#EusprYng Episode 11: Viktor Yushchenko on how young Ukrainians stood up for their future

The question #EusprYng asks is: is a European spring possible? Well, it seems that it can and it did but just outside of the Union’s borders in Ukraine.

This week Viktor Yushchenko, Ukrain’s former president and leader of the Orange Revolution is our special guest. He will tells us more about young Ukrainians and the events which took place last winter in Kiev, the capital, on the Independence Square or Maidan Nezalezhnosti.

On May 25th it was the European parliament elections but it was also election day in Ukraine were the Euromaidan protesters finally got what they wanted.The country is now led by a pro-European government and the country is once again under the 2004 Constitution and the Association Agreement is back on the table with parts of it already signed.

For that to happen a lot of people got injured and even lost their lives. It all started on November 21st 2013, when young people took the Independence Square or Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev also known since as Euromaidan. They decided to let Viktor Yanukovych, president of Ukraine at the time, know that they will not let him rob them of the possibility for their country to get closer to the European union financially and politically via an Association Agreement. Indeed, a few hours before that the president had decided to suspend all negotiations with the European Union regarding that Agreement as Vladimir Poutine, Russia’s president, was not going to “loose” a big country and client like Ukraine without a fight. At first the protest was peaceful but then on late November / early September things heated up when then the riot police was unleashed on unarmed protesters.

Viktor Yushchenko whom accessed the presidency of Ukraine under similar circumstances tells us more about the wind of change blowing on his country and how young people changed the course of their own lives and of others.

Here is a short presentation of the interview : click the link that will appear at the end to watch the first question. Mobile users: watch the videos here.

 

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