Since November 21st Ukrainians have been protesting their government for many reasons, the primary of which was failure to follow through on a deal to join the European Union. Since the initial protests it has since spread to other issues such as corruption and police brutality.

I'm currently in Euromaidan and will begin answering questions about the situation here in about one hour!


EDIT: I'm going to keep watch and periodically answer more questions but need to get some work done! Thanks for the questions everyone! If you want to stay apprised to the whats happening in Ukraine and other places I report on in the future make sure to follow me on instagram/twitter and check!

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Comments: 906 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

Mikeaz123521 karma

How do you feel about Rupert Murdoch buying a stake in Vice?

Timcast653 karma

It was actually 21st Century FOX that bought 5% not Murdoch directly.

The great majority of the equity is held by the founders and they control the company still. I'm a big fan of Shane and think he knows what he is doing.

With VICE I get to do better work in further away places and I don't think this will change.

As a journalist I try to avoid the politics and business and just stick to reporting honest information, nothing will ever change that either.

DeviatedNorm260 karma


jwhiting360227 karma

Is it an oversimplification to say this is a public display of a desire to have the gov't in Ukraine identify more with the EU and NATO than Russia?

Timcast227 karma

scannon152 karma

Thanks for reporting on this. I really appreciate Vice's willingness to throw themselves into the middle of emerging stories. Everyone used to say that the internet could never replace true investigative journalism, but you all are proving them wrong. Anyway, enough praise, I have two questions:

Do you get the feeling that these protests are part of a split in the Ukrainian population between those that want a closer relationship to Europe and those that want a closer relationship to Russia?

Are there counter protests, or is the population generally in support of the protesters?

Thanks again!

Timcast129 karma

There are counter protests but they are very small relative to the euromaidan protest.

There are allegations that people are threatened to lose there jobs unless they protest in support. Some Students say they will get expelled if the schools find out they protested.

Hadok83 karma

How are the police forces.

I mean do they look aggresive, bothered to be there, or actually sympathetic to the protesters ?

Timcast115 karma

In the beginning there was a lot of aggression between the police and protesters. But it seems recently that the police have backed down a bit. There were some clashes this morning and last night but today the police were calm.

thegrassyknoll77 karma

Is there legit support for Klitschko?

dicksymbol11 karma

I really like this method of reporting. No middle man.

Timcast8 karma

journalist <> audience <> journalist.

I take questions and direction while I'm live! You can ask me to check out certain areas and interview people!

aurisor67 karma

I know it's extremely early to start placing this in its historical context, but to what extent do you see the Arab Spring providing impetus or context for this uprising? Do you think we'll come to view this as an extension of that turmoil or more as another chapter in the conflict between "Russia" and the former Soviet states?

Would be especially interested to hear this from the perspective of the people involved, to the extent to which you can relay it.

Timcast89 karma

Short Answer from a local

thefalloutman55 karma

Do you think the protests will escalate? If so what would be the consequences internationally?

Timcast98 karma

Its a coin toss.

Like most uprisings more people come after police get violent. If they try to evict by force or attack protesters more people will come.

Also, if the rumors are true that Yanukovich will sign/ has signed a deal with Russia to join the customs union, people will be angry.

fappingit2u51 karma

I think I know the answer already, but why aren't US news outlets coving this story?

Timcast96 karma

I cant speak for any other media organization, but we at VICE really care about what happens in the world.

For me, I really want to learn and understand.

gblr43 karma

Why is Vice's website filled with stupid, weird articles alongside awesome stuff like what you're doing?

Timcast142 karma

different strokes for different folks!

aurisor37 karma

The Ukranian protesters seem to have gained the government's ear in a way that American protesters have not. When you consider, say, OWS, do you think the contrast is due to the underlying urgency of the issue, a more effective approach to protesting, or something else?

Timcast73 karma

The protesters here have support from some of the political opposition parties. Three parties formed a coalition a while ago and are backing the protests.

Most people seem to want new elections immediately. Many people Ive spoken with see politicians as the experts who should take care of the politics.

Jack_Daniels_Loves_U35 karma

Simple Question: Why do you think the Ukrainian Government backed out of the deal?

gf-ftw34 karma

Hi Tim, hope you're safe, thanks for doing this iama.

  1. How much support do the protesters want or expect from the outside world?

  2. What would change that?

Timcast36 karma

Not so much from individuals but from the EU

jammich30 karma


Timcast71 karma

The loshad sized utka would be fun to ride. I would fight it, win, tame it, then fly into the sunset.

Doc_Faust29 karma

How hopeful are the protesters that this sort of action can bring about real change in their country? How likely do you think it is?

Timcast46 karma

Its hard to know, but a few people have told me "we are passed the point of no return" and that there will be some change no matter how minor.

Stolenusername28 karma

Hey Tim,

Have you, at any point doing your coverage, felt that your life or well being was in danger?

Timcast66 karma

When people start shooting things it gets scary but you have to be alert, you can't panic. I always make sure I know what is happening around me and where my exists are. Being brave doesn't always mean you aren't scared.

Lollocaust27 karma

From what you've seen already being there, is it possible it may ever escalate into some sort of civil war like Egypt had/has? Also, what's the most violent course of action that's been taken thus far? Thanks for the AMA!!!

ak477924 karma

Are you seeing any neo-nazi presence in these protests? If so, how are they being received by the crowds?

Timcast22 karma

There are some people here who Im told are affiliated with Golden Dawn. Short answer is yes.

username_obnoxious18 karma

Does it seem as if the general population is in support of the protesting? Or is more of a group of people going rogue to the disgust of the populace? The media coverage is rather sparse in the USA if what is actually happening

Timcast34 karma

To me yes, there were 400,000-500,000 people here in Kyiv on Sunday. It definitely seems to be a popular movement.

phreakboy18 karma

The far-right Ukrainian nationalist party Svoboda has been orchestrating fascist riots amidst the demonstrations, defacing public and private property, beating up ethnic minorities, etc. etc. Do they have a strong presence amidst the uprisings or are they just a fringe group of crazy? What are the chances these fascists might seize power or gain popular support?

Timcast14 karma

From what I understand its not likely Svoboda wins, but there are many different nationalist organizations that are influencing the protests, particularly the information center and security.

Im told there are some far right protesters starting fights as well.

Its important to know that no one thinks they are fascist though.

humanornament17 karma

Have you gotten any Pulitzer worthy stuff over there?

Timcast64 karma

I dont know how that stuff works. Im just honored to be here witnessing history!

Squatched17 karma

What is the most concerning and forefront issue that you can see as an outsider?

Timcast24 karma

Corruption, it seems like many people are just out for themselves a bit too much. Though many feel like the EU can help end the corruption.

hotdrop16 karma


Timcast14 karma

"Hope" is what people tell me. Some people feel like joining with Russia will just be moving backwards and the EU is their chance at opportunity. Sometimes people just want to believe they are close to making it all better.

AckbarsAttache16 karma

Ignore the haters, I'm interested in what you have to say.

By and large, who has been responsible for organizing the protests? Any particular opposition groups involved, or has it been more spontaneous than that?

Timcast18 karma

Its a mix of everyone from activists, ordinary citizens, and the political parties.

The opposition parties that back the protest are: Freedom Fatherland Punch

andicotsteel15 karma

The one time I visited Ukraine it appeared to be run by gangsters everyone else appeared to be struggling to get by. It also seemed to be closed to the western world I saw no other tourists. Are there still overt signs of the mafia running things?

Timcast39 karma

I dont know about a mafia, but Im told by many people that money runs Ukraine and many people are corrupt. Students pay teachers so they dont have to take exams, etc.

Many people here are hoping that by joining the EU it will help curb corruption.

If you need something money gets it, whether legal or not.

Bilka15 karma

Even if the protests bring about new leadership, do you think Ukraine can ever leave behind the culture of corruption left behind from the Soviet Union?

Timcast17 karma

its hard to say, many people here hope that the EU will wash away the corruption.

mobeatie12 karma

Have you seen any network/infrastructure problems that may be the result of tampering or government shutdown? Like what we saw in Tunisia or Egypt?

Timcast19 karma

I've heard reports that they have shutdown cell service but haven't experienced it myself. They use CDMA here which surprised me!

GlammBeck10 karma

Thank you so much for your work! Been following since your excellent live feed from OWS during the November raid.

-What do you think of the new journalistic project led by Glenn Greenwald and backed by Omidyar, and where do you stand on the debate about the value of (non-)bias in journalism? (Some great quotes to reference in here:

-As an independent journalist who has previously worked for little to nothing, how do you feel about the practice of unpaid internships in news media organizations? Do you feel they are a form of worker exploitation? Would most news media organizations be able to survive if they had to pay their interns minimum wage, and if so, should they?

-Do you think the impact of OWS helped to elect NY mayor elect Bill de Blasio? Do you have hopes for him to follow through on his campaign promises on taxing the 1% and stop and frisk?

Thank you so much!

Timcast29 karma

I think the role of the journalist is to collect as much information as possible and share it with the world so that they can decide what they think is best. There are a lot of gray areas with context and such, but I really think that if we have informed people we are more likely to get successful decisions.

There is no objective journalism, but there is integrity. I would never use lack of objectivity as an excuse to lie or omit information.

Unpaid internships exist so people can learn not so that you can get cheap labor. They shouldn't be doing vital work ad if they do, pay them!

Dont know enough about de Blasio, sorry :\

GabrielBonilla10 karma

How do you feel about your safety there? Do you think it could escalate worse than it already is?

Timcast20 karma

Im mostly worried about the cold, I think it will stay mostly peaceful.

1oxosc3les8 karma

Thanks for the ama! Do the Ukrainian protesters, in general, seem more upset at missing a chance to become a part of the EU OR are they more upset about the government appearing to cozy up with Russia?

Timcast17 karma

In the beginning it was about the EU but it seems now its more about corruption, less about EU or Russia.

rikeus8 karma

Would you say that Ukraines past experience as a satellite state of the USSR is a major influence on the anti-russian sentiment?

Timcast13 karma

There are a few signs that say "no to occupation, yes to integration" and the word occupation has the sickle and hammer on it and blood dripping from it.

Personally I would say that sentiment is definitely here, but how pervasive is hard to say.

reinisruza7 karma


Timcast30 karma

I wouldn't call them riots but other than that the food is really great!

MyDicta7 karma

How does this compare to men in Colombia having sex with donkeys? That's the last Vice report that I saw.

Timcast17 karma

Donkey sex isn't my beat, I usually cover technology and conflict.

mattywankenobi7 karma

Tim, what would you say the ideal outcome would be for the protestors, for the government, and for everyone involved?

Timcast4 karma

Protesters want new elections primarily, many want to continue with EU integration.

The government wants to hold its ground and wait for the protests to fizzle out.

greyjackal6 karma

So many of us take this for granted but seeing a thread where someone is essentially broadcasting live from a news location and receiving feedback in real time is incredible. In my case from someone with a phone in a pub.

It drives home how far tech has come and how versatile it can be (over the last ten years certainly, but I'm 40 and things have moved apace all my life).

So the question is, how do you foresee advances in tech making your particular role even more immediate or relevant?

Timcast6 karma

Right now I'm working on drones, smartwatches, mobile apps, and Google Glass. I'm always trying to find ways to make it faster and easier for people to join in the conversation(news reporting).

PhilthyMcNasty6 karma

How did you get involved working for VICE/VBS? I've been trying to find a way to contribute as a videographer, and ever since my hero Tim Hetherington was killed, I want to do it more than ever. I love your work. Stay safe.

Timcast16 karma

I just started covering news on my own through social media, eventually people took notice. Don't lose focus and don't give up, as long as you keep producing work eventually people will find it.

Might not be the best answer but there isn't a secret other than work+sacrifice+luck

WalkingPetriDish6 karma

How is this different (or similar to) the protests in Turkey? Meaning that this seems to be a protest of the current generation; does it resonate at all with older folks?

Timcast7 karma

Well for one political parties are backing the protests here.

It seems due to the politics there is a standoff, police aren't being as aggressive but protesters are building up barricades/tents fast.

radicalracist4 karma

I can't recall where I read this, but is it true that there is a not so small presence of far-right, nationalistic and possibly neo-nazi groups involved in the protests? Golden Dawn-esque type?

Timcast7 karma

Im told there is a group here affiliated with the Golden Dawn. In terms of nationalistic, many people here are singing the national anthem and waving the Ukrainian flag. It reminds me a bit of Tea Party rallies.

multiple_migs3 karma

what is your favorite flavor ice cream?

Timcast12 karma

Milk and Cookies O.O