The start of operations against protesters in eastern Ukraine will be a test of the country's new commitment to democratic rights, such as peaceful assembly. Soldiers must now show restraint against unarmed demonstrators, less so against armed ones. This will influence Russia's actions.
the Monitor's Editorial Board /
April 15, 2014
One gauge of how much a country embraces democracy is whether its security forces honor the right of assembly and refuse to shoot protesters. In Ukraine, the previous regime failed that test. Over the winter, forces under President Viktor Yanukovych killed more than 100 pro-democracy protesters in Kiev’s public areas. After enough soldiers refused to shoot, he was forced to flee.