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Old 13th May 2014, 16:54
Hannia Hannia is offline
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Crisis in Ukraine 03.13.14
Is Kharkiv Ukraine’s Next Tipping Point?
Ukraine’s second-largest city, and its first Soviet capital, is a world away from the pro-European revolutionary fervor of Kiev. Most natives speak Russian as their first language, and are more in thrall to Russian culture than Ukrainian. Pushkin, not Shevchenko, is their poet of choice. With the Russian border just 30 miles away, the big neighbor casts a long shadow over this industrial city. Lenin still towers over the main square, whose streets are dotted with posters advertising upcoming gigs by Russian pop stars and theaters. Kharkiv was the first city in Ukraine to embrace Communism, and was the first capital of Soviet Ukraine between the wars. The city is also famous for the Malyshev Tractor Factory, which built many of the Soviet Union’s iconic tanks, including the Cold War’s T-80 series. The residents’ memories of the Soviet Union are also a lot rosier than those from Western Ukraine, who were forcibly annexed after the Second World War.

When some pro-European activists tried to take down the statue of Lenin, the city’s taxi drivers scuttled their efforts by surrounding the monument in defense. The Lenin statue has now become the focal point of protests for Russia, and against the ‘fascists’ in Kiev.

Ukraine’s future as a unified state depends on bellwether cities like Kharkiv, where residents are split between pro-European and pro-Russian camps.
Is Kharkiv Ukraine’s Next Tipping Point? - The Daily Beast
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Kharkiv an island of calm in Ukraine's turbulent east
Ukraine’s second city appears stable despite shooting of powerful mayor

Kharkiv latest news May 8, 2014 The Irish Times
As violence and instability intensified to the south, many predicted trouble for Kharkiv and its surrounding region, which borders Russia.

But those fears have proved unfounded.

“Officials in Kharkiv have worked better on security issues than in Donetsk and Luhansk, arresting some organisers of the unrest and stopping financing coming from Russia,” said pro-government activist Dmytro Pilipets.

“I don’t feel any great tension here now. I don’t think aggressive moves would work.”
Kharkiv an island of calm in Ukraine's turbulent east - European News | Latest News from Across Europe | The Irish Times - Thu, May 08, 2014
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