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Special Report: 'This is Not a Revolution - This is War'

Arutz Sheva correspondent Ludmila Yuga, in Ukraine, reports from ground zero of the political upheaval.
By Ludmila Yuga, Kharkiv
First Publish: 2/23/2014, 1:57 PM

Yulia Tymoshenko
Yulia Tymoshenko
Reuters

The atmosphere on the streets is difficult. There are residents who are willing to give their lives for the future of Ukraine but there are many others who fear for the future of the country.

The world has expressed hope tonight (Sunday) that the violence in Ukraine is over, after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych and the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison.

But the [current] prime ministers and presidents in Ukraine will not relinquish their status easily. The feeling here is not so much a revolution - as you in Israel feel - but a real war, a war which many people fear.

Tymoshenko, who was born in Dnipropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine, has become a symbol of the struggle of the opposition in Ukraine. But she is not a "woman of the Gospel" for the Ukrainian people, despite her role in the recent protests and portraits of her at Independence Square in Kiev. 

"Every drop of blood did not spill in vain. The dictatorship fell not because of politicians or diplomats, but thanks to the citizens took to the streets," she said to the masses yesterday [there], confined to a wheelchair.

Crowds are still amassing at Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital. But my assessment will focus on events near the city of Kharkiv [ - one of the cities where Yanukovych is said to be hiding - ed.]. 

It should be emphasized that the only achievement of Ukraine during these 20 years of independence was keeping the peace. Today, Ukraine is lost. People are afraid to wake up in the morning. Nobody wants to hear all the bad news about the greed of the government.

Everyone wants to know that someone will defend the common people, but there is no guarantee.

Meanwhile, almost all the weapons in Ukraine's arsenal are in the hands of extremists, who confiscated weapons from the civilian population. Police warehouses were looted. Everything is a mess.

New elections in Ukraine are scheduled for May [25] but there is still no candidate for the position of President. What we do have is the ambitions of all kinds of oligarchs who do not truly care for the welfare of the Ukrainian people.

The coolest city in Ukraine has always been Kharkov. It is the largest industrial center in the former Soviet Union and in Ukraine. Kharkov University attracts tens of thousands of students from Africa, Central Asia and the Caucasus, India, Pakistan, Syria and Lebanon.

In addition, several dozen Israeli citizens are studying medicine at the University of Kharkov.

"We came to Ukraine, which we thought was a peaceful country, but we are forced to deal again with war," they tell me. "We do not want this." 

What will happen tomorrow, we'll know tomorrow. However, we understand that peace will not be forthcoming.