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"Revolution of Dignity" fails to meet Ukrainians’ expectations

"People have no confidence in the future", said sociologist Irina Bekeshina

KIEV, February 22. /TASS/. Two years ago, the so-called Revolution of Dignity that claimed the lives of more than 100 young people on Kiev’s Independence Square took place in the Ukrainian capital.

Euromaidan protests that lasted several months culminated not only in bloodshed, but also in change of power in Ukraine. President Viktor Yanukovych left the country overnight on February 22, 2014. "The ‘Revolution of Dignity’ has been won," its leaders said back then subsequently occupying key positions in the government. The "revolution", which proclaimed the country’s unity, has led to its split, military conflict in the Donbass region, economic collapse, devaluation of national currency and impoverishment of the population.

Maidan protests do not bring higher living standards

According to sociologist Irina Bekeshina, "people have no confidence in the future." "The prices are growing and wages are not, the corruption rate is high. Inflation rate reached 43%, while wages and pensions grew 12%. People are now much worse off financially," she said.

The Ukrainian society is in a state of confusion and disappointment in the ideals that brought people to Maidan. "There is one thing I can say for sure. People from Maidan believe that the results of their rebellion were misused, and those who came to power did not live up to their hopes," said Ukraine’s leading political scientist Mikhail Pogrebinsky.

"Come-and-go people who were not delegated power are at the helm of Ukraine. The fruits of the "Revolution of Dignity" were used by the wrong people and in the wrong manner. This is the opinion of 75% of opinion polls respondents. They refuse credence to top pubic officials," Pogrebinsky said.

According to deputy chairman of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party and chairman of Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Committee Grigory Nemyria, "people on Maidan during the revolution demanded dignity and justice but instead received the government of scoundrels and injustice."

Russia - major trading partner

The Revolution of Dignity has failed to achieve its main goal - to win the European Union market. Russia remains Ukraine’s major partner in trade relations. According to the State Statistics Service, imports of goods from Russia to Ukraine dropped 41.1% in 2015 compared to 2014 - to $7,5 billion, and exports - 50.7% to $4,8 billion. Last year, Russia’s share in foreign goods imported by Ukraine made up 20%, which is more than any other country’s share.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s exports to EU member-countries dropped by 23.4% amounting to $12 billion.

Welfare revolution needed

Well-known entrepreneur and CEO of the NIBULON agricultural company Alexei Vadatursky believes "that the Welfare Revolution is needed after the Revolution of Dignity." "People expected drastic changes, rapid reforms and better living standards. Unfortunately, this did not happen both for objective and subjective reasons," he said.

"We see that the authorities do not pay enough attention to the economy which has practically stalled out. People became worse off, unemployment is growing, investment shrinks, banks close, international commercial banks are leaving Ukraine because of the war (in Donbass) and related risks," the businessman said.

According to him, if the situation does not change in the near future, Ukraine will not endure. "Patriotism is fine, but people have to provide for their families, raise children, pay off their loans. So, I believe that the best expression of patriotism today is struggle for the economy. We carried out the Revolution of Dignity, and now we need the Welfare Revolution, "Vadatursky said.

Third Maidan possible

However, talks about the third "Maidan" are more and more frequent in the Ukrainian society. Experts say that but for the military conflict in the east of the country there would be mass anti-government protests in Kiev. "The possibility of the third ‘Maidan’ is openly discussed now. And this will be not the middle-class Maidan but the proletarian Maidan," said businessman and lawmaker Sergey Taruta. According to him, "that will be the most dangerous situation," considering how many people in Ukraine possess firearms.

Meanwhile, there are preconditions for a new Maidan. Groups of protesters are staying in Kiev’s Independence Square since February 20. Most activists represent an organization Radical Right Forces, also known as Revolutionary Right Forces. This organization is an amalgamation of a number of radical right organizations, including former activists of the notorious Right Sector group (outlawed in Russia) and the Azov paramilitary battalion. Many of its members took part in combat operations in Donbass.