15th December 2013,
I’m fed up of all the “Ukraine: A nation divided” stuff in the Western press. According to my sources there were a maximum of 30,000 pro-government demonstrators in Kiev yesterday (and even that seems rather optimistic). Many of them are students, and have been coerced and/or paid (as has been widely and repeatedly reported in the Ukrainian press).
There were at least 300,000 protesters on the Maidan today, and at least 300,000 last Sunday. So while there is certainly some diversity of option within the country, these numbers suggest it’s far from a 50-50 split.
And while it would be useful to have more polling data about political attitudes in the East and South of the country, if the government can only muster (at the most) 30,000 people three weeks into the protests, despite free transport, free food, free accommodation and 50-200 gryvna per person per day in “wages”, then the level of popular support they can rely on, even in the East and South, must be very limited indeed.