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5 Shocking Ukraine Before And After GIFs

Ukraine Before After Aerial

It’s a lot easier to destroy than it is to build. And in the face of ruin, Ukraine has a lot of hard work ahead of it. Now wanted in Kiev for mass murder, Prime Minister Yanukovych fled the country this past weekend, leaving an already conflict ridden Ukraine without a leader–no matter how nominal of one Yanukovych may have been.

Before mounting debt crises, currency devaluation and political turmoil, old and new faces, interests and agenda are entering the fray. After Russia’s $15 billion bailout package has been suspended, the International Monetary Fund has stepped up as the lender of last resort, offering its aid–but likely for an austerity-filled price. Meanwhile, as three main opposition parties clash regarding the face and shape of Ukraine’s future, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her characteristic braid have emerged from prison and are beginning to steal the press spotlight. Tymoshenko, whose stint in prison followed accusations of abuse of power, embezzlement and brokering an ethically questionable natural gas deal with Russia, is an incredibly polarizing figure in Ukraine’s recent memory. Conveniently, the interim president, Oleksandr Turchynov, is an ally of Tymoshenko.

It remains to be seen how Tymoshenko and Turchynov will seize this critical moment in Ukraine’s history, but as the following images show, abject chaos will surround the country in transition for the foreseeable future.

Ukraine Before After Throwing Stones

Ukraine Before After Independence Square

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The Difference Between Obama And Putin

Obama Putin

Basically, Putin doesn’t fuck with all that respect and decorum bullshit.

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The Venezuelan Protests In Photos

Venezuela Protests Flowers

Source:Slate

Following the death of ever-contentious political figure Hugo Chávez in April 2013, President Nicolas Maduro has held the reins of Venezuela’s future. And from the looks of it, Maduro doesn’t hold much stock in what that might bring. Since taking office, Venezuela has seen a huge surge in currency devaluation, inflation and budgetary deficits, to the point where China recently reneged on it’s $20 billion loan, and both Moody’s and Standard and Poor reduced Venezuela’s bond rating to “junk” status.

Add to that the perennial concerns over the Venezuelan government’s iron clad grip on media outlets and general…distaste…for open, unbridled dissent, and you’ve got yourself one helluva storm brewing. Presently, the anti-Maduro opposition is being led by Leopoldo López, who has been charged with–get this–murder and terrorism after riot police opened fire on an anti-government demonstration in Caracas. While López was arrested on Tuesday, he had harsh words for Maduro and co (who are presently concerned with pinning the blame on “fascist” US allies and the “parasitic bourgeoisie”, not themselves). Said López, “The change we want is in every one of us. Let us not surrender. I will not!”

It remains to be seen what will become of Maduro, López and Venezuela, but the scenes below depict a Venezuela not unlike that of the 1989 Caracazo riots. You know, the ones that led to regime change and the rise of Hugo Chávez himself.

Venezuela Protests Climbing

Source: Buzzfeed

Venezuela Protests Tear Gas

A woman recovering from being sprayed with tear gas. Source: Buzzfeed

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The Kiev Uprising In Photos

Ukraine Uprising Flags

Source: Mashable

On Tuesday night, 25 people were killed in Kiev as opposition parties clashed violently with police, following a broken bargain between government officials and street dissidents. The scene was pure chaos; flaming tires littered Independence Square, riot police pummeled protestors with shields and batons, and hundreds were injured. So just what caused everything to snap?

First, a bit of context. Ukraine is straddled between Europe and Russia, and while the country has been independent from the former Soviet Union since 1991, Russia still packs a formidable cultural and political presence within Ukraine’s borders. Many within the country want to shake themselves of its influence once and for all, and have thus looked to the European Union–however naively–as a way “out” of endemic economic corruption and toxic political ties.

Things went sour in November when President Yanukovych rejected a deal for expedited economic integration with the European Union and instead opted for a Russian economic package. Incensed, Ukrainian dissidents took to the streets in protest of Yanukovych’s decision, his general mismanagement of the country, and the power he wields–which many protesters believe he has grossly abused–while in office.

As The Guardian’s Mary Dejevsky points out, when Parliament failed to pass concessions that served as preconditions for protesters to end their occupation of official buildings (some wanted constitutional reform to limit Yanukovych’s power, for example), things got violent once again. In other words, what may have begun as an “EU or Russia” cultural conflict has evolved into what Dejevsky calls an internal struggle against Kiev’s government. In other words, this is no longer about the EU, or Russia. This is about getting Yanukovych out of office for once and for all.

Ukraine Uprising Bloody Head

Source: Mashable

Ukraine Uprising Flames

Source: Mashable

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The Real Price Of Gas

Real Price Of Gas

Consider this: while we’re likely already at peak oil, if the United States were to suddenly reflect the hidden costs of oil production and consumption (like spending $50 billion a year on patrolling Persian Gulf waters, the Iraq war, and supplying Middle Eastern countries with military assistance), a gallon of gas would be over $5.28. Don’t be grateful. Be alert.

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