Ukraine’s Plight Four Years after Maidan: Conversations with Ruslan Dzarasov and Roger Annis

Global Research News Hour episode 200

(Maidan) Protesters naively believed that if they overthrow current government, which was corrupted and inefficient, they will achieve all their aims. In fact, since the result (comes) from the very foundations of this social system it was impossible by changing the government. And what is important is that this indignation of people was used, I believe, by external forces to achieve their aims, which were very different from what was pursued by rank and file participants of these events.”

-Ruslan Dzarasov (from this week’s interview.)


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

Four years ago this week, following the Ukrainian president’s decision to abandon an agreement to enhance trade ties with the European Union and pursue closer relations with Russia, small protests started to emerge in Kiev which would eventually grow to major clashes with police in broad-based demonstrations. The Euromaidan movement was born! [1]

Ultimately, events in February in front of the Ukraine parliament, would lead to the departure of President Yanukovych and the installment of a new Western-friendly government. [2]

The new authority in Kiev, and the spectre of ultra-nationalist influence threatening ethnic Russians in the east of the country led to the secession of Crimea and similar efforts in the Donbass region, in particular, the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. [3]

A civil war has persisted in which Russia is accused of exerting its influence. With rebels in the east entrenched and successfully fending off the Ukraine government’s ‘anti-terrorism’ operations, a cease-fire process has been put in place. [4]

In recent weeks representatives of Russia and the U.S. have been discussing the terms by which U.N. ‘peacekeeping’ forces may be dispatched to the region. [5]The full institutional weight of the U.S. government, so far excepting President Trump, is promoting the transfer of $47 million worth of lethal defensive weapons to Kiev for use in the Donbass. [6]Further, a proposal is before the Ukrainian parliament, otherwise known as the Verkhova Rada, which would, if passed, declare Russia and ‘aggressor’ country, and move to suspend trade ties with it. The so-called Re-integration Act would also likely trigger the resumption of military operations in Donbass. [7][8]

It has been difficult to engage the broader public in a proper conversation about how to direct policy toward the Donbass conflict, especially as it is obscured by narratives painting Russia and its involvement as a menace. [9]

On this week’s installment of the Global Research News Hour, two analysts present an in-depth perspective on the political and economic history of the nearly four year old conflict, probe the way the international community has inserted itself into the situation, and ascertain what prospects for peace and recovery remain for this troubled Eastern European country.

Ruslan Dzarasov heads the department of Political Economy at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. His field of research includes Keynesianism and Marxism, and analysis of the Soviet experience and liberal reforms among others. On September 30, 2017 he presented at the University of Manitoba on the subject of post-Communist Russia, global capitalism, and the Ukraine crisis, as part of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group’s Revolutions conference.

Roger Annis is a socialist, trade union activist and retired aerospace worker based in Vancouver, B.C. He has written several articles on peace and social justice issues, and edits the NEW COLD WAR website.

Both men spoke to the Global Research News Hour at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, in an interview recorded on October 2nd, 2017.


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

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  1. Iryna Stelmakh and Tom Balmforth (Nov 21, 2014), ‘Ukraine’s Maidan protests – one year on’, RFE/RL, published in The Guardian;
  4. ibid


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Articles by: Michael Welch and Roger Annis

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