Originally Posted by Shade8780
what's going on here?
Basically if you want the detailed short version, it's this...
* For more than 250 years Russian leaders from Catherine the Great to Stalin wanted to make eastern Ukraine more Russian (or Russify) because it's rich in natural resources and farmland versus the west side of Ukraine which is next to Russia.
* Because of this most western Ukrainians speak Russian as their first language and not Ukrainian. Their historical ties go back to Russia as well. Also though these Western Ukrainians prefer eastern Ukraine which is pro-European Union because the west still remembers the brutal rule of Russia on that side of the country.
* In the end what this does is whenever any elections come up, you'll always have a pro-Russian candidate and a pro-Europe candidate. Your old East vs. West show down.
* In 2004 a politician named Viktor Yanukovych won the presidency. Many felt the election was corrupt and had his votes recounted. He didn't up running again until 2010 and "won" the election again even though many people didn't want him to be president because of his ties to Russia and him being friends with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
* The unrest we hear about now in Ukraine started because Viktor Yanukovych rejected a bailout offer from the European Union that would integrate Ukraine more with the European Union. Instead he accepted a bailout from Russian Putin which he has ties with and is friendly with. Many western Ukrainians didn't like this because they still remember the rule of Russia in that part of the country. They felt he sold out to the Kremlin, so they started protesting.
* Protesters grew and called for his resignation to the point where riot police clashed with protesters killing some.
* Viktor Yanukovych called for protesters to stop the unrest, their answer was to get tens of thousands or protesters into the capital and now they are occupying government buildings and has taken over the capital of the Ukraine, Kiev. Which is he largest city in the country.
* Viktor Yanukovych fled the city for the second largest city mentioned earlier in posts and is stating he will not give up power to the country.
So to put this into laymen terms, imagine in the U.S. you have two sides of the country. One side of the country was ruled and suppressed for hundreds of years by let's say Mexico. The other side was pro-Canada. A president get's elected that is pro-Mexico who has close ties with the Mexican leader, who is believed to be curropt and has a authoritarian rule. So the president chooses to NOT take Canada's bailout and chooses Mexico's bailout, many southern states are outraged because one, the president is felt to be corrupt, and two we just came from hundreds of years of rule from Mexico. So these people take to the streets and literally take over the state of Washington D.C. to call for the resignation of the U.S. President.
That's my personal view of this from outside the box in a nutshell.