Victor Yanukovich has fled the capital and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Many government administration buildings have been taken over by protesters in Kiev as well as the western Ukraine, and the parliament is back in session. But now with Yanukovich gone, who decides the future of the Ukraine?

The dramatic events in Ukraine have led to the fall of Yanukovych. But in reality this is not the end of the drama but only the possible end of its second act. In the moment of truth nobody was prepared to risk their lives to defend a regime that had completely rotted from the inside to the point where one energetic shove sufficed to bring it crashing to the ground. Power fell into the hands of the opposition like an overripe apple falling from a tree. The question is: what will they do with it?

Barricades, bonfires, Molotov cocktails and clashes with the special police forces (Berkut) over the past few days in Kiev have revealed a deeply divided country on the brink of civil war. What is at stake is no longer membership of the EU, but the future of the Ukraine as a whole.

The “New Trade Unions and the Democratic Left: Historical Roots and Ideological Landmarks” conference occurred November 2-3 in Kiev. The conference brought together around 200 trade unionists, activists and academics for the two day event, mostly from Ukraine and the former USSR. The organizers of the conference included the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU), the Russian Confederation of Labour (KTR), the Belorussian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), the Confederation of Trade Unions of Georgia (KPG), the social critique magazine Spilne (Спiльне), the Global Labour Institute/the Praxis Centre, the International Memorial and the workshop “Russian Left in History and in Modern Times”.

The Ukrainian Parliamentary Elections were recently held, and with the almost complete results showing the ruling “Party of Regions” in first place at around 31% of the votes. They are followed by a bloc of opposition parties known as the “Fatherland”, formed around the jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, taking 25% of the vote.

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