Progress being made in Ukraine
A new agreement could put an end to the bloodshed that has been seen in Ukraine and make speech more free and open in the country.
The country has been embroiled in protests and controversy over the last few months because many Ukrainians are growing increasingly frustrated with the actions of President Viktor Yanukovych. He has been conducting policies that are very similar to those of Russia. For instance, he made the decision in January to not join the European Union. This led many citizens to protest his actions in Kiev, the capital and other parts of the country.
These protests have been ongoing for quite some time, and have left over 100 people dead. Among the major issues that they have with the government is the extent of presidential powers, which have grown since Yanukovych was elected in 2010.
The demonstrations have been quite violent, leaving some parts of the country's capital as war zones. On top of this, there are allegations that security troops in the country have been using excessive means to quell suppress these activities. USA Today noted that they have been labeled as terrorists and police have been urged to suppress actions such as rock throwing with gun fire.
The news source noted that lawmakers have created a new deal that could possibly bring an end to these protests. The agreement would cut back on many of the major powers that the president has and restore the 2004 constitution.
"As the president of Ukraine and the guarantor of the Constitution, today I am fulfilling my duty before the people, before Ukraine and before God in the name of saving the nation, in the name of preserving people's lives, in the name of peace and calm of our land," the president said, according to the news source.
The Washington Post noted that the agreement would lift the "anti-protest" laws that have been used as precedent to follow through on these violent actions. Another encouraging aspect of the agreement is that it was created through sound democratic process rather than behind closed doors.
USA Today noted that some protestors are still not happy with the agreement. While it does cut back on the president's powers, it does little about bringing justice to those who died in the protests. While the solution is not perfect, it is encouraging to see the country stepping in the right direction for both democracy and free speech.