Ukraine: caught between east and west

Independence Square in central Kiev has been the home of Ukraine’s anti-government protesters since November 21. They have been there day and night, demanding President Viktor Yanukovich’s resignation. But they are far from united.

Kiev’s Independence Square is packed with protesters carrying the blue and yellow flags of the European Union and Ukraine. But among them are also the blacks and red flags of the country’s nationalist movements.

And while most of the protesters in Kiev are looking to Europe as their country’s salvation, the same cannot be said for the country’s industrial east. These Russian-speaking regions, with their strong cultural, economic and historical links to Moscow, do not want to be severed from Russia.

FRANCE 24 met Sofia, Andriy and Vladimir – three citizens in a divided country trying to decide if their destiny lies to the west or the east.

Sofia, pro-EU student

‘We are already European in our heads’

Andryi, Ukrainian nationalist

‘Being part of the EU will allow us to be more independent’

Vladimir, factory director

‘We can’t afford to lose the Russian market’