Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Ukrainian opposition parties have chosen to escalate (increase) the violence in Ukraine?

 (a photo of Klitschko, an opposition leader who threatened to attack the Ukrainian government if laws, which limit actions during protests, are not eliminated)

An 'opposition' political party in a democracy is the party or a party which does not have power or control of the government.

I try not to express my opinion too much on this English blog (I try as well as I can to see both sides of an issue), but I strongly feel that the protests in Ukraine have become ridiculous.  The president of Ukraine was honestly elected by a majority of the Ukrainian people. As was his right and his duty, he made a decision to reject a European Union offer and to accept an offer from the Russian government which brought benefits to his country.  The protests seem to be organized by political parties which wish to take power away from the current president. They seem to be using his recent decision as an excuse to protest. Furthermore, the protesters are becoming more and more violent and people are dying now.

The US government, which does not have a good relationship with the Russian government, is blaming the Ukrainian government for the current problems in Ukraine (the US is stating or claiming that the Ukrainian government is causing the problems leading to the protests).  Yet, I am not so sure whether the Ukrainian government is to blame. It looks as if the opposition parties are hoping to take control of the government through these violent protests.

There are peaceful ways to bring about change, yet the Ukrainian opposition parties have threatened to attack the government and they seem to be engaged in more and more violent activities each time they take to the streets.  

In the mean time, the current president of Ukraine was elected fairly.  In a democracy the president has a right to make the decisions that he/she feels are correct and if the people do not like those decisions, they can peacefully elect another president when the time comes. Lots of Americans (including me) do not like the 'Obamacare' insurance system, but we are not burning buildings and throwing dangerous objects at the police.  

People are now dying in the country of Ukraine and I don't think these deaths are justified.  The protests seem to have been started by rival (a rival is someone who wants what you have or someone who struggles or competes against you) political parties that want to gain power in the country through violence.  The US seems to be encouraging these protests because the current president of Ukraine is supported by Vladimir Putin of Russia.  It's all political - there do not seem to be any heroes here.  

I feel that the US government should demand that the opposition party, as well as the Ukrainian government, show restraint (stop using violence) and show a desire to solve all matters peacefully.  (This is just my opinion, of course.  I'd like to think that as human beings we can use our creativity and minds and compassion to bring about change instead of creating violence.)

An article about this situation:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/22/world/europe/ukraine-protests/

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

protesters - people who gather together publicly in order to express their disagreement with a policy; protesters can also be called demonstrators

a movement - this is kind of like a process; a protest movement is when protesters continue to protest until they achieve their goal or until their protests are crushed

clashes - a clash is when there is direct physical and violent contact between two groups

the right to protest - it seems that the Ukrainian government has established new laws to try to stop further protests.  The government would argue that these laws are needed because the protests are becoming more and more violent but the opposition party is arguing that these laws are anti-democratic (against the democratic system in Ukraine).

she condemned the growing violence - she stated the violence was wrong and should stop

tensions - in this case tension means psychological stress or pressure

a repeal of anti-democratic legislation - a repeal means to get rid of or eliminate something.  legislation means a law or laws.  So the US government is blaming the Ukrainian government, but, again, the US supports the opposition political party and opposes the current president of Ukraine.

snap elections - immediate elections

a chant - when a statement is shouted over and over again

rallying - coming together to support each other and the protest movement

massed - gathered

barricades - obstacles (structures) to stop the police from traveling down the street

burned out shells of police buses - the interior of the police vehicles have been completely burned out 

detained - held temporarily by the police

escalation - when something gets worse

prompted - caused by

to spurn - to turn against, to say 'no' to

to exercise restraint - to stop themselves from doing anything violent

factions - groups

to revoke a visa - to cancel a visa

sparked concerns - caused concerns

they include provisions - these are items or details in the law. To be honest with you, they do not seem to be unreasonable provisions.  I do not believe that people in the USA have a right to wear masks either during protests.

a convoy - a group of trucks

explicitly - openly, strongly

to slash the price - cut the price by a lot; drop the price; decrease the price

tumult - disturbances, trouble, chaos

his stance - his orientation or opinion


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