Originally Posted by blaise
I don't know that much about it but weren't they initially angry because they wanted Ukraine to move closer to the EU instead of Russia? From what I read the population is pretty split on that. I think the Ukranian government was probably heavy handed but there's also been shots of the protestors launching fire bombs. Just because a few thousand people organize in a square and chant slogans it doesn't mean the government is at fault, or that the protestors should be rewarded with a power change.
My understanding is that the majority of the people want a closer relationship with Europe, but that the President recognized that offending Russia would have serious, negative economic impacts in the short term (Russia would likely impose some kind of sanctions as a result, most likely involving energy) and that the resulting economic climate would make it hard for him to win re-election. The alternative was to accept $15 billion from Russia for short term relief and maintain the country's economic relationship with Russia. He was kind of between a rock and a hard place in terms of his own political self interest.