Ukraine has been marking the anniversary of protests which brought down the government and set Russia on a collision course with the West.

A decision by former President Viktor Yanukovich to freeze ties with Europe set off violent confrontations in the capital, Kiev. Hundreds died in months of demonstrations, which forced the pro-Russian Yanukovich to flee the country.

Russia went on to annexe the Crimean Peninsula and back a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine, setting off dangerous new diplomatic tensions with the West.

Speaking at an anniversary rally, Yanukovich’s successor, Petro Poroshenko, said: "The things which had been a dream one year ago are becoming a reality. It's not happening as quickly as we wished. The freedom of speech, the freedom of choice, the freedom of protest has returned.

"From dictatorship we have been transformed into parliamentary-presidential democracy, we have signed, ratified and finally started to execute the association agreement with the EU."

But with Ukraine a divided nation, and Russia losing its influence over the former Soviet republic, can there be any real winners?

Presenter: Mike Hanna


Pavel Felgenhauer - Moscow-based foreign policy and political analyst.

James Sherr - Associate Fellow for the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House.

Mychailo Wynnyckyj - Associate Professor at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

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Source: Al Jazeera