SF Bay Area Ukrainian Community Celebrates the Removal of President Yanukovych and Honors those who Sacrificed their Lives for Ukraine’s Future
February 22, 2014 – Over four hundred people rallied today in San Francisco’s Civic Center/UN Plaza to celebrate the removal of Ukraine’s President Yanukovych and to mourn and honor the brave hundred Ukrainians who gave their lives to stand up against a corrupt regime.
After three months of struggle, Ukraine’s opposition movement appears to have achieved its goal of removing the discredited regime of President Viktor Yanukovych. Today, Ukraine’s Parliament voted to impeach the President and set early Presidential elections to be held on May 25, 2014.
The protests in Ukraine, which began in November 2013, were initiated after President Yanukovych refused to sign a European Union Association agreement. The agreement would have required political and economic reforms that the Yanukovych regime was unwilling to implement. Instead, Yanukovych entered into a deal that would have kept Ukraine under Russia’s political and economic yoke for the foreseeable future.
The regime’s brutal response to what were initially peaceful protests only served to strengthen the opposition’s determination to fight for a brighter future for Ukraine, one in which democracy and economic opportunity reign rather than corrupt oligarchs.
Today’s victory came at a high price of more than a hundred dead and thousands injured. “It pains me that it took so much suffering and loss of life to get rid of the unscrupulous Yanukovych regime” said Mikola Bilogorskiy, the organizer of today’s rally. “I have been lucky to enjoy freedom and economic opportunity here in the United States, and I will continue to do whatever I can to ensure that my family and friends in Ukraine have a chance to do the same without having to leave their country”.
The organizers of today’s event also expressed gratitude to US and European leaders for their support of democracy in Ukraine. Pressure from the international community and assistance with negotiations have been essential to the progress that has been made in Ukraine.
The international community must remain vigilant,” said Lesya Pishchevskaya, a resident of San Francisco, who attended today’s event, “The Ukrainian people will celebrate a true democracy when the country has leaders in power who represent the public interest and operate an open and transparent government. Not another group of criminals. Not another group of oligarchs.”
This demonstration was not sponsored by nor affiliated with any governmental or non-governmental
CONTACT: Nick Bilogorskiy, 408.203.4323, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos (Konstantin Kisly): gallery
Livestream Video (Ostap Korkuna): opening with Ukraine’s national anthem; mourning the victims; demonstrators’ address to President Obama and the US Government.
See the event on Facebook: here
Official page of EuroMaidanSF: https://www.facebook.com/
EuroMaidanSF website: http://maydansf.com