Ukraine Protesters Maintain Blockade

WORLD

Thousands of protesters have spent the night in freezing cold in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, after Sunday’s huge anti-government rally. (BBC)

Use our resources to better understand the conflict in Ukraine—protesters supporting closer ties with the European Union, and government backers supporting closer ties with Russia.

As this map illustrates, Ukraine lies at the crossroads between the EU to the west and Russia to the east. Map by San Jose, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

As this map illustrates, Ukraine lies at the crossroads between the EU to the west and Russia to the east.
Map by San Jose, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Discussion Ideas

  • The protests in Kiev are both political and economic. What are some of the political motivations of the protesters? What are the some economic motivations? This Q&A from the BBC might give you some clues.
    • Political Motivations
      • rejection of Ukraine’s Soviet past. The crushing of the Lenin statue represents the protesters’ clear break with the former alliance, which collapsed in the early 1990s.
      • access to the political and social values of the west—the partnership offered by the EU supports “values and principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.”
      • ease of travel to and from EU member states—the EU would lift visa restrictions
      • an increase in Ukraine’s world stature—it’s Europe’s third largest country, and (much like Europe’s second-largest country, Turkey) sits at a strategic crossroads between Europe and Asia.
    • Economic Motivations
      • greater access to trade with the EU, the most powerful economy in the world.
      • decreased reliance on Russia, which has used trade as a political weapon in the recent past—banning Ukrainian imports to Russia, and limiting Russian exports (namely, natural gas) to Ukraine.
  • Look at our maps of the European Union and Russia’s oil and gas pipelines. What other nations might see conflict between pro-EU and pro-Russia factions?
    • Belarus, which has so far aligned itself with Russia—it has already signed the trade agreement which is being debated in Ukraine.
    • Moldova, which has so far aligned itself with the West—last month signed a free-trade agreement with the EU.

3 responses to “Ukraine Protesters Maintain Blockade

  1. Pingback: UKRAINE PROTESTERS MAINTAIN BLOCKADE | Crisis in Ukraine·

  2. Pingback: History of Crimea in Six Maps | Nat Geo Education Blog·

  3. Pingback: China Irked by Obama-Dalai Lama Meeting | Nat Geo Education Blog·

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