As the Ukrainian president and opposition prepare to sign a compromise agreement to end clashes between the government and protesters, street fighting continues, and Suffolk University lecturer Leon Rozmarin is available for analysis and commentary.
“The radical ultra-nationalist groups continue to fight and attack the riot police in the streets, and the latter are responding now with actual firearms, rather than rubber bullets,” said Rozmarin as he closely monitored the situation.
Rozmarin, author of “Ukraine ‘Color Revolutions’: At the Crossroads of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian Power Politics” in this month’s Global Research, is a native of Odessa, Ukraine. He is a political scientist teaching in Suffolk University’s History Department.
“It is open to speculation whether the more respectable two opposition parties in the Rada (parliament) continue clandestine coordination with the ultra-nationalist street fighters or whether they have to ride this discontent and profess solidarity (as well as rail against president Yanukovich) because they cannot openly admit that they have no control over the radical street elements,” he said.
“The sudden breakdown of the approaching compromise was not unexpected. As the opposition parties and the president were nearing a compromise, amnesty was issued and more than 200 of the ultra-nationalist street fighters -- dubbed "activists" -- were released in return for clearing some of the barricades. The coalition of ultra-nationalist groups announced a march -- they called it a peaceful demonstration -- all the way to the very doors of the Rada. The several thousand were met by a line of riot police. Fighting ensued, and the tents of the pro-presidential party were attacked, its offices sacked and several people killed on both sides.
“The timing of this act could not have been worse -- or better, depending on what one's aim is -- and nearly broke down the patched-up deal (ministerial chairs for the opposition, discussion of the constitutional reform and returning to the more parliamentary, rather than presidential system) that was to usher a return to peace.
“Meanwhile, the industrial south and east continue to support President Yanukovich but are becoming distraught at his unwillingness to restore order even as their own activists are attacked and their locals serving in riot police are killed.”