The latest in a long string of recent riots, people in Ukraine have risen up against the government demanding change in both leadership and constitutional laws. While Ukraine is no stranger to riots, given its past history with the Soviet Union and the problems it has endured since its dissolution, this revolt marks another tally in a worldwide trend of revolution. And with the growing number of revolutions, one has to wonder what will be in store for countries affected by these riots, and if the revolutions will solve the problems originally protested.
The riots in Ukraine originally began after its President Viktor Yanukovych decided not to sign a deal with the European Union and instead chose to both stay with Russia and to increase ties with the former Soviet state. This choice disgruntled many, feeling like their president was crawling back to their former rulers and perceived oppressors, believing it to be a major sign of breaking trust. Ukraine has had a history of protests and riots against Russia, as the country used to be a major industrial center for the Soviet Union, and demands for independence prior to the Soviet Union’s dissolution were met with violence. For some, old wounds have not yet healed, and this recent move by the Ukrainian president seems to have provoked them to demand governmental change. The riots have escalated recently, with protestors besieging and capturing buildings with the capitol, Kiev, and casualties beginning to rise. The president and his supporters have offered terms for the leaders of the protests, to share power and come up with a better solution, but the riot leaders have not yet accepted the deal. In the meantime, both the United States and the European Union have denounced the violence, but any possible support could strain relations with an already tense situation with Russia. So for now, the world can only wait and see if the violence will continue or if a diplomatic solution can be reached.
But as stated earlier, this riot in Ukraine is only the newest in a long line of revolutions that have been sparked recently. Over the last few years, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Brazil, Turkey, and many others have all had riots, protests, and revolutions of some nature. And more often than not, violence in some shape has occurred. Often while these revolutions are popular protests against corrupt or violent governments, one has to wonder what actual effect these revolutions actually have. In Egypt, for example, back in 2011, the people brought down the president, but again conflicts emerged in 2013 between presidential supporters and dissidents. Some of these revolutions solve immediate problems, but increasingly it seems that these revolutions only replace one problem for another. While some of these revolutions are necessary in the face of certain governments and leaders, if the after-effects only continue the violence, there doesn’t seem to be an end to the conflict. Of course, going over these revolutions after the fact and viewing the patterns of revolutions and their cyclical nature doesn’t help in foreseeing future turmoil, but it does help in identifying the real roots of the sources in these revolutions.