by PETER ACKERMAN, MACIEJ BARTKOWSKI, and JACK DUVALL, Published on 3 March 2014 on

On February 25, Reuters News declared that “a 26-year-old who learned combat skills in the army cadets may be recorded as the man who made up Viktor Yanukovich’s mind to cut and run.” The young man had taken the microphone at a rally in Kyiv, denounced Ukrainian politicians for shaking hands “with this killer,” when they signed a deal with Yanukovych earlier that day, and demanded that “tomorrow, by 10 o’clock, he has to be gone” – which some took to be a death threat.

As always, the news media were engorged with scenes of barricades and burning tyres. But while violence was eye candy for the television networks, it was the exception and not the rule in the 88-day struggle that placed Ukraine back on the road to genuine democracy. From the start of the protests in Kyiv on November 24, 2013 until the day Yanukovych fled the capital on February 21, 2014, Ukrainians were continually using an impressive array of nonviolent tactics that brought the government to its knees.

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