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the Foreign Service journal

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April 2015

15

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ing independent media.

Nayyem is part of the Poroshenko

bloc in Parliament, a group of “Euro-

optimists” eager to see further democ-

ratization and Ukraine-European Union

integration.

In his talk, the Ukrainian MP

explained that the government had been

promising further E.U. integration for

Ukraine for years, but in 2013 the public

began to realize that President Viktor

Yanukovych had no intention of deliver-

ing on those promises.

When Yanukovych postponed the

signing of the long-awaited Ukraine-E.U.

Association Agreement on Nov. 21, 2013,

Facebook was flooded with angry posts

critical of what many Ukrainians viewed

as a government betrayal.

Nayyem argued that online protests

are ineffective, and encouraged people

to post just one word—“Ready”—if they

were prepared to take their outrage to the

streets. That worked, and 3,000 people

gathered in Independence Square that

night. Continued demonstrations eventu-

ally took on a wider significance, and

people protested government corruption

and human rights abuses, as well.

This led to Yanukovych’s resigna-

tion, which Nayyem believes has been

Maidan’s only achievement thus far.

The revolution, he said, created only the

potential for change; Ukrainian politi-

cians are now afraid of public opinion,

which promotes accountability, so the

real results will only be seen through

future elections.

Nayyem sees the parliament as a tool

to unite civil society, NGOs and activists,

and hopes to convert the coalition into a

political party.

Nayyem also believes that Ukraine

is much less divided than the Western

media has reported, and says that Rus-

sian media sources are largely responsi-

ble for the idea that Ukraine is separated

into East and West. He points out that

the Euromaidan protesters are a diverse

group that includes Ukrainian and Rus-

sian speakers, as well as migrants from

Central Asia.

Although a second ceasefire negoti- ated in February, “Minsk II,” held into

early March, there has been sporadic

fighting around the heavily disputed

town of Debaltseve, which is controlled

by separatist forces. Foreign policy

experts have criticized Minsk II, calling

it “fragile” and “complicated,” and it is

anyone’s guess as to what will come next.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

stated in late February that he consid-

ers an all-out war between Russia and

Ukraine improbable, saying, “I believe

such an apocalyptic scenario is unlikely,

and hope that it will never get to that

point.”

To learn more about the conflict,

check out the Council on Foreign Relations’ breakdown of the Minsk II Agreement, the Center for Strategic an

d

International Studies’ day-by-day time- line, which covers multiple new stories a

day, and the CSIS

policy briefing

on the

current debate taking place in the United

States on the wisdom of arming Ukraine.

NATO Review magazine

also offers an

assessment of the role of oil, gas and

energy in the conflict.

n

—Shannon Mizzi, Editorial Intern

ANSWERS TO QUIZ

1. Albania

2. Armenia

3. China

4. Egypt

5. Estonia

6. Finland

7. Georgia

8. Hungary

9. India

10. Jordan

11. South Korea

12. Lebanon