Revolution of Dignity, the beginning of the Anti-Terrorist Operation: key events in Ukraine in 2014

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The year 2014 in Ukraine was a period of torture, executions and the Heavenly Hundred – all united by the Revolution of Dignity. In addition, the escape of President Viktor Yanukovych and the election of a new head of state Petro Poroshenko in the early elections were remembered. Also in 2014, Crimea was occupied, where Russia held a pseudo-referendum, as a result of which personal sanctions were applied against Crimean and Russian top officials.

We tell about it in the new issue of the documentary series “30 years of Independence” on the UA TV channel.

The country entered the new 2014 with an unresolved conflict. Ukrainians did not disperse, and the authorities did not think to give up. On the contrary, it was preparing a new “tightening of the nuts”.

After the break for the New Year holidays, one of the first decisions of the Verkhovna Rada is a package of laws that will be called “dictatorial”.

In the package: criminal liability for defamation; for participating in the rally in balaclavas and masks; extrajudicial blocking of sites; telephone cards – for passports; responsibility for calls for change of government and riots; strengthening the punishment for resisting a government official.

The street fights lasted for several days. Ukrainians burn tires. Caustic black smoke is a symbol of confrontation.

Police use light and noise grenades and even, despite the frost, water cannon.

But the worst result of the confrontation – three dead. The point of no return has been passed. The Maidan is no longer a peaceful action, as in 2004.

On February 18, Ukrainians go to the Rada to demand a return to the 2004 Constitution, which limits the president’s powers, but encounters obstacles, and a clash with police begins.

On the night of February 18-19, the authorities ordered a violent assault on the square. But the worst events will happen on February 20. People are shot dead live, during the broadcast of events by TV channels.

“We didn’t even pay attention to how many were injured. With broken heads, with contusions, with shot eyes… What did we have? Analgesics and dressings” – said Olha Bogomolets, Euromaidan medical care coordinator.

From February 18 to 20, 2014, 67 people will die. The oldest, Ivan Nakonechnyi, is 83 years old. Junior – Nazar Voitovych – 17. Also 17 policemen are lost.

On February 21 in Kyiv, after all the bloody events, there is a “foreign landing”. The ministers of Germany and Poland are the “referees” between Yanukovych and the opposition. An agreement is signed to overcome the crisis and hold early elections.

The Verkhovna Rada returns the 2004 Constitution – parliamentary-presidential. And Tymoshenko is being released from prison. And the next day it became known – Yanukovych disappeared.

While in Kyiv – Euromaidan, the “Russian Bloc” party and pro-Russian politicians are creating combat units in the Crimea. Crimean Tatars are in Ukrainian positions: they are going to a peaceful rally in front of the parliament.

“We have made several statements that there is a threat or there is a threat of Russian interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine through the Crimea, we had an appeal to the prosecutor’s office. Russia’s special services have already taken up positions, weapons have been imported, and lists of so-called voluntary companies have been created” – said Refat Chubarov, chairman of the Crimean Tatar People’s Mejlis.

But in the beginning, the invaders were still called “green men” – they are military without identification.

The European Court later ruled that the Kremlin had seized power on the peninsula in those days.

The United States and Europe are on the side of international rules and laws, which for the first time since World War II were openly violated by the seizure of territory in Europe. The first package of sanctions is against everything at once:

– NATO and the G8 suspend cooperation with Russia;

– EBRD and World Bank – all projects;

– The EU and the USA – impose an embargo on arms trade with Russia, on operations with some of its banks, on cooperation with Crimea. Personal sanctions are being imposed on Crimean and Russian top officials.

In response, by the end of the year, Russia will ban the import of products from countries that have “sanctioned”.

In addition, in April 2014, Ukrainians first heard about the clashes in the cities of eastern and southern Ukraine and the participation of Russian citizens. And only after the armed capture of Slovyansk the country announce the beginning of anti-terrorist measures. It used to be like that, but not here – in the Middle East. And now it turns out that in the anti-terrorism zone – Ukrainian cities that need to be protected.