Protests appear to be breaking out in eastern Ukraine—the Russian-speaking part of the country most loyal to Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. The Financial Times:
…unrest this weekend spread to other parts of the country after protesters took over 10 city governments in Ukraine’s more politically active and pro-European west late last week. Protests ranging up to several thousand people broke out in cities including Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia and Luhansk in the east, and Odessa in the south.Video posted on the internet by protesters late on Sunday showed footage of riot police and thug-like characters brutally crushing the protests in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia.
Zaporhizia is anything but a center of enlightenment and modernity, so demonstrations there must be a frightening sign for Ukraine’s government. If Russian-speaking Ukrainians are taking to the streets—probably more in protest agains the harsh and ugly anti-protest laws than against the turn away from the EU—then Yanukovych has a much bigger problem on his hands. This news will also provide protesters in the western and central parts of the country with a badly needed sense of both momentum and legitimacy.