Two years after the US State Department, and specifically Victoria Nuland, hand-picked Ukraine's next government in the aftermath of the Euromaidan riots which led to a coup and the ouster of then president Yanukovich and the appointment of a US puppet government led by the increasingly unpopular Arseniy Yatseniuk, tens of thousands of people in the Ukrainian capital came to various observances of the "Day of the Heavenly Hundred". a term which refers to those who died during the months of protests in Kiev that culminated with President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing.
Things promptly devolved, however, when hundreds of people decided to commemorate some of Ukraine's most violent days with even more violence. The video below shows some of the scuffles which broke out early in the day.
While a civil war rages in the country's Eastern Donbass region, demonstrators threw rocks through windows at the offices of Alfa Bank and Sberbank and damaged furniture and equipment inside. Protesters also vandalized the offices of the holding company of Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov. Police did not intervene according to AP.
The latest bout of anger comes amid a political crisis with the resignation of several reform-oriented politicians earlier this month who alleged continued corruption in the top echelons of the Ukrainian government. A no-confidence vote against the country’s prime minister failed to pass this week as the governing coalition frayed.
At the forefront of today's violence were members of Ukraine's radical nationalist organizations. They vehemently reject any concessions to the east and are angered by authorities' failure to address Ukraine's endemic corruption. Akhmetov, whose wealth springs from mining and steel in the east, is a target of their anger.
"We need to have a third Maidan," said Nikolai Kokhanovsky, a leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, using the common term of the protests of 2014 and those of the 2004 Orange Revolution. New protests would "sweep away this corrupt government and pro-Russian oligarchs who have betrayed our revolution of dignity."
"Russia and the oligarchs are guilty for life in Ukraine becoming worse and worse," said 21-year-old protester Ruslan Tymchuk, who was dressed in camouflage and wielding a bat.
Actually Ukraine was doing relatively well until a CIA-led effort to destabilize the country in late 2013 succeeded, and culminated with the violent coup of February 2014. It has been downhill ever since, but for an angry, hungry and cold population, logic is often times futile.
And so, with the anger quickly rising to the surface, violence broke out against the symbol of what conventional wisdom sees as the reason behind Ukraine's sad state: Russia and specifically its bank branches.
As a result, Ukrainian nationalist radicals wrecked the offices of Russian companies Sberbank and Alfa-Bank in Kiev and accused the Russian banks of “financial occupation of Ukraine,” throwing rocks and other foreign objects at the buildings and shattering their windows.
As noted above, the police refused to intervene while Russian assets were being trashed. They did prevent the mob from setting the Sberbank office doors on fire, but the attackers managed to get inside the Alfa-Bank office. They trashed the furniture and glass partition walls inside the bank, shouting nationalist slogans, including: “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!"
Members of the volunteer battalions which participated in Kiev’s military campaign in East Ukraine, activists from the far-right Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and other radical groups were also among those responsible for the violence RT reports.
According to LifeNews, Ukrainian security forces have not made a single arrest in connection with the attacks on the Russian banks.
Later on Saturday, several dozen camouflaged man arrived at Maidan Square (also known as Independence Square) in central Kiev, which was the venue for the 2014 protest. They identified themselves as representatives of the “revolutionary right forces staff” and read out a manifesto in which they demanded the resignation of the government, the reversal of the Minsk peace agreements, and the release of unspecified political prisoners.
More troubling for the ruling US-puppet regime is that two years after the Maidan riots, Ukraine's nationalists have now openly turned against the government: the demonstrators also called for an indefinite protest on the Maidan, proclaiming that “we won’t leave until this criminal regime leave,” RIA-Novosti reported, a regime which they themselves helped created two years ago.
For now the fury of the nationalists is focused on the banks, initially those belonging to Russia. We wonder how soon until similar violence against bankers in a world whose interlinked economies are promptly deteriorating, becomes a daily event.
Here is a video of today's attack:
And here is a clip of the office of eastern Ukrainian oligarch, Renat Akhmetov, ransacked on the same day.