Take a minute to look at what is happening in Ukraine.
Ukraine is balanced precariously between remaining a close partner of Russia, or joining the EU.
The government want to remain friends with Russia. Russia wants another ally, and the Ukrainian government are being given deals like this as what’s commonly seen as a “reward” for staying loyal to Putin. It helps since the country is in financial difficulty and close to defaulting.
A significant number of people in Ukraine, however, don’t care about that and want to move towards the EU, in the hopes of having higher standards of living and better trade with, and access to, the western world. The government is completely shutting out public opinion on this matter.
The conflict has been escalating until a few days ago, when the government decided to say fuck it to civil liberties and put in place some rather heavy-handed laws, making it jailable offences to blockade public buildings, wear masks or helmets at demonstrations, erect unauthorised tents in public areas, and even made it arrestable to “slander a government official.”
So now people are going crazy with riots over being ignored by an elected government, and violently or legally repressed by their rushed new laws.
(thanks Reddit user GirlGargoyle)