Radical protests and repressions on the rise in Ukraine

The monitoring was carried out by the Center for Social and Labor Research and the Center for Society Research

Protests have radicalized in Ukraine, while the level of repressions surpassed pre-Maidan figures. This according to the results of monitoring carried out by the Center for Social and Labor Research and the Center for Society Research with support from the Democratic Practice Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy.

According to sociologists, there were many protests in the last month of summer, most of which were patriotic in nature. This patriotic mobilization pushed into the background the demands of the Maidan (lustration, fighting corruption, protecting civil liberties) as well as socioeconomic problems.

In August they recorded at least 690 protests (this number does not include events in Donbas). For comparison, in August 2012 and 2013 they recorded less than half as many protests (271 and 297, respectively), and in August 2010 and 2011 3-4 times fewer (154 and 195, respectively). In October 2013 before Maidan there were only 423 recorded protests.

The most common subjects of the protests in August were ideological (54%): support for a united Ukraine, against Russia and Russian intervention. Ideological protests prevailed in all regions, except Kyiv. Political issues were raised during 35% of protests, with the most popular political issue being lustration (69 protests, 10% of protests in August, primarily in Kyiv and Odesa). The issue of civil liberties was not raised more than last year – 25% of protests.

Issues that can be called demands of the Maidan (most popular: lustration (69 protests), fighting corruption (62) and civil liberties (31)) were raised less often than patriotic issues.

Even excluding the armed conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the proportion of confrontation and violence during protests is also unusually high and exceeds figures during the Maidan. Among all the protests in August, 15% were violent, 40% were peaceful but confrontational. The level of confrontation and violence was very high (14% violent, 26% confrontational) and even exceeded the level of radicalism during the Maidan (13% and 23%, respectively).

The level of repression against protesters in August, also less than compared with the Maidan, exceeded figures prior to the start of the Maidan. In 2013, through the end of November there were 18 negative reactions per 100 protests, while in August 2014 there were 22 repressions per 100 protests. The largest number was recorded in southern and eastern oblasts (excluding Donbas): repressions were mostly aimed at supporters of the Anti-Maidan and “people’s republics.”

Center for Social and Labor Research
Volodymyr Ishchenko
+380 97 396 44 99

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