Just came across this video. It is useful as we tend to forget the early history of the current crisis in Ukraine. This is a speech in the Ukrainian parliament made just before the outbreak of the Maidan demonstrations and riots which eventually lead to the overthrow of the elected government in February and installation of an unelected junta. Everything was downhill (or downhill at a faster rate) from then on.
The speaker is Oleg Tsarov. He eventually ran in the early 2014 presidential election where Poroshenko was elected. However, he withdraw just before election day because of intimidation and violence (he was beaten up by nationalist thugs several times). Several other candidates withdrew in similar situations, one having been the victim of a failed assassination attempt.
You get a flavour for the conflict and struggle of the time from the constant heckling and interruptions by ultra-nationalist/neo-fascist groups in the parliament. Members of the ultra-nationalist Svoboda Party are easily recognisable in the video.
Some other reminiscences from that period
Assistant US Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and Ambassador Geoff Pyatt walk inside the protester’s tent camp in Kiev, Ukraine, in December 2013.
US politicians were often present in the Maidan demonstrations. Hell, Geoff Pyatt was even involved in directing traffic during one tense period. John McCain was another US politician prominent for his close association with anti-government forces in Ukraine.
Victoria Nuland gets chummy with Oleh Tyahnybok (leader of neo-fascist Svoboda Party, Vitaly Klitschko and Arseniy Yatseniuk (current pro-war PM).
A leaked phone conversation between Victoria Nuland and US ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt became infamous because of her comment – “Fuck the EU.” It is often forgotten that the conversation involved decisions on who should become President and Prime Minister in the government they hoped to install to replace that of democratically elected Viktor Yanukovych – This was soon before the coup which overthrew Yanukovych.