Ukraine’s complex transition
Edited By Klaus Bachmann and Igor Lyubashenko
Euromaidan: From the students’ protest to mass uprising
Causes of the protest
In order to understand the causes of an unprecedented social protest that shook Ukraine in November 2013-February 2014, known as Euromaidan, it is important to take a look at the wider social context, and precisely the problems that drive social protests in contemporary Ukraine.
The Orange Revolution of 2004 had brought about a shift of the political elite in Ukraine, but failed to improve the functioning of the political system in general (see Chapter 2). Ukrainians generally remained pessimistic about developments in the country, with a short exception during the first half of 2005, when more than 50% of respondents believed the country was heading in the right direction (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Ukrainians’ assessment of developments in the country
Source: Razumkov Centre, data of a series of opinion polls conducted between April 2004 and December 2013 (http://razumkov.org.ua/ukr/poll.php?poll_id=66).
This pessimism was additionally reinforced by the general conviction that an ordinary person has no influence on what is happening in the country. It ← 61 | 62 → is noteworthy that this perception of reality remained more or less stable; one cannot point towards any period of relative social optimism (Figure 4).
Figure 4: Ukrainians’ perception of having influence over developments in the country
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