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The (Ukrainian) negotiations will be tweeted!

In case you missed it over the weekend, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych offered a series of political concessions to opposition forces that have been protesting in Kiev and now around the country. The opposition promptly rejected this offer… on Twitter!

Yatsenyuk_Twitter

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this has to be one of the first (the first?) time an opposition leader in high level political negotiations responded to an offer from the country’s head of state with an “@” post on Twitter? And yes, @ua_yanukovych is the twitter account of the Ukrainian president.

Although it is worth noting the language of this tweet: English. As we and others have argued, social media can be used during protests to target multiple audiences, including both domestic supporters and international observers. Opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk – who had been offered the position of prime minister in the deal – most liked posted this in English because he had a worldwide, and not just Ukrainian, audience in mind. And sure enough, the tweet was reported on in international media, with the exact language being quoted.

So while it still remains to be seen if the revolution will be tweeted or not, apparently the negotiations will be!

For more from The Monkey Cage on the protests in Ukraine, see:

Social networks and social media in Ukrainian “Euromaidan” protests

What you need to know about the causes of the Ukrainian protests

Why are people protesting in Ukraine? Providing historical context

How Ukrainian protestors are using Twitter and Facebook

As police raid protests in Ukraine, protesters turn to Twitter and Facebook

Six reasons to be cautious about likelihood of opposition success in Ukraine

Three reasons why protests in Ukraine could end up helping Yanukovych

Joshua Tucker is a Professor of Politics at New York University. He specializes in voting, partisanship, public opinion, and protest, as well as the relationship of social media usage to all of these forms of behavior, with a focus on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

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