Protestors met with confrontation in Ukraine
Protestors are gathering in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev because of the government's decision to not sign an agreement that would have the country join the European Union.
A number of Ukrainian citizens are frustrated with recent decisions by the country's leaders after they decided to reverse their decision and not sign an agreement with the E.U., according to CNN. As a result, many have begun to protest in mass numbers in Kiev. Protestors have gathered by the thousands, making these the largest gatherings since the country's Orange Revolution nine years ago.
Citizens publicize frustrations
Many are upset because they felt that by being able to join the E.U. they would have been able to see improved government programs such as infrastructure maintenance and better quality public services. According to the Index on Censorship, some of the dissenters feel that the high taxes they pay is going into the pockets of politicians rather than going to these programs. As a result, many have gathered directly outside the main government headquarters to prevent employees from attending work.
The government has said that it wishes to work with the demonstrators to find a solution, however, will only do so on "peaceful terms."
"If we find a fist, I say frankly, we have enough forces," said Prime Minister Myjola Azarov, according to CNN.
Protests turn violent
The Index on Censorship reported that government forces have begun to use violence in order to break up these demonstrations. On top of this, 51 journalists, the ones who are responsible for reporting on these events, have been beaten by riot police. According to the news source, The Institute of Mass Information, a Kiev-based freedom of expression organization believes that a special force of the riot police was deployed to specifically target these journalists.
Fortunately, many Ukrainians have rallied to support the reporters that are on the scene for these protests.
"I was really moved when a woman came up to me in a bus, as she heard I was ordering protecting helmets and vets for journalists," said Oksana Romaniuk, an executive director at the Institute of Mass Information to the news source. "The lady gave me 200 hryvnias and said 'I have heard how journalists were beaten – please, take this money to help them'."
While these are encouraging signs for the solidarity of the protests, the fact that the government has decided to act violently against them indicates that there is still a far ways to go when it comes to reaching an agreement with demonstrators.