The February truce forced by circumstances and Russian machinations against the government in Kyiv in Minsk called for power decentralization in eastern Ukraine as a condition that would help to end the fighting between Ukrainian government forces and the Moscow-backed separatists. Ukraine, no matter how the issue is examined, gets the short end of the stick. Agreeing to the truce seemed the only way, given Russia's belligerence, to end the conflict and save lives.

Despite which, the violence and the conflict continues, with each side accusing the other of breaking the truce on too many occasions to keep track of. And on the home front, it seems that more than one grenade was thrown by the crowd of protesters in the capital. Others among the protesters held petrol bombs, while police countered with the use of tear gas on the crowds.

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