Edmonton's Ukrainian community is watching closely as events continue to unfold in Kiev.
Three weeks ago, Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych renounced the European Union in favour of closer economic ties with Russia, a move that led to roiling street protests and a feeling among many Ukrainians and foreign observers alike that the country is headed down a precarious path.
- Divided Ukraine roiled by protest, love-hate with Mother Russia
- Ukrainian opposition offices stormed by riot police
Scores of protesters have been arrested with some appearing in court as early as today.
Jars Balan, with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Edmonton, said he'd like to see the Canadian ambassador in Kiev attend the trials.
"The tactics they're using are intensifying," he said. "It's really important Western observers are there monitoring what's going on...so that the government is aware that the world is watching how the government behaves in all of this and that making notes — who are the prosecutors who; are the people behind these actions — so that if it comes to putting together a list of sanctions we know who we have to target."
Balan is concerned more of the democratic gains made since the Orange Revolution will be lost if Ukraine develops closer ties with Russia.