What remains five years after the Euromaidan?

The Ukrainian government stopped the signing of the association agreement with the EU on November 21, 2013. Spontaneous protests against this move led to the fall of president Yanukovych in February 2014 and Russia's annexation of Crimea, and continue to strain relations between Russia and the West today. A retrospective by Ukrainian and Russian media.

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Fokus (UA) /

Revolt didn't achieve anything

Journalist Yuri Volodarsky takes stock of the demands voiced in the Maidan protests in Fokus:

“They demanded medicine in hospitals, courts and officials that don't have to be bribed, roads without potholes, and police officers and prosecuting attorneys whose services don't have to be bought with protection money. Basically they were for all that's good and against everything that's bad. Five years after the Euromaidan one can say with sad certainty that it achieved none of these goals. Of course no one believed there would be manna from heaven after Viktor Yanukovich's departure and the signing of the EU association agreement. And it's clear that improving the quality of living takes many years. Nevertheless five years have already passed and things haven't improved one bit. And that's not even the saddest thing. The saddest thing is that among all the current developments in domestic affairs there is no sign of any improvement.”

Ukrayinska Pravda (UA) /

Civil society will prevail in the end

The Maidan doctor and now parliamentarian Olha Bohomolez predicts in her blog with Urayinska Pravda that the final chapter of the 2013 protests hasn't yet been written:

“At first glance it looks like we messed up everything there was to mess up: oligarchs are in power once more, the Ukrainians are leaving rural areas in droves, everywhere you look you see depression and pessimism. But that's not the end of the story, the pain goes on. ... We will never again be who we were until 2013 and we can't go back. Civil society will grow, expand, and as soon as the critical mass of active, honest people is reached and can topple the oligarchs our victory will be definitive.”

Republic (RU) /

Loss of Crimea and Donbass no tragedy

Republic believes that the loss of its territorial integrity is only seemingly the worst consequence of Maidan for Ukraine because there are those who are still benefiting from it today:

“The radicalisation of the Maidan protests unleashed a wave of fear and phobia against Ukrainian nationalism in the Russian-speaking parts of the country, particularly Crimea and Donbass. And the years of Ukrainian politicians gambling on the antagonisms between the regions have borne fruit in that they hindered the drawing up of a pan-national revolution programme and facilitated the Kremlin's interference in Ukraine's domestic affairs. ... At the same time for the Ukrainian elite (despite all the belligerent rhetoric) the loss of the erstwhile disloyal regions has often been a source of relief because without the voters in Crimea and Donbass it is easier for pro-Maidan politicians to gain a majority in parliament.”

Den (UA) /

Imitation, not revolution

Neither the Euromaidan nor the Orange Revolution of 2004 brought real change, Den contends:

“At the end of the day people are exchanged, but the system remains in place. This newspaper has always called for qualitative change: before, during, and after revolutions. For example a series of round-table discussions were held in our offices during the events five years ago, with the participation of activists who then became members of parliament. In the course of these discussions it was often said that a new political force must emerge which would serve the interests of Maidan and push through true reforms. But that didn't happen. There was a project instead of a party, particular interests instead of real politics, and imitations instead of reforms.”

KP (UA) /

Only those on the front really suffer

Historian Yuri Topchich argues in KP that a majority of Ukrainians have nothing against the status quo:

“Let's call a spade a spade: today's situation is satisfactory for all concerned, because no one wants peace in Ukraine. Does the war stop people here in Kiev from working, living, saying what they want, moving around freely or making plans for the future? Or has anything changed for people in the rest of the country? And as far as those who are involved in the war are concerned: they're living it, that's what it's all about. The only ones in this whole business who are really suffering are those living on the front. Everyone else is in the comfort zone. Today Ukraine is at a crossroads. We believe we're protecting the entire world from Russia - and so far no one wants this to change.”