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Note, February 19, 223: I’ve tried to repair link-rot on two videos (so done) on this post, but the condition (when objects and references disappear down the memory hole) is impossible to address in all cases. Thought assembled and published in this way decays in mechanics as well as relevance. –jso

Fires burning on Independence Square, Kiev – YouTube – 2/19/2014.

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This copy posted to YouTube on February 20, 2014. 0:25:

We want to be free from dictatorship.  We want to be free from the politicians who work only for themselves, who are ready to shoot, to beat, to injure people just for saving their money, just for saving their houses, just for saving their power.

I want these people who are here, who have dignity, who are brave: I want them to lead a normal life.  We are civilized people but our government are barbarians.

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Deadly clashes between protesters and police in Kiev on Tuesday led to a fire-lit nighttime assault by Interior Ministry troops on the main protest encampment at Independence Square, in what may be a dramatic and irreversible turn in Ukraine’s months-long political crisis.

In violent turn, Ukraine fighting kills at least 25 – The Washington Post – 2/18-19/2014.

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Kiev Ukraine Protest 2014 LIVE Explosions | Protesters Clashes With Police | 14 People Dead – YouTube – 2/18/2014.

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EU foreign ministers have called an emergency meeting on Ukraine for Thursday.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: “We have … made it clear that the EU will respond to any deterioration on the ground. We therefore expect that targeted measures against those responsible for violence and use of excessive force can be agreed by our member states as a matter of urgency.”

Posted to YouTube, February 25, 2014.

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In the middle east: Putin-Assad-Khamenei.

In eastern Europe: hard to say.

As the late Barry Rubin has pointed out in regard to the middle east, the revolution goes with the military.  Mubarak had a good run, but come time to set up dynasty, Egypt’s military countenanced the revolution (and a year later rescued the latent democracy from a fascist Islamic organization that maintained the Mubarak-era torture chambers, jailed progressive journalists, altered the constitution to consolidate power in what may well have been another “president for life”.

No dice.

With Assad’s unforgivable assaults on Syrian noncombatant constituents in mind, this news unfolding from Ukraine may well signal the end of an age of dictatorship.  It may turn out a second fall of the Soviet Union, a post-Soviet challenge to the continuance of state oligarchies forged in the shadows of the Cold War.

One hopes that it is not also the start of a new era of autocratic repression, but with armed state organizations brought to the barricades, one never knows.  Who is in those military and paramilitary forces?  Are their senior and junior officers dissenting from the projection of state power and the arrangement of regional power?

The people have themselves: what else do they have?  Who else do they have on board with them?

As Nero fiddled, so I’ve heard, Putin as host of the most expensive winter games in history, has been in his glory in Sochi.

Kiev, Ukraine Protests Are Vladimir Putin’s Worst Nightmare | New Republic – 2/18/2014.

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Echoing Ukraine’s interim prime minister, Peskov told reporters that Russia saw the protests, during which deadly clashes erupted on Tuesday, as an attempted coup.

Putin, Ukraine’s Yanukovich spoke by telephone: Kremlin – Yahoo News – 2/19/2014.

“An attempted coup” seems the predictable spin.

We shall soon find out, I am sure, what Ukraine’s armed forces think about that, for protest in the streets is by itself a strong signal — ask Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan about that — but it is not a coup; it is, however, revolutionary.

Additional Reference

Washington Post: Ukraine rejects repression – 2/2/2014; Seizure of police stations in Lviv continues – 2/19/2014; Payatt: Yanukovych responsible for everything that happens in Ukraine – 2/19/2014; IM: Police probing 40 cases on mass riots in Ukraine – 2/19/2014; At least 25 reported dead, more than 1,000 injured in Feb. 18 clashes (VIDEO)

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