When, fifteen years ago, Vladimir Putin was appointed Prime Minister under the ailing Boris Yeltsin, few would have thought that he was to become one of Russia’s longest-serving political leaders in living memory. Fifteen years into his “era,” Putin has reached unassailable heights of prestige, masterly defeating his would-be challengers among street protesters and oligarchs and getting more than a bang for his ruble on the international stage.
The Russian blockade began at midnight on Jan. 29. At factories and warehouses across neighboring Ukraine, truckers had picked up their regular haul of cargo that afternoon and made their way to the eastern border. If their radios were tuned to the news as they drove along the icy highways, they would have heard some alarming bulletins.
Protesters clashed with riot police in the Ukrainian capital on Sunday after tough anti-protest legislation, which the political opposition says paves the way for a police state, was rushed through parliament last week. A group of young masked demonstrators attacked a cordon of police with sticks and tried to overturn a bus blocking their way to the parliament building after opposition politicians called on people to disregard the new legislation.
The European Union has probably never experienced anything like it before: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s government pretended to negotiate an association agreement, only to back out at the last minute. EU leaders felt duped; in Moscow, however, the mood was celebratory.
Anti-government protesters in Ukraine are demanding an immediate and independent investigation into a brutal gang attack on an opposition journalist. Police said on Wednesday that Tanya Chornovil was beaten and left in a ditch hours after publishing an article about politicians' assets. Chornovil, who writes for the opposition website Ukrainska Pravda, was attacked overnight on Tuesday outside the capital Kiev, police said in a written statement, citing the journalist.
Ukraine's Euromaidan protesters have pledged to stay the course until their political demands are met. So what are their chances? RFE/RL looks at the outcomes of two protests that achieved their aims in Georgia and Serbia -- and two, in Russia and Belarus, that didn't.
For three weeks, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian protesters have been flooding the streets of Kiev, occupying government buildings and taking over the city's Independence Square. Initially, the demonstrators were expressing discontent at President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to pull out of a deal that would bring Ukraine closer to joining the European Union.
Anti-government protesters are dug in. Opposition leaders spout calls to topple the country’s rulers. But leading officials remain defiant while Western diplomats warn of danger and plead for compromise. An atmosphere of measured chaos continues to grip Ukraine’s capital as the two-week-long standoff between pro-European demonstrators and the government has become a protracted stalemate with no end in sight.