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Aborted EU Deal: Massive Protests Rock Ukraine After Pull-Back ... In the wake of Ukraine's withdrawal from EU trade deal discussions, Kiev was rocked by the biggest protests since the Orange Revolution while the daughter of imprisoned former Ukrainian leader Yulia Tymoshenko pled for Germany's help. On Sunday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Kiev to protest the Ukrainian government's decision to call off plans for a trade deal with the European Union. The protests were the largest to take place in the country since 2004's Orange Revolution, when accusations of corruption and electoral fraud during that year's presidential election brought thousands of people to the streets and helped overturn the election of Viktor Yanukovych. According to police estimates, Sunday's protest attracted 23,000 people while organizers estimated the number at over 100,000. – Der Spiegel
Dominant Social Theme: The EU is truly worth fighting for.
Free-Market Analysis: Do people in the Ukraine really want to join the European Union? Obviously, some do, as we can see from this Spiegel article. Russia is not well loved in the Ukraine and the EU is a counterweight.
The history bears this out. The establishment of the Ukrainian People's Republic under the auspices of the USSR was an especially bloody time for the Ukraine. The Soviet government was hostile generally and thus, the culture was attacked and intellectuals were jailed or even killed. Perhaps millions of people starved in the early 1930s when the repression was especially intense.World War Two gave people in the Ukraine hope that they could fight their way out from under the yoke of the Soviets. But instead, the country was occupied bloodily by the Nazis and then retaken by the USSR.
Ukraine became its own country again in 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved and the socialist framework of industry and politics was partially dismantled. In fact, the economy boomed, but that ended in 2008, when the economic crisis hit around the world.
And thus we arrive at the present day. To some degree, the EU is seen not only as a political counterweight but also a region that can reinvigorate the Ukraine economy. Here's more from the article:
The protests were set off by the announcement on Thursday that the Ukrainian government would no longer pursue preparations for the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union in order to "ensure the national security of Ukraine" and "restore lost trade volumes with the Russian Federation."
The deal would have created a new framework for trade between the former Soviet republic and the EU, but was seen as worrisome by Russia, which had threatened economic sanctions and travel restrictions should the deal go through. The Ukrainian parliament had also voted down bills last week which would have allowed imprisoned former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko -- a key figure in the Orange Revolution -- to go to Germany for medical treatment.
The release of Tymoshenko, whose jail term for abuse of power and embezzlement is widely seen as politically motivated, was one of the conditions for the EU deal. Kiev has instead announced intentions to create a joint commission to discuss relations between Ukraine, Russia and the EU.
It was Tymoshenko who had called for the Sunday protests, where demonstrators marched with flags of the European Union and Ukrainian opposition parties, and shouted slogans like, "We are not the Soviet Union, we are the European Union."
Speakers included opposition politician and boxer Vitali Klitschko, who claimed authorities had delayed his plane from landing and said his pro-European party, the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform, would "fight for the signing of the Association Agreement." Opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk described the debate around the deal as a "choice between the past and the future."
European politicians have reacted angrily to Ukraine's decision to veer away from the European Union. Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski described Russia's tactics as a "19th-century mode of operating towards neighbors." EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said, "This is a disappointment not just for the EU but, we believe, for the people of Ukraine."
Ah, politics – Cold War politics! There is no doubt that polarization is setting in between the USSR and the EU, just as there is no doubt that this sort of evolution is not seen as an entirely bad thing.
We've observed the growing tension between the West and the BRICS – especially Russia and China – and have never been very impressed by it. Ukrainian enthusiasm for the EU seems a kind of manipulated reality. When one looks at the EU's bitter fruit regarding its "South," one begins to wonder what the fuss is about.
The EU has surely treated some of its constituent parts little better than Russia is doing now – and whether the Ukraine stays within Russia's ambit or crosses over is probably not going to make much of a difference in the long run.
What is important is that regional tensions are being reignited. And while it is difficult to take them seriously, one has to grant that the re-imposition of the dialectic is part of a larger manipulation now taking place throughout the world
The idea obviously is to politically re-polarize East and West – at least a little bit – so as to generate some of the sociopolitical and economic tools that elites are so adept at using. Society is more easily steered when various forms of patriotic hostility are employed.
It is fashionable within the alternative media to hail Vladimir Putin as a "hero" for standing up to what some consider a "new world order," but this has always seemed to us to be a fairly facile reading of what is really going on. At the top of the "pyramid," elites use similar techniques and have similar goals and objectives.
Putin's goal is to preserve power for himself and his particular mafia. That is no different than the objectives of the central banking community in the West. And given the way the power elite works, we wouldn't be surprised if there were "understandings" at the top that transcended the evident hostilities between the BRICs and the West.
With this in mind, we can now observe the current tensions playing out in the Ukraine. To read too much into what's going on is to misunderstand what we have learned in the past 10 years about The Way the World Really Works.
The current conflict in the Ukraine may be presented as one that pits East against West, but in reality the goal is always the same ...