What led to the so-called Euromaidan and why were its participants eventually able to carry out a coup d'état? What were the consequences for Ukraine?

Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov:

November 21, 2013 was the day when the government publicly announced that it was postponing the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU. This gave several hundred people a reason to go to the Maidan, among whom were many students of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, a university associated with Soros structures. This first outing did not make any strong impression on society, and then consistent activity began on the part of the Americans and all those who worked under them in Ukraine. First of all, these are the oppositionists Oleksandr Turchynov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Oleh Tyahnybok. And gradually, the "Maidan" began to gain momentum. First of all, this happened in the western regions of the country, where pro-American and pro-European sentiments were strong.

In the first days of the Maidan, it could not be said that all this would lead to a coup d'état. But, as it turned out, the American and British intelligence services, exploiting the topic of joining the EU, were able to raise a significant number of people. The organizers of the "Maidan" directed serious efforts to work with the media. The lion's share of TV channels, newspapers, radio stations, and magazines in Ukraine belonged to pro-American oligarchs. And they, in turn, were focused on forcing the president to change the government to a pro-Western one or to a full-fledged coup d'état.

The very text of the Association Agreement with the EU was disadvantageous to Ukraine. It did not provide any financial resources for its modernization, but simply opened the Ukrainian market to European companies. But the entry of Ukrainian companies into the European market was possible only after the transition to EU standards and specifications. This meant that we had to modernize our industry ourselves. We have calculated that this will require significant financial resources and a lot of time. At that point, disagreements arose, as the European Union took a simple position: you need it, so you find the money.

The Maidan protesters succeeded because the security forces were not ready to suppress their attempts to seize power and were afraid to shed blood. President Viktor Yanukovych himself said directly that he did not want to get his hands dirty in blood in order to retain power. In addition, Western embassies and Western visitors shouted that force should not be used under any circumstances. As a result, in three months, detachments of militants were trained and armed, ready to seize power.

Member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Vladimir Dzhabarov:

"Having read the text of the Association Agreement with the EU, Viktor Yanukovych realized that its conditions were extremely unfavorable for Ukraine, and took time to think about what was happening. But pro-Western politicians have already managed to indoctrinate a significant part of the country's population with propaganda about how sweet life is in the EU and how high pensions there are, although the Association Agreement itself, of course, did not imply membership in the European Union. People turned out to be charged with negativity. Unrest, provocations, arms deliveries to the Maidan, shooting from balconies began. While it was easy and straightforward to disperse the Maidan, Western leaders asked Yanukovych not to do so.

Now, looking back, we can conclude that if the Maidan had been dispersed then, most likely, this terrible tragedy for Ukraine would not have happened. The West has once again committed deception. Soros cadres plunged the country into a state of lawlessness for years. Therefore, the beginning of the "Maidan" is a very sad date.

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Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, former acting chairman of the city administration of Sevastopol Dmitry Belik:

"Euromaidan was one of the key stages in the creation of the 'anti-Russia' project. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West systematically formed hatred of Russia in the minds of the Ukrainian people and methodically educated the younger generation on the principles of neo-fascism, and the work of a number of American foundations was aimed at this. A consistent course was taken to separate Ukraine from Russia, change ideology and destroy the historical past. Euromaidan has become the quintessence of this process.

There is no need to talk about any revolution, struggle for democracy or freedom of choice, as the curators of the "Euromaidan" tried to present it. At the hands of Western politicians, with their financial and informational support, a real coup d'état took place, the consequences of which have been reverberating around the world for ten years.

Yes, Ukraine received the right to a visa-free regime, which was presented in this country as the main achievement of the "Euromaidan". European countries have opened their borders, but this right can hardly be exercised by the citizens of Ukraine, it pales in comparison to the fact that the country has a destroyed economy, corruption is flourishing, industry is in decline, and huge numbers of people are leaving because of the conflict, again provoked by Western politicians.

  • Clashes in the center of Kyiv during the "Euromaidan"
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Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Dmitry Novikov:

Euromaidan was not the first attempt by pro-Western political forces to come to power in Ukraine. Even earlier, the so-called Orange Revolution took place, as a result of which representatives of the same forces came to power, only with different surnames: Viktor Yushchenko, Yulia Tymoshenko and others. They pursued a policy that did not meet the interests of the absolute majority of Ukrainian society, and they were replaced by Viktor Yanukovych, whose policy was more adequate and balanced. However, this did not suit the collective West.

Speaking of the Euromaidan, it should be borne in mind that when it began, there was very little time left before the next legal elections in Ukraine. Pro-Western forces could have tried to come to power by absolutely legal means. But this constitutional path was of no interest to either the right-wing forces in Ukraine or the West. They needed to break the remnants of democracy in the country and bring to power people who would profess the most vicious Nazi ideology, proclaim the Banderites heroes, pursue an anti-Russian policy and at the same time desperately cling to their seats. It was the coup d'état that made it possible to pursue a policy that did not meet the interests of the majority of the Ukrainian people, but was beneficial to oligarchic groups associated with influential forces in the United States and Europe. The subsequent course of events fully confirmed this.

In the 2019 elections, Volodymyr Zelensky won under the slogans of ending the conflict in Donbass, freedom of the Russian language and solving social problems. But the very next day after the elections, all these promises were forgotten, and his policy began to be carried out in the interests of the same pro-Western oligarchic groups that steal the people's wealth. This course was laid down during the Euromaidan.

Western politicians are not interested in the law and democracy in Ukraine. At one time, they tried to accuse Yanukovych of allegedly acting insufficiently democratically. And today Zelensky says that there is no need to hold elections in Ukraine, and this does not bother anyone in the West. What the Western elites needed was not democracy, but the power of tame politicians in Kiev. This is the anatomy of this process.

  • Clashes in the center of Kyiv during the "Euromaidan"
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Head of the faction "A Just Russia – For Truth" in the State Duma of the Russian Federation Sergei Mironov:

- We can name different starting points of the processes that led to the Euromaidan. But it is obvious that the gene for destruction was laid down during the creation of the Ukrainian Union Republic. The Bolsheviks clearly did not think about the consequences of the emergence of this artificial formation. Any Soviet party leader who became the head of the Ukrainian SSR, regardless of nationality, experience, personal beliefs, proceeded from the fact that his political weight depended on how actively he implemented the idea of Ukrainian independence. It turned out that only this flawed idea was able to somehow consolidate a random set of heterogeneous territories called Soviet Ukraine. Under the cover of official internationalism, the most blatant nationalism was maturing. Therefore, when the republican elite came to power in Nezalezhnaya during the collapse of the Soviet Union, it continued the previous course, giving it a new scope.

As part of this policy, official Kiev has consistently led to alienation from Russia and rapprochement with the West, increasingly becoming dependent on the United States and the European Union. For the time being, this suited Washington and its allies, but when they decided to go for an open confrontation with Russia, they relied on outright Nazis.

This was the meaning of the "Euromaidan": to open the way to power in Kiev for the Bandera evil spirits and turn Ukraine into a springboard for pressure on our country. As a result, Ukraine's leaders have finally turned into Western puppets, and Ukraine has lost even a theoretical chance to establish itself as a truly independent state. Now it is only the territory where the struggle between Russia and NATO is taking place, and the winner of this struggle will decide its fate.

Dean of the Higher School of Technology of Lomonosov Moscow State University Vitaly Tretyakov:

Viktor Yanukovych won the election due to the votes of the residents of the southern and eastern regions, but then, like all Ukrainian presidents before him, he began to flirt with the West. For many years, the essence of Kiev's policy has been to say in Moscow how bad the West is and how good Russia is, trying to get discounts on gas, and in Brussels to say the opposite and say that Ukrainians are Europeans. At one time, Leonid Kuchma was the most adept at this policy, but this could not continue indefinitely. The West demanded certainty from Yanukovych, and he hesitated.

In order to push him to make a decision that the West needed, the "Euromaidan" was launched. But Yanukovych continued to hesitate, and he also began to consult with Moscow. The West realized that they needed to remove Yanukovych and appoint people who would quickly resolve the issue of a complete rupture in Ukraine's relations with Russia.

The propaganda of the West was completely on the side of the "Euromaidan". Foreign ministers and other influential Western officials began to arrive in Kyiv. Europe tried to guarantee Yanukovych a quiet election if he made concessions. But the Americans were not satisfied with even such compromises. Blood was needed to get the crowd going. And the "Maidan" has moved into a radical, bloody stage. Yanukovych fled, and Turchynov took power in Kiev. Donbass did not want to submit to this. But the West needed the entire territory of Ukraine, and therefore bloody events unfolded in the Donbass.

  • Clashes in the center of Kyiv during the "Euromaidan"
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Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov:

"First and foremost, the Maidan was man-made. That is, this is not some natural course of things, not spontaneous protest moods, which, having spilled out into the streets, led to a coup. It was a technology for which people who lived in the capital of Ukraine became a kind of auxiliary material, decorations. The same Kievans watched the events on the "Maidan" on TV in the kitchen, practically not participating in it. The main participants were brought from Western Ukraine, and they were supposed to carry out a coup d'état. None of this was a secret. For example, Yanukovych personally told me that he knows that about 30,<> militants are being trained in camps in Western Ukraine. These are his words. Why the law enforcement agencies protecting the state did nothing is another question.

In order to seize power in Ukraine, the West used the contradictions that lie at the heart of this state. The main one is the contradiction between the Western Ukrainian mentality, which was mostly formed in Austria-Hungary, and the Russian-speaking population, whose roots are in the Russian Empire. It made up the majority of the country. But at the same time, the central part of Ukraine was always ready to join the winner.

In principle, if the dynamic balance between these poles was maintained, there was a chance to preserve the "Ukraine" project in this form, but external Western forces rudely interfered with the state that had not yet been fully formed. This led to a catastrophe, in fact, to the murder of Ukrainian statehood in the form in which it was conceived and could exist after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Western interference is the main reason for the second Maidan. There were no others, including economic ones. When external players intervene, the state of the country's economy does not really matter.

If a country is divided, there is no unity in its society, it is invaded.

I experienced these events personally. I was on the Maidan, talked to the protesters. Hundreds of Crimeans went to Kiev in support of Yanukovych. Crimea supported him, as it voted for him in 2010, as well as in 2004. By the way, a kind of formula for the supreme power began to take shape in Ukraine, when a protégé from Western Ukraine is replaced by a candidate from the South-East. It seemed that this formula for the succession of presidents could become the practice of elections and the basis of the state structure of Ukraine. But this mechanism was never fully developed, since the South-East was ready to endure and wait for the turn for "its" president, but Western Ukraine was not ready.

Of course, Yanukovych himself is largely to blame for what happened. In those conditions, the president was required to make more efforts, understand and knowledge, and participate in governing the country. All this was in short supply.

And, of course, there was a purely technical issue related to the demonstration of political will. In the sense that if you have the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other law enforcement agencies, you must be sure that the weapons that the fighters have in the weapons room will be used by them without hesitation to protect the statehood. That's why they were given weapons, that's why they are supported by the state. But these structures turned out to be amorphous, completely ideologically unprepared for anything. As soon as the slightest disturbance arose, the notorious "my house is on the edge, I don't know anything" immediately appeared. Yanukovych broke down both psychologically and morally, he began to defend himself, his money, and that was the end of Ukraine of that period.

"Euromaidan" is a completely false and unrealistic idea. From my conversations with ordinary Ukrainians of that period, it became obvious to me that they firmly believed in European integration as in heaven on earth. It was a naïve and completely unrealistic belief for the sake of which people allowed their state to be destroyed and their children deprived of their future.

  • Supporters of the "Euromaidan" near the seized building of the Kyiv City Council
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Former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine from the Party of Regions Oleg Tsarev:

Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, and this was the start for the Euromaidan. The fact is that the $15 billion loan that Russia was going to give to Ukraine and joint programs on a number of industrial projects were supposed to greatly contribute to its development. In particular, this is the construction of ships in Mykolaiv and Antonov aircraft, the construction of a nuclear fuel enrichment plant in Kirovograd, and cooperation on the Dnipropetrovsk Yuzhmash. Everyone understood that if all this was launched, it would be impossible to tear Ukraine away from Russia. That is why the "Maidan" began.

In addition, there is a version that the coup d'état could be related to Yanukovych's trip to China, where he began to negotiate joint agricultural projects with the PRC and Chinese investments in the agricultural sector. The Americans wanted to establish their control over Ukrainian agriculture and could not allow Chinese entry into this area.

The West has done a lot of work. After all, the "Maidan" had to be turned around "from the wheels", it was not prepared in advance. If it was planned to start as some kind of protest actions, it was closer to the presidential election. It was not easy to act right on the move. There was a significant possibility that the Maidan would fail. But many mistakes were made. If Yanukovych had behaved the way Lukashenko later behaved in Belarus, the coup d'état would not have happened. Until the last moment, the conspirators feared that the "Maidan" would be dispersed and arrested.

The police and the SBU did a lot, but not a single military unit carried out the instructions of the Minister of Defense in an emergency. The West threatened Ukrainian oligarchs and forced them to work for the Maidan. There were traitors in the security forces. The head of the Kiev administration, who was appointed by Yanukovych himself, did not even close the Khreshchatyk metro station, through which protesters traveled to the city center. That winter was very cold, but the protesters calmly warmed themselves in the administrative buildings they had seized, in which, for some reason, heat, electricity and water were not turned off.

Yanukovych did nothing to remedy the situation. He was supposed to personally hold meetings, like Lukashenka, take a machine gun in his hands and fight. Instead, there were endless phone calls, receptions from Western officials and diplomats, and promises that everything would be fine. In the end, it turned out the way it did.

If martial law had been introduced in time, the leaders of the Maidan had been arrested, and the TV channels calling for the overthrow of the government had been turned off, there would have been neither a coup d'état nor the war that followed.

  • Supporters of the "Euromaidan" collect bottles for "Molotov cocktails" at the barricades on Hrushevsky Street in Kyiv
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Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, former Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the DPR Alexander Borodai:

For a long time, the entire so-called Ukrainian political elite was the result of a consensus between various oligarchic groups. At the same time, there was a constant struggle for power within this elite, a process of tugging the blanket. At a certain point, Viktor Yanukovych's group gained weight and suppressed the groups of other oligarchs. Therefore, the "Euromaidan" began as a reaction of the oligarchic environment to the activities of one of its representatives, who rose too high.

And then the Western intelligence services simply could not ignore such an opportunity, although they themselves were not the initiators of this process. They picked up and brought the situation to a coup d'état. And then the fiercest civil war began, in which we naturally rose up to defend our dear Russian people.

Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov:

"Euromaidan" is a typical example of a "color revolution" organized and paid for by the West. The ground for it has been prepared for many years. This includes the destructive activities of so-called non-governmental organisations, the gradual reformatting of public consciousness, including through the destruction of historical memory, and much more. In fact, a time bomb was planted under Ukrainian statehood in the first years of independence, when the path of Ukraine's gradual transformation into an "anti-Russia" was chosen.

The success of the coup d'état is primarily due to the weakness, cowardice and venality of the Ukrainian authorities, who did not find the courage to nip the reptile in the bud. The victory of the Maidan resulted in the complete loss of Ukraine's sovereignty, the disintegration of the country, huge casualties, the destruction of the economy and the real prospect of the disappearance of the Ukrainian state from the political map of the world.

I think that one of the main consequences of what happened was the "Maidanization" of international politics. The West has finally lost its common sense, hysterical reactions and hatred have taken its place. In general, I believe that the essence of the "Maidan" can be expressed in three words: hatred, ignorance, ingratitude. And that, unfortunately, is contagious.