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Now the real battle for Ukraine begins


As I write this article, the situation in Ukraine continues to develop. Last week the death toll increased to around 100, predominantly protestors, many of whom were picked off by snipers from the roof tops.


Medical evidence confirms that many were killed instantaneously by professional snipers of the Berkut, aiming for the head and heart. At one stage it seemed the Maidan was doomed to annihilation as the militia gradually took over more and more territory. The Maidan movement knew they had to hold the square until morning when civilian reinforcements would arrive from around Kiev and the rest of the country.


Closing down the rails system and blockading the city may have seemed a clever move by the government, but it backfired as the protest movement spread to areas on the outskirt of the city. The government, it seems, also failed to anticipate the scale of protest around the rest of the country, particularly in the west but also in the East in Kharkhiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Poltava and Odessa. In the West there was virtually a declaration of independence from the Yanukovich government. What probably was even more concerning was the sizure of weaponry and grenades from police and militia depots in places like Ivano Frankivsk, Lviv and Ternopil. These weapons were undoubtedly heading towards Kiev.


As members of his Party of the Regions defected in increasing numbers, Yanukovich was being deserted by his allies and lost his majority in Parliament. A counter attack by protestors, reinforced by thousands of Ukrainian citizens pouring into the city and the disappearing political support for the Berkut led them to pull back. As the protestors seized more and more territory, the beleaguered Yanukovich was forced into all night talks with foreign ministers from the EU. A deal was then done which would lead to early Presidential elections and constitutional reform.

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