The Atlantic published a pretty good explainer, on the situation in Ukraine as of Feb 22. Protesters control Kyiv, and the Ukrainian parliament voted to free former opposition leader Yulia Tymochenko, who gave a public speech last night. Protesters also stormed former President Yanukovich’s private compound outside of Kyiv, and photos of the opulence of his compound are likely to confirm the serious accusations of corruption against the former leader. Reports say that government security forces have abandoned the capitol, and the violence is at an end, for now.
Meanwhile, Yanukovich seems to have fled to Kharkiv, in friendlier territory in the east of the country. He has not left Ukraine however, and he gave a defiant speech overnight accusing the opposition and Western governments of staging a coup. While protesters in Kyiv and western Ukraine (especially in Lviv) are celebrating, Radio Free Europe is reporting pro-Russian demonstrations in some cities in Eastern Ukraine.
The Atlantic story has some good demographic and voting maps showing the East-West divide in Ukraine. None of the serious players are talking about secession or formal Balkanization – yet. The fate of Crimea, with the Russian Black Fleet base at Sevastopol, will be particularly fraught. It is far too early to make predictions about the future of Ukraine right now.