On Wednesday, Dec 18, Ukrainian community in London will held another rally in front of house of Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, located in One Hyde Park. 100 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7JL. The first rally in London took place on Dec 8, 2013.
Protesters will address Rinat Ahmetov to withdraw his support to President of Ukraine Yanukovych taking into consideration the violence, government used to protesters on Nov 30 in Kyiv. The rally is one of the methods of nonviolent resistance against the political regime of Yanukovych. According to Ukrainska Pravda, Ahmetov controls up to 50 members of Ukrainian Parliament making a decisive role in legislation process. On the other hand, Ahmetov’s reputation as an economical mogul is very sensitive in the eyes of international community. His backing of corrupted government brings question to Ahmetov business partners globally.
Two weeks ago, Ukrainian investigative journalists have published the corruption schemes of Yanukovych’s family. Journalists’s findings argue, that Ukrainian economy looses from $5 Billion to $10 Billion annually due to Yanukovych’s corruption.
A peaceful protestor playing piano confronting riot police on Bankova Street, a street that leads to the Administration of President Yanukovych in Kyiv on Dec 7, 2013. While the government relied on violence towards protestors, people practiced peaceful methods of protests, including creative like this one.
Photo by Oleg Matseh
Viktor Yanukovych did not stop to answer the questions of Ukrainian and international journalists regarding political crisis in Ukraine and responsibility for forceful dispersal of protesters in Kyiv on Nov 30.
After negotiations between opposition leaders and government during round table that took place on Dec 13, the President left the venue through rear exit not willing to talk to journalists. Dozens journalists were following Yanukovych, shouting questions and requests to answer them. Presidents’ bodyguards approached journalists to prevent them from asking questions.
The round table was not productive at all. Vitaliy Klychko, a leader of oppositional Udar party, said “The government did not accept any of your demands.”
Protests in Ukraine against government have originated from users’ online activities and have been fueled with online discussions and dissemination of information through Twitter, Facebook and news sites. While government looses control on information flow, it might be interested to counter activities in Internet.
Thus, it has happened in Ukraine. News sites covering protests have been placed under cyber attacks during last weeks. Unidentified actors try to silence some Ukrainian sites through distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks as attempts to make a site unavailable to its intended users.
On Dec 14,2013 journalists of Liga.net wrote on official page in Facebook: “We are currently under a very strong DDoS attack. Our technical team is fighting the whole night through.”
Another site Cityband.com.ua published in the beginning of December a map that showed key spots of protests in Kyiv. Now the site does not work. The notice on its front page says: “Our site is under DDoS attack. We had to close hosting. Sorry, friends. But we have created a more informative map on Yandex – Cityband Euromaidan.”
Cityband Euromaidan Yandex Map shows in colors main locations of Euromaidan supporters and their opponents in downtown Kyiv. It also provides brief explanations of locations.
Earlier Ukrainska Pravda and Ukr.net announced they had experienced DDoS attacks on their sites.
A woman suggesting meal to police officer on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. December 10, 2013. Photo: Natasha Kravchuk
Twitter plays a significant role in dissemination of information about Ukrainian protests (#euromaidan, #євромайдан). Many new users have joined Twitter in Ukraine during last three weeks of protests.
To provide better understanding to users on how to use Twitter effectively, my colleagues in Internews Ukraine conducted an educational session today (trainer – Yevgen Demchenko, FRI). The session was also streaming online. A special attention was paid to the issue how to avoid misleading information in Twitter.
Volodymyr Klitschko and his fiancee, American actress Hayden Panettiere, address protesters on the Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in Kiev, Ukraine. They came to support protesters’ aspirations for European future of Ukraine.
Sayeth Hayden: “Nothing compares to the undeniably deep souls of the Ukrainian people.”
Note: Hundreds of thousands people came on streets in Kiev on December 1st to protest against police violence and government refusal to sign the EU Association agreement, a political and economical tool to bring Ukraine closer to European nations.