Third anniversary of Euromaidan: unfulfilled promises

Third anniversary of Euromaidan: unfulfilled promises

Thousands of Ukrainians gathered in their capital Kiev on Monday to mark three years since the start of the so-called Euromaidan revolution, despite warnings of potential violence by government opponents.

Police and national guard units closed roads in central Kiev from the early hours, a court building was evacuated due to a bomb threat and explosives experts destroyed a suspicious device close to the Maidan square.

About 1.5 thousand people marched from the Independence Square in Kiev to the building of the General Prosecutor's Office, and then stood near the building of Ukrainian President's Administration. They demanded to end the military operation in Donbass, opposed the Minsk agreements and once again demanded an answer to the question - when the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU will be introduced. After that, the nationalists went to the Prosecutor General's Office building and demanded to start an effective investigation of the Maidan criminal cases.

Third anniversary of 'Euromaidan' is held in an atmosphere of increased terrorist threat, adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Interior Zoryan Shkiryak said earlier. Ukrainian media warned that mass rallies and marches of nationalists that may turn into protests are planned to mark the anniversary. According to police, such events may be attended by more than 60 thousand people.

And this is not surprising: President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has admitted that the quality of life of Ukrainians has not improved over the past three years and is far from the European level. 

Poroshenko has dangled the visa-free carrot in front of Ukrainians on numerous occasions, but reaching it remains painfully slow. The latest deadline set by the president is November 24. The EU has confirmed that Ukraine met its obligations to be granted tourist access, but said it would have to wait until the bloc agrees a mechanism for the emergency termination of the visa-free regime – a measure necessary to curb unwanted immigrants.

But even once Ukrainians are allowed to enter EU countries without visas, they would only be welcomed as tourists – something at odds with the reality for the majority of people, for whom the question at hand is how to make ends meet, not which European capital to choose for a weekend trip. What the EU does not want to see is an influx of Ukrainian guest workers seeking jobs despite not having work permits. At the moment, roughly one Ukrainian in six makes his or her living working in Russia or European nations like Poland and Bulgaria, RT writes.