Урок №103. The Guardian: Ukraine rocked by largest street protests since Orange Revolution
Иностранная пресса активно освещает события Евромайдана. В этом уроке видение событий от theguardian.com
Ukraine saw its largest popular protests since the 2004 Orange Revolution on Sunday when at least 300,000 people took to the streets calling for the resignation (отставка)of the president, Viktor Yanukovych.
Furious (разъяренный) at Ukraine’s 11th-hour decision to back away from an EU integration pact in favour of (в пользу) closer relations with Russia, Ukrainians defied (to defy — проигнорировать ) a court ban (судебный запрет) on protests. On the fringes, the mood turned violent as small groups of protesters stormed government buildings and clashed with riot police (полиция по охране общественного порядка, "Беркут") outside the presidential offices. About 200 masked protesters commandeered a mechanical digger (бульдозер) and attempted to break through lines of armour-clad riot police.
The anger was galvanised (to galvanise –усилить) by the violent break-up of a sit-in protest in Independence Square early on Saturday, when several hundred riot police dispersed the 1,000-strong crowd of mainly students, causing a number of casualties. City authorities claimed they needed to empty the square so a giant Christmas tree could be erected.
Early on Sunday, a Kiev court banned all rallies (a rally — митинг) at Independence Square, but people flocked (to flock — стекаться, скапливаться)стекатьthere in their thousands nonetheless (тем не менее). The Christmas tree was hung with Ukrainian flags and protesters waved yellow and blue Ukrainian and EU flags, with which many adorned (to adorn — украсить) their cars, honking horns (to honk one’s horn — сигналить) in support of the protest rally. Chants (a chant — кричалка) went up of «Glory to the nation, death to its enemies» (Слава нації, смерть ворогам) and «Out with the criminal» (Зека геть), referring to Yanukovych’s Soviet past as a petty criminal, as well as allegations (allegation –обвинение) of corruption in his inner circle.
Pavlo Tumanov, 38, a doctor from Kiev, had stripes in the colours of the Ukrainian and EU flags tied to his hands. «I came to support the students who were brutally beaten yesterday. I’m sure Yanukovych ordered that, and was advised by Putin,»he said, adding that it would be hard to oust (свергнуть) the regime peacefully (мирно).
Opposition leaders spoke to the crowd from a small, hastily (на скорую руку) constructed stage, on which was written «Ukraine is Europe».
«This is not a meeting. This is not a rally. This is revolution,» Yury Lutsenko, the opposition leader and former interior minister, told the crowd. People shouted back: «Revolution!»
The Polish politician Jacek Protasiewicz, vice-president of the European parliament, told the crowd: «You are part of Europe.» The crowd roared back approvingly (одобряюще).
«Yanukovych is a political corpse (труп),» said Oleg Stavytsky, a 49-year-old engineer from Kiev, brandishing (to brandish — размахивать) the EU flag. «After he spat (to spit — плюнуть) in the face of Ukraine and Europe, he should realise that the only solution for him is to resign.» Tatiana Troshkova, a 55-year-old economist from a town on the outskirts (окраина) of Kiev, held a placard (плакат) that read «Ukraine, rise!»
«The west of Ukraine is already at this square. We want people from the Donbas [Yanukovych’s stronghold (оплот) in the east] to join us,» she said, adding that she would be coming back to the streets every day for as long as she had the strength.
The protests demonstrated once again how divided Ukraine is, with the southern and eastern regions largely supporting closer relations with Russia, while the west and most of the centre focus on European integration.
The EU pact, which was to have been signed at a summit in Vilnius last Friday, would have given Ukraine freer trade with Europe, but Yanukovych said it took no account of the ailing (плохой, нездоровый) state of the country’s economy, and that Europe did not offer the financial help required for modernisation. Russia had been staunchly (твердо) against the deal, and it is believed Moscow offered financial incentives for Ukraine not to sign, with threats of punitive (карательный) measures if it did.
Yanukovych’s imprisoned rival Yulia Tymoshenko released a statement from hospital railing (здесь: застенки) against the president until his regime was toppled (to topple- свергнуть) . «I appeal to all Ukrainian people to resist and rise up against Yanukovych and his dictatorship,» she wrote.
Tymoshenko led the Orange Revolution which stopped Yanukovych coming to power, but after years of disappointment and infighting (междоусобица, внутренние раздоры), he won presidential elections in 2010. Shortly afterwards, Tymoshenko was jailed on charges (здесь: обвинение) widely believed to be politically motivated, and she is in a prison hospital in the eastern city of Kharkiv. She announced a hunger strike after Yanukovych said he would not sign the EU deal.
Other opposition leaders declared a national strike and called on people to block government buildings, demanding the resignation of the government and president.
However, the protest turned violent. Some protesters used gas, knives and smoke bombs against police lines. About 100 police had been injured in the clashes near the building by Sunday afternoon, according to the interior ministry, and 12 soldiers were also injured.
With Tymoshenko marginalised, Vitaly Klitschko, the heavyweight boxing champion who is one of Ukraine’s main opposition leaders, is seen as the main threat to Yanukovych at the next presidential elections in 2015. On Sunday evening, he called on his supporters to remain calm and denounced (to denounce — осудить) the attempts to seize buildings by force.
«They stole the dream,» he told the crowds on Independence Square. «If this government does not want to fulfil the will of the people, then there will be no such government, there will be no such president. There will be a new government and a new president.»
Far-right (ультраправый) nationalist leader Oleh Tyahnybok, meanwhile, called for workers’ support. «From this day, we are starting a strike,» he declared. If the idea of a national strike gains support, it will be a sure sign that the protests are more than just a flash in the pan (больше, чем случайность; что-то имевшее краткосрочный успех).
All the opposition leaders denied any involvement with the violence, and accused the authorities of using hired thugs ("титушки") to create provocations. Order appeared to have been restored by Sunday night, with rows of riot police standing guard behind metal fences.
Arseniy Yatseniuk, leader of the Batkyvshchina party, told journalists he believed the clashes had been provoked as an excuse for Yanukovych to declare a state of emergency (чрезвычайное положение) on Monday.
Inna Bohoslovska, a former ally (союзник) of Yanukovych who left the president’s party in protest against the bloody crackdown (наступление на демократию, крутые меры) on protests in recent days, accused the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and his Ukrainian ally Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of the Ukrainsky Vybor group, of masterminding (to mastermind — быть инициатором/вдохновителем, разрабатывать), стоять за чем-либо) provocations in Kiev.
Yanukovych’s next move will be crucial (ключевой, решающий). Over the weekend he criticised the violence, and insisted the country was still on the path to European integration. He was believed to be meeting his advisers at his country residence outside Kiev. Aides to Yanukovych (помощники Януковича) said he still planned to travel to China on a long-planned trip on Wednesday, after which he is due in Moscow.