Ukraine, part of the former USSR, has had many protests, the more recent ones very violent. There are three main reasons that lead to the chaos. The first was that the President, Viktor F. Yanukovych, broke a major promise with his people about integrating Ukraine into the Europe Union when he refused to sign political and trade agreements. The second was high tensions between Russia and the West and influences on Eastern Europe. Russia exerted enormous pressure to scuttle the accords with the European Union. The third was the public's infuriation over the brutal responses to protests.
Where is the President going?
Viktor F. Yanukovych, the President of Ukraine, had fled his country, going to Russia. He claims he is there to protect himself from the extremists and appealed to the Russian authorities with a request to guarantee personal safety, and has been accepted. Even though he has abandoned his country, he still believes that his presidency is legitimate and plans to reach a compromise to get Ukraine out of the crisis.
Mainly younger adults and students are the ones protesting in the streets, although they are joined by adults and even opposing candidates like Vitali Klitschko are in the streets for the common goal: get Yanukovych out and get in the EU.
Why is the unrest getting worse?
The violence does not seem to be improving at all. There are a couple things that made peaceful protests turn to a nightmare. Police and riot squads turned on the protesters, starting a brutal rampage. They would beat down students in the protests, and when the protesters retaliated, they opened fire. Also, Yanukovych abandoning the country angered the protesters even more.
What are Russia and the West doing?
Russia is seriously pressuring Ukraine to not sign the EU agreements and ally with Russia. They also took in Yanukovych in when he fled Ukraine. The West is threatening Russia with their military to tell them to "back off".
How will the conflict end?
Ukrainian acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said recently that the conflicts will be resolved through negotiations, or by force. Russia, however, has a large number of troops at the border of Ukraine, about 40,000 troops. This could pose problems, but it is unclear.