Startup Hackathon In Kiev Today Hopes To Build Tools For Euromaidan Protest


Earlier this year I attended Startup AddVenture 2013 in Kiev. Normally tech startup conferences consist of speeches, pitches, panels and networking events. This time, however, there was an added element – major social upheaval just around the corner. [UPDATE: See update below].

In nearby Independence Square, there was a massive protest in favour of the Ukraine joining the European Union. It was ironic. Only a couple of hours away by plane Greeks had been rioting to get OUT of the European Union, with its heavy austerity measures. But what was happening in Kiev was different, and closely affected by the politics surrounding Russia in the 21st century. The Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych had, at the last minute, reneged on negotiations for the Ukraine to strengthen commercial and political integration with the European Union, to opt instead for closer ties with the Moscow-dominated Russian trading block. That brought thousands…

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