The latest iteration of the Ukrainian crisis started late last year when the country’s quasi-legal President Viktor Yanukovych, in violation of the country’s constitution, decided that Ukraine would be better served allying itself with the Russian Bear rather than follow Brussels' diktats buried in European Union offers of financial aid. This proved to be the spark that led to non-violent protests, which turned violent when the president, with the aid of Russian military thugs advising him, decided to push back against them.
One of the leaders of the protests, Dmytro Yarosh (a questionable character with a shady history of communist affiliations), gathered to himself an estimated 5,000 hard-core nationalists in an organization called Right Sector. The group viewed itself as a continuation of Ukrainian “partisans,” such as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army that fought against both the Axis powers and the Soviet Union during World War II. Yarosh's group was the best trained and organized among the estimated 50,000 protesters gathered in downtown Kiev in February.
After much bloodshed (and credible suggestions that Russian snipers had been picking off both protesters and police forces in the center of the cauldron in order to escalate the violence), Yanukovych was ousted unanimously by the Ukrainian Parliament and replaced (temporarily the world was told) with another equally squalid politician, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Promises for real elections to be held in late May were sufficient to quell, at least temporarily, the protesters who wanted a restoration of the constitution that Yanukovych had ignored for the last three years.
Once in power, Yatsenyuk announced last week that all citizens were to be disarmed, in order, he said, to help maintain order and assure a peaceful transition to a new government once the elections were held. The deadline for turning in all weapons was set for the very next day, the same day Yatsenyuk was to sign an agreement with Brussels to obtain desperately needed financing. Part of that agreement is that the citizenry — the protesters who had forced the resignation of one dictator and unwittingly had replaced him with another — be disarmed.
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