International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Truce Declared in Ukraine in Wake of Deadly Violence

Truce Declared in Ukraine in Wake of Deadly Violence


The Kiev Battlefield Ignites

In the midst of thousands of anti-government protesters facing off with riot police in central Kiev Wednesday morning, there have been continuing talks of civil war.

I am not sure where exactly the civil war talk started, but it seems focused on the topic of national identity more than a EU vs. Russia debate. The thought about civil war seems a little exaggerated. Who will fight against who? The current protest is not about EU vs. Russia anymore. The issue lies in the corrupt practices of the current government. An EU vs. Russia issue probably would not have lead hundreds of people in the streets with “tactics of scorched earth.”

Civil war brings in international concern but if the West gets too involved and aggressive about pressuring Yanukovych to halt authoritarian-related actions, this could get worse. Should Ukrainians be left alone to solve their own crisis without outside interference? Is this a more peaceful approach? (even with talks of civil war?)

Joe Biden has called Ukraine’s president to urge restraint regarding the violent clashes in Kiev, but most of the power seems to be with Putin and Ukrainians, so it is not clear what the West could do. In between deep issues with Ukraine’s troubled economy and unresolved national identity, how much could Western action make a difference? Is it enough for the United States to just issue statements and follow those up with economic sanctions?

I don’t know how long a truce will last, but forging a lasting peace will require some changes involving political truce.


One response to “Truce Declared in Ukraine in Wake of Deadly Violence

  1. blondellm February 22, 2014 at 10:15 am

    As of February 22, Ukrainian MPs have voted to impeach President Yanukovych, free opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko from prison, and to hold elections for a new president in May.

    While Yanukovych has been accused of vote-rigging, corruption, mismanagement and human rights violations throughout his presidency, is his impeachment enough for the Ukrainian government to establish a long term peace in Kiev? I ask because these protests, which began in reaction to Yanukovych’s rejection of a European Union trade deal, has expanded into a conflict that is fueled by sharp political and ethnic divides. Additionally, a significant portion of Ukrainians are urging for closer ties with Europe which is in direct contention with Putin pressuring the government to develop closer economic integration with Russia.

    As of right now, Ukraine’s MPs seem to be taking the necessary additional steps toward establishing peace, especially given Tymoshenko’s release (who in 2011 had been previously been sentenced to serve 7 years in prison). It will be interesting to see how this news develops in, especially since Yanukovych is staunchly refusing to resign from his post while protestors appear to be in full control of the government’s district in Kiev.

    In the long term, however, I am curious to see if the ousting of Yanukovych will lead to complete change in regime come the elections in May, or if there will be temporary regime change in which the opposition takes control of the government until elections. If the accusations of human rights violations against Yanukovych are true, is it also necessary to try him for his crimes, or does his impeachment already serve enough justice needed to establish peace?


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