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Ukraine Agreement: Bitter and begrudging calm …

  • February 22nd, 2014
  • Posted by EU Australia

Kiev 2014 3Friday’s settlement at Kiev sees all parties undertaking to try and calm the situation ahead of the formation of a government of national unity, and early elections late this year.

It followed a day of horror that ended the last week of violent confrontations, with at least an additional 77 people killed.

Opposition protestors declared themselves unconvinced the President, Viktor Yanukovych, 63, would act in the spirit of accord, and began rebuilding street barricades. They were turning out en masse at public funerals for the dead.


They had set new standards for implacable opposition, expressly to put him in the classic situation of domineering leaders on  the slide: governing without the consent of the governed.

In the tradition of mass social movements, like those in 1989 that undermined the Eastern bloc, they persisted with the one clear demand against the corner-stone of the state edifice: removal from office of  Viktor Yanukovych — himself a veteran of the Soviet era.

•    For a treatment of the mass movement in  East Germany, see L. Duffield (2002), “Berlin wall as the Turning Point”, pp 128-134. – 22.2.14).


The run of confrontations in Kiev began three months ago over the national choice of directions: the government blocked an association agreement with the European Union and signed an economic cooperation deal with Russia instead.

The clash underscored long running divisions of the country, East against West, Russian versus native Ukranian, Catholic religion versus Orthodox.


This week the European Union was back, three Foreign Ministers, from France, Germany and Poland, intervening in  Kiev with both sides, to broker the settlement. In Brussels their Ministerial colleagues set out sanctions against Ukrainian government members, blocking travel and use of bank accounts in the EU.

Sikorski, Radislaw REDUCEDThe Foreign Minister of Poland, Radislaw Sikorski (picture), much in the role of concerned neighbour, told his social media followers the accord “gives peace a chance, and opens up the way to Europe.”

“There is a big chance that the hundreds of people who have already died, that perhaps they did not die in vain”, he later told reporters.

The Kiev agreement approves the disarming of citizens with illegal weapons, while also ordering an inquiry into the numerous deaths in the streets, mainly of protestors , (some from single shots with a high powered rifle – marks of a sniper).

It foreshadows the unity government, supervising the replacement of an unpopular constitution pushed through by the present government side, with an earlier statute from  the time of the country’s range revolution’, ready for elections.


Extract from text of the agreement:

1. Within 48 hours of the signing of this agreement, a special law will be adopted, signed and promulgated, which will restore the Constitution of 2004 including amendments passed until now. Signatories declare their intention to create a coalition and form a national unity government within 10 days thereafter.
2. Constitutional reform, balancing the powers of the President, the government and parliament, will start immediately and be completed in September 2014.
3. Presidential elections will be held as soon as the new Constitution is adopted but no later than December 2014. New electoral laws will be passed and a new Central Election Commission will be formed on the basis of proportionality and in accordance with the OSCE & Venice commission rules.
4. Investigation into recent acts of violence will be conducted under joint monitoring from the authorities, the opposition and the Council of Europe.
5. The authorities will not impose a state of emergency…


Lee Duffield, Graffiti on the Wall: Reading history through news media …, 2002., (22.2.14).

The Guardian, Manchester, Agreement on the Settlement of Crisis in Ukraine – full text, 22.2.14., (22.2.14).