The European country of the Ukraine has been in the news because of big protests taking place in the country’s capital, Kiev.

These protests became very violent with scores of people having been killed or wounded.

The violence started when protesters refused to move, even when the police were called.

The unrest eventually led to changes in the Ukrainian government with President Viktor Yanukovych removed from power.

Olexander Turchynov has taken the place of the President and Arseniy Yatsenyuk has been announced as the interim prime minister.

Political elections are due to be held on the 25th May.

Why did the protests begin?

Hundreds of thousands of people in Kiev went to the main square to protest about Ukraine’s position in Europe.

It started in November after President Yanukovych decided not to sign a major partnership deal with the European Union (EU).

The EU is a partnership between 28 European countries. They work together and even share money.  

Lots of the demonstrators wanted the Ukraine to have a link with other European countries.

Violent clashes

Instead of going with the EU the Ukraine government announced deals with Russia. A number of people int he Ukraine didn’t like this.

By 20 February officials said 77 people had died because of the clashes.

The map below shows Europe. Countries who are part of the EU are in tan.

Europe map

Different views on EU

Not everyone wants closer ties with the European Union.  There are large numbers of people who support Ukraine’s close ties with Russia.

the main reason for this is that the deal the government signed with Russia led to big cuts in the price of gas, which was imported from Russia.

Russia has also supported Ukraine’s finances by investing lots of money in the country.

History between Ukraine and Russie

Ukraine used to be part of the Soviet Union, a group of states ruled from Moscow, in Russia.

But in 1991 the Soviet Union broke up. Ukraine was one of a number of countries that was created.

Since then there has been a tug of war over how the country should be governed and who it should get its main support from.

What next for Ukraine?

The country will now prepare for the election on 25 May, when an official president and government will be chosen.

Until then, the temporary leader President Olexander Turchynov and the interim government will have to find a way to keep peace between his nation and other countries, particularly Russia.

Article written by  Editor 

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