From flames to fiery opposition, protests rock Thailand, Ukraine, Venezuela

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(CNN) — Demonstrators pack public squares. Flames shoot into the air. Tear gas sends crowds scrambling.

Dramatic scenes are unfolding during anti-government protests in three disparate countries this week.

The images are striking, and things are heating up quickly. What’s happening on the ground?

Here’s a cheat-sheet guide to protests in Thailand, Ukraine and Venezuela:

Thailand

What are protesters’ demands?

Protesters in Bangkok have been calling for months for the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whom they allege is a puppet of her billionaire brother, the deposed, exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Who’s protesting?

Opposition to Thaksin and Yingluck is strongest among the urban elites and middle class. That’s why the demonstrations have been concentrated in Bangkok.

When did demonstrations start?

Protests started in November after Yingluck’s government tried to pass an amnesty bill that would have paved the way for her brother’s return to the political fray.

What’s the latest?

Deadly violence erupted in the heart of Bangkok Tuesday as four people were killed in clashes between anti-government protesters and police, and the country’s anti-corruption commission filed charges against the Prime Minister.

Ukraine

What are protesters’ demands?

Who’s a better economic ally, Europe or Russia? That’s the key issue at the heart of Ukraine’s protests. Demonstrators want the government to forge closer ties with Europe and turn away from Russia.

But the dispute is also about power. Many in the opposition have called for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych and the ordering of new elections. And both on the streets and in parliament, they’ve also pushed to alter the government’s overall power structure, feeling that too much of it rests with Yanukovych and not enough with parliament.

Who’s protesting?

An opposition coalition has been leading the charge against Yanukovych and his allies.

When did demonstrations start?

In November, thousands spilled onto the streets after Yanukovych did a U-turn over a trade pact with the European Union that had been years in the making — with Yanukovych favoring closer relations with Russia instead.

What’s the latest?

Long-simmering tensions exploded anew in Ukraine as clashes between police and anti-government protesters left more than 20 people dead and the capital’s central square afire into early Wednesday.

Venezuela

What are protesters’ demands?

Demonstrators are demanding better security, an end to goods shortages and protected freedom of speech.

They blame Venezuela’s government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, for those problems. Maduro and other officials blame the opposition for the country’s security and economic problems.

Who’s protesting?

Many demonstrators across the country are students. Prominent opposition politicians have also led protests and joined marches.

When did demonstrations start?

Nationwide student protests started this month. On February 12, the demonstrations drew global attention after three people were killed.

What’s the latest?

As throngs of supporters chanted their support, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez turned himself in to authorities Tuesday. He faces charges of terrorism and murder connected with violence during the protests. Lopez has denied the charges. Maduro, meanwhile, has called members of the opposition fascists and compared them to an infection that needs to be cured.

1 Comment

  • Grace

    Once security in a country is screwed can’t put humpy together again!north Korea and china who kill for fun is a worst case example.

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