"Many observers have expressed concern about Ukraine's democratic development, including the government's use of the courts to neutralize opposition leaders, most notably former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, who was sentenced to a seven-year prison term in 2011. The government's effort in November 2013 to violently disperse pro-European Union protests backfired, resulting in mass demonstrations in Kyiv and elsewhere in Ukraine. For over two months, the government alternated between attempted crackdowns against the protestors and conciliatory gestures. The most serious violence has occurred during and after a massive government crackdown on February 18-20, resulting in at least 88 deaths, mainly among protestors but also including some police officers. The violence led to a collapse in support for the government of President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled from Kyiv, as did many of his supporters, and the seizure of power by opposition parties, with the support of the protestors. […] On February 10, 2014, the House approved H.Res. 447. The resolution is broadly similar to S.Res. 319. The resolution expresses support for the visa bans that the United States has already imposed on Ukrainian officials responsible for violence against protestors, and urges the Administration to consider additional sanctions against those responsible for the use of force. After the collapse of the Yanukovych regime in February 2014, congressional action may shift from a focus on possible sanctions to how the United States should aid the new Ukrainian government to achieve stability and conduct reforms."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33460