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The Daily Vertical: What Happened To The Europe Ukrainians Died For? (Transcript)

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

Three years ago this week, a nation rose up and demanded a better life.

Three years ago this week, a middle class revolution commenced.

Three years ago this week, the Euromaidan was born.

And it's worth remembering the Euro part.

Because the popular uprising that eventually overthrew the corrupt and autocratic regime of Ukraine's pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych was driven by a desire to be part of Europe.

It was an uprising in support of European values.

And it is also worth remembering that the more than 100 protesters who were killed during the Euromaidan, died for the values of Europe.

They became the first people in history to die for the idea of the European Union.

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And it's worth remembering that the power and magnetic pull of this European idea was deeply and profoundly threatening to Vladimir Putin's autocratic and kleptocratic regime.

So threatening, it appears, that the Kremlin decided that it needed to be destroyed -- first in Ukraine and then in Europe itself.

In the wake of the Euromaidan, Moscow launched one type of hybrid war aimed at paralyzing and destabilizing Ukraine -- sending little green men to annex Crimea and to wreak havoc in the Donbas.

And it launched another kind of hybrid war in Europe -- weaponizing information and the democratic process to bring xenophobes and Euroskeptics to the brink of power.

Three years ago European values were on the march in Ukraine.

Today, they're in retreat -- in Europe.

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Due to the Thanksgiving holiday this week and my traveling to a conference next week, all Power Vertical products will take a hiatus until Wednesday, November 30.

The Daily Vertical will next appear on Wednesday, November 30, The Power Vertical Podcast will next appear on Friday, December 2, and the Power Vertical Briefing will next appear on Monday, December 5.