Since November, I was a part of what developed from a peaceful pro-Europe student protest into a bloody riot. Ukrainians never wanted blood to be spilled and yet hundreds of us learned what it feels like to be ready to give your life for the better future of your country. And we won. I edit a website that monitors protest action all over Ukraine.

Currently, Russia is using this moment of weakness in Ukraine to... nobody knows what they really want: the port city of Sevastopol, all of Crimea, half of Ukraine, or all of Ukraine.

You, Reddit, have the power to help us. In 1994 [edited, typo] Great Britain, Russia and US signed an agreement to protect the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia broke it, and yet US and EU are hesitant to help. Help us by reminding your senators about it, because we think they have forgotten. *You guys are attacking me over it, but why the hell is everyone so paranoid - there are many diplomatic ways to help, nowhere did I say that I want American troops to fight on Ukraine soil. Calm down.

Proof sent to mods.

Personal message to Russian-speaking people reading this:

And to everyone else:

EDIT #2: This thread has been going on for a while now, and during this time the US administration took up a rather active position. Obama is considering not going to the G8 summit in Russia, threatening it with isolation. US Congress is considering sending aid and defense arms and to retaliate for Russia vetoing UNSC on Ukraine. Hopefully Russia will rethink its tactics now, and hopefully those in power to keep the tension down will do so. No troops will be required. Fingers crossed.

I will address a few points here, because more and more people ask the same things:

  • There is an information war going on - in Russia, in Ukraine, all over the world. I am Ukrainian, so the points I bring up in this thread are about what the situation looks like from my perspective. If you say I am biased, you are completely right, as I am telling you about my side of the story.

  • Ukraine has several free independent media channels, most of them online. I am sure of the sources that inform me of the events outside of Kyiv I post about.

  • I have been present at the Kyiv protests that I talk about and if you want to come here and tell me that we are all a bunch of violent losers, I feel sorry for your uneducated opinion.

  • About the war situation: tensions are very high right now. Russians scream for Ukraine to just give up on Crimea because Ukrainian new government is illegitimate in their eyes (though legitimate in the eyes of the rest of the world), Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians make calls to tv stations and appeal to us to not give up on them, because they are threatened, they do not know who to go to or what to do, their Crimean government is no longer concerned with their opinion and Crimean territory is policed by troops that are only looking for a provocation, to start the war in the style of Georgia-2008.

  • There are two popular opinions in Ukraine: 1. To make up money for the olympics, Putin is currently destroying the tourist season for Ukraine's biggest black sea resort zone. Sochi will get aaalllll the tourists. 2. Putin is not here for territory, Putin is here to provoke a civil war that will weaken Ukraine to the extreme point when it no longer can break off from Russia's sphere of influence. Instead, Ukrainians are coming together like never before.

  • Many of you say it is our own problem. To all of you, read the history of how WW2 started. Then comment with your informed thoughts, I would really love to have some informed and thought out opinions on the situation.

Thank you.

Comments: 4675 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

Jano_something832 karma

You say you think our Senators have forgotten the agreement. What do you expect us to do right this moment? What exactly would you have us do?

eu_ua712 karma

As I said in another response, just the presence of, say, a US warship would have prevented a lot of this from happening in the past 3 days. Ukraine has no financial or military power to defend itself right now, but if such power is provided, we believe the conflict can end peacefully. It is only escalating because there is no way for us to stop it ourselves, the country is weakened.

There is no blood so far. It is military muscle play of a bully that sees no resistance, it seems.

Valkes593 karma

My understanding is that Crimea is largely pro-Russian. Why shouldn't they be allowed to separate from Ukraine if that's what they want?

The reports I've seen have all claimed the gunmen to be unidentified but obviously pro-Russian. How do you know they're Russian soldiers?

How far do you expect us to go with this? No one here wants a war with Russia. . . and these are the kind of situations that escalate quickly.

eu_ua528 karma

If Crimea wants to separate from Ukraine, the Ukrainian constitution allows for an all-Ukrainian vote to be held to decide the matter. Crimea also has its own government which can legitimately fight for more independence from Ukraine (albeit not complete independence, unless all of Ukraine would want that). The problem is not that they want to separate - it is that Russian soldiers and pro-Russian Ukrainians took over Crimea and declared it Russian. There is a very big population of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea that have clearly stated they do not want to separate from Ukraine. But they can't do much when there are armed soldiers all around the peninsula, can they... Right now a lot of effort is being made to avoid blood.

Reports of the gunmen being Russian have come from journalists for a while, also today the Russian government has confirmed some of them to be their army "protecting the peace" in Crimea.

We don't "expect" to go anywhere with this, Ukraine does not want war. Just the presence of NATO or US military in the area could decide the matter 3 days ago.

Valkes156 karma

Thanks for answering. Understand that I'm 100% with you on this. I'm very much in favor of what's happening in Ukraine. . . or at least what I think is happening. I just think it's important to understand the situation before I go running off screaming incoherently at congress people.

That said, aren't the Pro-Russian faction in Crimea the majority? Couldn't it be said that they're doing basically the same thing you've all done? They've taken it on themselves to occupy Government buildings to protest the pro-EU turn the country is taking. How is that different than what you all did?

Couldn't it also be argued that, by bringing Russia into their protest early, they're actually trying to avoid the same drawn out and bloody conflict the euromaidan protesters endured? Like you said, everyone is trying to avoid bloodshed now. . . something that might not otherwise be happening.

We might have been able to prevent this. . . but we might also have been able to prevent the euromaidan movement too. It's not the job of the US to prevent internal conflict. We just can't do that. Now that it's confirmed Russia is involved I expect, and will do my best to ensure, that our Government will take the appropriate diplomatic measures to handle that situation. I don't think it will come to war with Russia and I'm not sure I'd support one if it did.

Thanks again for answering. I'm sorry if I offended with my questions. I just want to understand what's happening before I take action.

eu_ua91 karma

Thanks for trying to understand the situation, I am honestly grateful for every single person in this thread who is trying to understand the situation, whether it means calling me out on something or arguing, or not.

The difference with Crimean govnt building occupation and rest of Ukraine is that rest of Ukraine had no weapons (except rare cases), they were regular people, including retired and students. In Russia, they were armed with Kalashnikovs, wouldn't let journalists through, wouldn't let messengers from the government through for peace talks. They are aggressive.

They are indeed asking Russia for protection to "avoid bloodshed", which is: 1. smart political play from the people in power in Crimea. 2. Result of a long brainwashing campaign. I personally have relatives in Crimea that we called 2 days ago to see what their take on it is - and they were absolutely, in all seriousness, terrified of Ukrainian nazi extremists who are marching on Crimea after having taken over Kiev to exterminate all Russian-speaking Crimeans. It is ridiculous nonsense, and they believe it. That didn't happen on its own, someone has been spreading that information for a while. Wonder who it might've been, right?

sleestakslayer550 karma

Is the pro-European sentiment indicative of the whole population, or is it split somewhat evenly pro-Russian sentiment?

eu_ua543 karma

It used to be about 50/50 (or 55/45), but after the events of Euromaidan the statistics are said to have changed to 75% of Ukrainians supporting a European future, plus many people undecided or against both. Russia has shown its dark side even to its usual supporters in the East of Ukraine.

EDIT: A lot of people asked me for the source, and somewhere below I posted one that cites the statistic at 65% vs 35, so I apologize for the wrong number. Though that statistic is for December, so it is also a bit outdated.

AlbrechtVonRoon259 karma

Is the sentiment pro-EU, or simply anti-Russian?

eu_ua526 karma

pro-EU. Ukrainians have nothing against Russians, only the Russian government.

AlbrechtVonRoon82 karma

I suppose I should have elaborated a bit. I didn't mean it in an 'are you guys against the Russian people'. I meant it more along the lines of, is the Ukraine really pro-EU, or rather just trying to remove foreign influence?

Personally, I would argue that swapping Moscow for Brussels is only a small step forward. I suppose my question is, are you pro-EU as you see this as the only way to ensure a free Ukraine, or do you support the EU because you are internationalists, hoping to promote greater European integration? Would you prefer Ukraine independence without the aid of the EU?

Thanks for the AMA!

eu_ua212 karma

That's a great question. Let me see if I can explain this...

Russia has had Ukraine in a chokehold for centuries. Modern day Russia = no human rights and a fake democracy. Ukraine gets the same by definition, as most of our government is simply bought by Russia (ousted AND new). EU association agreement would guarantee us defense of human rights and fight against corruption, as well as modernizing the economy - and by definition those things would weaken Russia's chokehold.

If we could stay independent of both, we would pretty much unanimously vote for that. But we cannot.

JarasM19 karma

If we could stay independent of both, we would pretty much unanimously vote for that. But we cannot.

I always said that would be best for Ukraine, if only it was strong and wealthy enough to support that neutral stance (like Switzerland or something). Sadly, it is not.

eu_ua31 karma

Someday.... someday.

qwerteafortwo72 karma

This IAMA is clearly VERY biased.

Apparently the only proof you need is a twitter page. A twitter page for an organization.

The twitter handle is Seriously, without the dot.

That goes here:

Here is more research:

Website age: 2 months, 23 days.

Country: United States

eu_ua21 karma

You win the award for the most confusing comment. What are you trying to prove - that it's not my twitter account? Or that Ukrainian websites should all have Ukrainian hosting? Or that Ukrainian protests-related website should be older than the protest itself?

I have been fighting comments like these on pro-russian messageboards since day 1. Stupid and senseless.

tabakka_tom342 karma

Sorry for my ignorance, but when the fighting began the people were fight against the Ukrainian police/army correct?

Now that the president has fled, have the police/army switched sides? Or are the people still fighting alone?

If they are fighting alone, are they equipped with weapons suitable to be fending off Russia?

Again sorry for my ignorance.

eu_ua729 karma

Correct, yet the police were given orders to kill people, when it was still a peaceful protest. It is hard to not fight against that. That is why currently our ex-president and some top officials have mass murder and crimes against humanity investigations going on against them.

The police and army have now switched sides, except for the one special forces unit, the one that is blamed for most blood in Kiev last week (up to 200 people are said to have been killed). That unit is in Crimea. They were disbanded by the new government, after which Russia has officially declared they will provide them with Russian citizenships and jobs, and now that unit is helping block all roads into Crimea. And they are scary.

Nobody is fighting yet. We do not want war.

tabakka_tom204 karma

Thanks for the great response.

No one wants a war. But it doesn't seem like Russia is backing down. Is western intervention the only thing you think can help?

eu_ua268 karma

That, or division of Ukraine in half. Though no guarantee Putin won't want the other half.

ArenaV4226 karma

How do you feel about American involvement?

eu_ua322 karma

If it happens, it needs to be very careful. To show that we are under protection (which, by the way, US guaranteed to us in 1994 under the Budapest agreements), and that no further Russian action will be tolerated. Muscle play. US has some muscles.

We do not want blood on our territories, especially a war between two world powers. I don't think anyone wants it.

konart593 karma

Sorry, but the US never guaranteed a protection. Only consultation with Russia if needed.

From wiki:

  • Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.
  • Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.
  • Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
  • Seek United Nations Security Council action if nuclear weapons are used against Ukraine.
  • Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine.
  • Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.

EDIT (March 02): Many people asked for the document itself, instead of a wiki quote, here you go: - here is the "Programme for Promoting Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Security Assurances" document. Ukrainian memorandum part is on page K-6.

eu_ua145 karma

Makes me rethink some statements I hear from our government, doesn't make me rethink the fact that US should get involved a bit more. Thanks for posting this.

Moores42160 karma

Ukraine has the second biggest Army in Europe with equipment on par with their Russian counterparts, do you think that Russia would openly invade (full blown war instead of the grey-invasion going on in the Crimea) knowing that they are actually going against a formidable opponent with backing from even more formidable opponents (EU/USA/NATO)? (Sincere question, no condescending tone implied, internet hard to emote)

Edit: Sorry for using "The" Ukraine, I'm a partial history student and have seen it often said that way in reference to Imperial Russia. I'm aware of the connotations. No offence meant, I removed it from my comment, its just a habit from history papers and just want other posters to be aware.

eu_ua108 karma

Ukraine is in a very tough financial and political state right now, as a very corrupt government was overthrown last week. I do not believe the Ukrainian Army is strong enough to withhold a full-on attack from Russia. That is why we try to prevent it by all means necessary.

TwixAtari149 karma

No questions. Not American or European. Best of luck to you and hope everything goes well.

eu_ua87 karma

Thank you!

GimmeAGlassOfLiquor84 karma

When making a peanut butter sandwich, do you prefer grape jelly or strawberry jam?

eu_ua292 karma


sixpac_shacoors76 karma

So, your twitter handle is I tracked the IP of, and it is based in chicago, IL. what's with that?

eu_ua39 karma

when we started it, there was legitimate fear we will be tracked down and prosecuted for having a protest-related website. Hopefully we made it very hard to track down who runs that website.

gazstove29 karma

Are you aware that by Ukraine joining the EU, it would violate a NATO peace agreement made when the USSR was disbanded? Assuming Ukraine would also join NATO this would mean NATO military bases on Russian borders, which is exactly what NATO representatives said they would not do in '89 to strengthen peace with Russia.

eu_ua18 karma

Ukraine is not currently on the path to join the EU

eu_ua71 karma

SOME Crimeans are not against it.

Why? Because if there is a large Russian population in New York, that doesn't give Russia the right to make Brighton Beach a part of Russia.

Shezzam9 karma

Are you being labelled terrorists? Are you safe or under immediate threat? Stay safe!

eu_ua14 karma

If you listen to the Russian government we are all terrorists with guns who hate jews and love Hitler, apparently. Haha...ha... It would be funny if so many people didn't believe that. That is the most messed up distorted lie, otherwise all those western diplomats wouldn't feel as safe walking among protesters in Kiev in the past 3 months. I personally talked to someone from OSCE by a barrel fire at night in December and it was great :)