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MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Ukraine is marking the first anniversary of what for the past year has been commonly referred to as Euromaidan, for brevity - open-ended demonstrations in the center of the capital Kiev, including Independence Square, in support of concluding an association agreement with the European Union. The current Ukrainian authorities have declared the date as a public holiday, called Dignity and Freedom Day. In the meantime, there is hardly anything worth celebrating, Russian experts are saying.
Maidan was not an expression of the will of most Ukrainians. Far from that. On the eve of the official celebrations the online periodical Korrespondent.ru asked its audience: “Would you go to demonstrate, if you had prior knowledge of the events that would follow?” “Yes, it was necessary,” replied 25.31% of the respondents. “No, the effects have proved too grave,” argue 17.27%. And more than half - 51.27% said that they have never supported Maidan.
“With US support a course was set towards ousting the existing authorities with the use of force,” he said.
“That the firm supporters of Euromaidan still number 25% is quite impressive,” Bespalov said. “This merely indicates that the current Ukrainian leaders cannot afford to feel calm. If these people begin to dislike the official policies, more demonstrations may ensue.”
The new authorities are very far from having a firm foothold, Bespalov believes. The feeling of disillusionment will be growing with the awareness of territorial losses and the catastrophic decline in the living standards. More Maidan protests should not be ruled out. The members of volunteer units involved in the military crackdown on the Southeast may play a major role in this sense. “They are dissatisfied with the outcome of the military operation and the way the authorities have been treating them. It should be borne in mind though, that the West would not support revolt against the authorities, and this is a major factor.”
During the Euromaidan demonstrations there were several levels of protest, the director of the Political Studies Institute, Sergey Markov, has told TASS.
“Level one - society’s protest against the oligarchic system that has existed in the country for the past 25 years. Level two reflected the protest of 40% of pro-Western oriented population against the authorities, representing the interests of 60% of the population equally oriented towards Russia and Europe. Level three - the opposition’s determination to topple Yanukovych. And level four - an attempt by the West to shape an anti-Russian Ukraine.
“For the country this is a real disaster: territorial losses, losses of thousands of citizens, an economic disaster and the destruction of moral basics of society,” Markov said. “For the United States it is a tremendous geopolitical victory, bound to turn out a Pyrrhic victory, the way it happened in Iraq. For the EU it is a defeat. Many there are already aware of that, although everybody does not dare to stay that in public. And for Russia it is a defeat as well.
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