Whenever a popular revolt unleashes, like in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ or in present day Ukraine, there is usually more than one factor, and from more than a single origin, to explain the successive evolution of events. Ukraine’s current situation is far from surprising if a few facts are taken into account: firstly, Ukraine’s history and current internal affairs; secondly, its geopolitical strategic situation and, thirdly, the latest developments in Russian international policies. The present conference will try to explain how the concurrence of all these different sets of factors, aided by successive wrong decisions by the current government, has turned what seemed to be back in November last year an innocuous civic protest, one of many, into a political and social crisis quickly expanding across the country and threatening to overthrow the government. How is a social protest thus orchestrated? By whom? What is the role of social networks in countries, as Ukraine, with no tradition in civil society? Is this movement more or less related to the ‘Arab spring’ or to the social movements that saw the dismantling of the former countries of the Warsaw Pact? Among the complexity of the situation, we will try to examine several points in detail: what has been the role of Russia in the crisis, and what could it be in the future? what has been the role of the oligarchs, most of them based outside the Ukraine, who provide the necessary funds for backing the protests? what are the differences between this revolution and the so-called Orange revolution that took Yulia Timoshenko to power? who are the actors of the opposition movements? what is the role of the EU, if any, in the whole process and the expectations of Ukrainian people? what could be the consequences for the EU of the present crisis? what will change in the balance of powers between Russia and the EU after the crisis? how will the outcome change the ‘frontiers’ of Europe?
The conference will be held in Madrid, on Monday February 17th at 5 pm at Saint Louis University Auditorium (Avenida del Valle 34)