Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Maidan & Winter On Fire

For those who want to understand what exactly is going on in Ukraine, on October 9th, Netflix will be premiering a documentary entitled "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom" by Evgeny Afineevksy.  It covers 93 days in which a million citizens of Ukraine took to the streets to protest a repressive government led by former-President Viktor Yanukovych, and support of European integration.  Yanukovych then retaliated with armed violence towards the peaceful protestors. This documentary shows how truly remarkable Ukrainians are and how they long for peace, freedom, and a democratic government.

Here is a time-line for that period (this comes from USA Today):

Nov. 21: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's government announces it is abandoning an agreement that would strengthen ties with theEuropean Union. It seeks closer cooperation with Moscow. Protesters take to the streets.

Dec. 1: A protest attracts about 300,000 people at Kiev's Independence Square. Activists seize Kiev City Hall.

Dec. 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin announces Moscow will buy $15 billion worth of Ukrainian government bonds and all for a cut in the price Ukrainians pay for Russian natural gas.

Jan. 22: The first protest deaths. Two die after being hit with live ammunition and the third after a fall during a confrontation between police and demonstrators manning barricades.

Jan. 28: The prime minister resigns and the parliament repeals harsh anti-protest laws.

Feb. 16: Opposition activists end their occupation of Kiev City Hall in exchange for release of all jailed protesters.

Feb. 18: Street clashes erupt, leaving at least 26 dead and hundreds injured.

Feb. 22: Yanukovych flees the country after a political coup. Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko is released from prison.

Feb. 23: The last day of the Sochi Olympics.

Feb. 24: Ukraine's interim government and president, Oleksandr Turchinov, issues a warrant for the arrest of Yanukovych.

Feb. 25: Pro-Russian protesters take a stand in Crimea. Yanukovych's former chief of staff is wounded by gunfire and hospitalized.

Feb. 26: Amid clashing protesters in Crimea, Putin orders military exercises in western Russia. Secretary of State John Kerry vows $1 billion in loan aid to Ukraine.

Feb. 27: Yanukovych surfaces in Russia, appearing for the first time since fleeing Ukraine. Russian jets are on standby in case of combat.

Feb. 28: Armed men in Russian military uniforms take control of key airports in Crimea. Russian marines surround a Ukraine coast guard base in Sevastopol. Obama warns "there will be costs" for Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Here's the trailer for the film:

Netflix currently has Sergei Loznitsa's documentary "Maidan: Uprising in Ukraine" for streaming. It received a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's called an "unblinking look at Ukraine's history."  Loznitsa was born in Belarus but raised in Kyiv. Unlike many documentaries, this one does not interpret what is taking place as he films the protests and the violence. 

Here is the trailer for that film:

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