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Ukraine after the Euromaidan

Challenges and Hopes


Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi

Ukraine’s protest movement of 2013–14, known as the Euromaidan, and its culmination, the people’s uprising in late 2013–early 2014 became one of the most dramatic world events in recent years. The accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation and military conflict in the Donbas demonstrate that the dramatic dynamics of the country’s ongoing transformation are still far from predictable. This book examines the manifold aspects of Ukraine’s current crisis and its political upheaval. The contributors to the book, Ukrainian experts in a variety of disciplinary fields, explore social, political and cultural reasons and factors behind the country’s transformation in its national and regional dimensions, the impact of Ukraine’s revolution on European and global politics, and also the new challenges of tough reforms with which the country is faced. The contributors share the view that the Euromaidan brought new opportunities for Ukraine’s modern development and the greatest historical chance for the country’s European future since independence in 1991.
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Before and After the Euromaidan: Ukraine Between the European Choice and the Russian Factor


The three-month-long mass civil protests in Ukraine resulted not only in regime change but also in a fundamental shift in the popular attitudes toward the country’s largest geopolitical neighbors: Russia and the European Union. The proxy war in the eastern regions of Ukraine, sponsored by Russia, and the weak European response could make Ukrainians reject the idea of full integration into the EU but stick to European and Euro- Atlantic standards in building new political and security institutions.

The issue of foreign policy orientation was usually low on the list of political priorities of the Ukrainian people compared with the urgent political, economic and social welfare issues. However, it served as an indicator of which political, economic and social practices and standards, European or Russian, a given political force or leader would implement if elected. In the 2012 parliamentary elections pro-European and pro-Western oppositional parties received 49.94% of the vote, and gained unprecedented support in several important Eastern and Southern industrial regions (see Table 1.). For instance, in the Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson regions they achieved 40% of the vote. ← 73 | 74 →

Table 1: Voting for pro-Russian and pro-European political parties and blocs 1998–2012 in the Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine.

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