These protests initially started by peaceful demonstrations of students against a dramatic turnaround of the government from the strategic direction towards European Union to a back door deal with Russia. The romantics believed that there was a chance for the country to join the EU (which in reality was never offered by the Brussels, not even hinted as some future possibility). The kids were dispersed and brutally beaten by Berkut - the "elite" special forces commandos. This triggered a massive uproar, at one point there was about one million people in the streets demanding punishment of the police and sacking of the Minister of Interior. At that moment the central city square (the Independence Square, or "Maidan") was occupied by the protesters, they put some barricades and tents there and pushed the police out. After that the parliament, which is totally controlled by the president's party, hastily and unconstitutionally adopted a series of draconian laws, severely limiting the human rights. This has triggered even more outrage and the confrontation with the police became violent. The uprising is now spreading across the country, and the demands are now for the whole government dismissal and new presidential elections. This is totally unacceptable to the current authorities, but nothing less would satisfy the people. That is why I am so afraid that the situation may grow to a full scale conflict. This is already the most severe conflict in Europe after Yugoslavia.