Has Ukraine changed since Euromaidan?
The association agreement between the EU and Ukraine came into force on September 1. In autumn 2013 then president Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign the document, triggering the Maidan protests which eventually led to the autocratic leader's resignation. Commentators take different views on whether Ukraine's society is in a better state now than it was then.
The mentality of Ukrainians has changed dramatically in the past three and a half years, political scientist Vytautas Keršanskas writes in delight in Lrt:
“Culturally and intellectually the country has turned its back on the Soviet legacy and oriented itself toward the Ukrainian nation and Western Europe. While the Russians continue to see Stalin as the most important figure in history, the Ukrainians have taken the path of de-Sovietisation. ... Although one in four Ukrainians still takes a positive view of Lenin, the other three shout: 'Goodbye Vladimir Ilyich!' And that's the fundamental change that has put Ukraine on the right path - regardless of the complex social and economic situation and the slow evolution of the government, where corruption is still deeply rooted.”
Corruption and restricted freedom continue
Three and a half years after former president Viktor Yanukovych was toppled nothing has changed in Ukraine, Ukrainian political scientist Mikhail Minakov criticises in Le Monde:
“The political and socio-economic system seems to have survived. The 'Revolution of Dignity' has led to shameless corruption, militant nationalism and restricted freedom. ... The big winner is by far the clan of President Poroshenko. In 2016 he succeeded in consolidating his hold on power by putting his allies in all the top posts. As a result the executive, legislative and judiciary are to a large extent controlled by a single clan. Critical voices in civil society have fallen prey to the emerging autocracy: today in Ukraine a new generation of dissidents is being persecuted by the president and his cronies.”