What was the Maidan Revolution of 2014?

Some say that in February of 2014, the sitting President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was forcibly removed from power by a coup d’état.

Others, however, characterize his ouster in more favorable terms. They call it the Maidan Revolution or even the Revolution of Dignity.

According to Wikipedia, the Maidan Revolution involved “deadly clashes between protesters and the security forces in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.”

Further, according to Wikipedia, Yanukovych was legitimately voted into office in 2010, he was not voted out of office in 2014, and he was not impeached.

Also, in March of 2014, right after his ouster, Russia decided to annex Crimea.

To shed further light on these two historical events, I pose the following four questions and then extract answers from Wikipedia. These answers can be found in the reference section below. For now, here are the questions:

  1. What role did Viktor Yanukovych play in Ukrainian politics?
  2. How was Viktor Yanukovych removed from power in 2014?
  3. What was the Maidan Revolution?
  4. What historical event happened right after the Maidan Revolution?

Wikipedia References


Question: What role did Viktor Yanukovych play in Ukrainian politics?

Victor Yanukovich
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych

“””
Yanukovych was elected president [of Ukraine] in 2010, defeating Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The election was judged free and fair by international observers. November 2013 saw the beginning of a series of events that led to his ousting as president.
“””

“””
Yanukovych’s main base of support emerged from the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, which favor close ties with neighboring Russia. In the first round of voting held on 31 October 2004, Yanukovych took second place with 39.3 percent of the votes to opposition leader Viktor Yuschenko with 39.8 percent.
“””


Question: How was Viktor Yanukovych removed from power in 2014?

Impeachment in Ukraine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_Ukraine

“””
There were no articles of impeachment against Yanukovych. The Verkhovna Rada Committee voted on February 22, 2014 MPs voted to “remove Viktor Yanukovych from the post of president of Ukraine” on the grounds that he was unable to fulfill his duties and to hold early presidential elections on May 25.
“””


Question: What was the Maidan Revolution?

Revolution of Dignity (aka Maidan Revolution or Coup d’état)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution_of_Dignity

“””
The Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Maidan Revolution,[2] took place in Ukraine in February 2014[2][1] at the end of the Euromaidan protests,[1] when deadly clashes between protesters and the security forces in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv culminated in the ousting of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and the overthrow of the Ukrainian government.
“””


Question: What historical event happened right after the Maidan Revolution?

Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annexation_of_Crimea_by_the_Russian_Federation

“””
Russia formally incorporated Crimea as two Russian federal subjects—the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol on 18 March 2014. Following the annexation, Russia escalated military presence on the peninsula and leveraged nuclear threats to solidify the new status quo on the ground.
“””

Other References


Cohen, Stephen

How Did Russiagate Begin?
Why Barr’s investigation is important and should be encouraged.
By Stephen F. Cohen
30 May 2019

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/how-did-russiagate-begin/

“””
It cannot be emphasized too often: Russiagate—allegations that the American president has been compromised by the Kremlin, which may even have helped to put him in the White House—is the worst and (considering the lack of actual evidence) most fraudulent political scandal in American history. We have yet to calculate the damage Russiagate has inflicted on America’s democratic institutions, including the presidency and the electoral process, and on domestic and foreign perceptions of American democracy, or on US-Russian relations at a critical moment when both sides, having “modernized” their nuclear weapons, are embarking on a new, more dangerous, and largely unreported arms race.
“””


Ukrainegate impeachment saga worsens US-Russia Cold War
by Stephen F. Cohen
Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies at New York University and Princeton University
13 November 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpASSqz1hGc

Interview by Aaron Maté
TheGrayZone.com

As the House opens impeachment hearings for President Trump, Professor Stephen F. Cohen warns that the US military assistance at the heart of Ukrainegate escalates the US-Russia Cold War.

Guest: Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton University, contributing editor at The Nation, and author of “War with Russia: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate.”


Higgins, Andrew

Ukraine Leader Was Defeated Even Before He Was Ousted
By Andrew Higgins and Andrew E. Kramer
3 January 2015
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/world/europe/ukraine-leader-was-defeated-even-before-he-was-ousted.html


Discussion


WarrenK

Fred, for me it is quite simple: following orders from of Russia, a foreign power to which he was corruptly and traitorously beholden, President Yanukovych refused to sign the political association and free trade agreement with the EU after it had been overwhelmingly approved by the the people’s representatives in the Ukrainian parliament. Thus it was necessary to remove him from office, by force if necessary. When it became clear no other means but force could accomplish this task, the Maiden Revolution, which can be compared to the American Revolution against British rule, erupted.


FMB

Warren, as I recall, the Stephen Cohen interview with Aaron Maté (which I’ve posted a link to just now) discusses the “political association and free trade agreement with the EU” but I don’t recall the details right off hand. However, I do have the transcript of the interview, so maybe I’ll look into that tomorrow.

One thought for now, however. If he had broken the law by not signing the agreement, then why didn’t the Ukrainian legal system impeach him?

Don’t the supporters of the Maiden Revolution believe in the rule of law?


WarrenK

Fred, point well taken, impeachment would have been the ideal way to remove him, but the Ukrainian legal system was infiltrated by Russia. I believe the Ukrainian constitution did not even allow for the head of state to reject an agreement approved by parliament, thus he himself was disrespecting the rule of law. The protesters in East Germany and elsewhere in Eastern Europe legitimately disrespected the rule of law in 1989, as did Americans in 1776.


WarrenK

Thanks Fred, I will watch this. [Ukrainegate impeachment saga worsens US-Russia Cold War video]

I fear it will not change my fundamental opinion that: (1) all former Soviet republics and Warsaw pact nations have thoroughly justified existential fears of brutal dictatorial Russian subjugation and must be aided politically and militarily by the civilized West to defend their sovereignty and freedom, and (2) Russia has no legitimate interests out side of its own borders.


FMB

Warren, this article reports on the events surrounding Yanukovych’s ouster. I think the Stephen Cohen interview video mentions this article, too, but Professor Cohen doesn’t hold it in high regard.

(See Ukraine Leader Was Defeated Even Before He Was Ousted by Andrew Higgins in reference section.)

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