Posted at: 02/20/2014 10:57 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4
As the Olympics begin to wind down in Sochi, a major revolution is happening in nearby Ukraine.
The communist country broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991, and in recent weeks, young Ukranians have taken to the streets demanding freedom.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 sat down with an American who lived in Ukraine.
Brad Biggers is now getting regular updates from a former KGB agent who's there.
When Biggers retired, he had time and money on his hands -- enough to open a restaurant, run a little farm, and teach college classes in a small Ukrainian village.
"We are civilized people, but our government are barbarians," is the plea from a young Ukranian woman featured in a viral Youtube video.
Protestors in Ukraine want a closer relationship with the European Union.
The government wants to remain aligned with Russia.
"I saw it happening for quite awhile," said Biggers.
The American businessman lived 6 years in Ukraine.
He opened an American themed restaurant, and taught college courses.
All the while he says, something seemed to be building: a desire to be free.
"They want to travel, they want to go to Europe, they want to go to America," he said. "They want to be a normal country."
Biggers says even years ago the country's youth were getting less shy about what they wanted.
"They want an iPhone, and they want it to work when they get it," he said. "They don't want to pirate it to get it to work."
One of his close friends Nikolai -- a former KGB agent -- e-mails him about the revolution.
"He wrote me this letter with his sentiment about what is happening," he said.
Those letters, he says, may give the greatest insight of all.
"Two hundred people were arrested yesterday for peaceful protest," he read aloud from Nikolai's latest letter.
Even a decorated KGB agent, says Biggers, seems to be swaying.
"His shift in what he wants, he's an old school guy, and even he is kind of coming over," said Biggers.
The U.S. warned the Ukranian military Thursday not to get involved in the dispute