The Orange and Euromaidan Revolutions: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives

Taras Kuzio


Ukraine has experienced two popular uprisings in a decade (2004, 2013–2014), which took place in four different circumstances. Firstly, the Orange Revolution began as a protest against election fraud during an election cycle while the Euromaidan began in protest at the abrupt end to European integration and was outside an election cycle. Secondly, whether the incumbent was leaving office (Leonid Kuchma, 2004) or seeking to be re-elected and remain in power indefinitely (Viktor Yanukovych, 2013–2014) had a direct bearing on regime strategies against the protestors. Thirdly, Russian intervention was limited to finances, the supply of political technologists and diplomatic support in the former whereas during the latter, Russia used its intelligence, special forces and military to intervene in the protests, annex territory and invade Ukraine. Fourthly, the type of leader which was in power (former Soviet nomenklatura versus thuggish and criminalized Donetsk clan) had a direct impact on whether the authorities would seek compromise and non-violence (Kuchma, 2004) or reject compromise and resort to violence through vigilantes, Berkut riot police and the Security Service (Yanukovch, 2013–2014).


Rose Revolution; Orange Revolution; Euromaidan Revolution of Dignity; Viktor Yanukovych; Vladimir Putin; Vigilantes; Nationalism; European Integration

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