Just yesterday, a Cease Fire was agreed to by the Ukrainian President, Viktor F. Yanukovych, and the “Opposition” (the composition of which, nowadays, is always questionable), with the help of Russia, France, Germany, Poland, et. al. While it caused a cessation of hostilities in Kiev, as well as other parts of the Ukraine, it remains questionable as to whether this is really the end of the Insurrection. It appears that the Opposition now has control of the Ukraine Presidential Palace, and it also claims to control Kiev, the Ukraine Capital.
There are several issues which may provoke the mass protests to continue in Kiev: Yanukovych has failed to abide by previous Truces and Agreements; the President and a number of Members of Parliament have left (fled?) the Capital; Russia declined to sign the Agreement, causing many to wonder if Russian President Vladimir Putin was now going to work against it; and Parliament Members, who side with the Opposition, are preparing to hold an early Presidential Election on May 25th and re-establish the old 2004 Constitution, which significantly limited the President’s Powers.
Several months ago, President Yanukovych was negotiating the establishment of a credit arrangement with the European Union as well as a closer trade arrangement, perhaps eventually leading to joining the E. U. At the eleventh hour, however, the Ukrainian President signed a loan deal with Russia, which caused the on-going protests, in Independence Square. Russia, which under Putin seems to be trying to move back closer to the old, unsuccessful Soviet Model, simply cannot afford to lose one of the gems of its Soviet Past, especially the Ukraine as a source of agricultural products for Russia.
If Russia were to lose Ukraine from its Sphere of Influence, it would truly become, even more blatantly, the toothless giant that it has devolved into. For the past two weeks, Vladimir Putin and Russia have been quite busy hosting the Winter Olympics in Sochi; however, all eyes will certainly be focused on Moscow, once the Games end tomorrow. The linked article, from today’s NY Times, provides an excellent update on the situation in Ukraine, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/world/europe/ukraine.html?emc=edit_na_20140222&_r=0.