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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ukraine: Violent dispersal of peaceful pro-European sit-in on Independence Square ended the legitimacy of Yanukovich’s regime

Violent dispersal of sit-in on Independence Square
(Image: AP)
Peaceful sit-in of the supporters of European integration on Kyiv’s iconic Independence Square was violently dispersed by special units of riot police in early hours of Saturday, 30 November.

After Cabinet of Ministers’ statement regarding suspending of processes of preparation to the signing of the Association Agreement with EU and the failure of Vilnius Summit, where the Agreement wasn’t signed, tens of thousands of people remain in the squares and main streets of Ukrainian capital and other cities as well. Peaceful demonstrations calling for the European path and implementing of European values in the country have turned into the rallies calling for changing the power of the state if Victor Yanukovich will not make everything possible to sign the Agreement.

Despite the recent statements of Interior Ministry of Ukraine that the peaceful rallies will not be dispersed unless the demonstrators do not violate the law, riot police and security forces have attacked demonstrators gathering on Independence Square.

Riot police dispersing the sit-ins in Kyiv
(Image: AP)
The attack occurred at 4 a.m. when nearly 3 thousand of riot police have attacked the sit-in consisted of nearly 300 demonstrators spending the night in the Square, mostly students. There was reportedly no warning and no announcement made by the riot police for the demonstrators, the lines of soldiers just moved towards the protesters, violently beating them with the sticks and firing tear gas. Protesters didn’t respond to the violence and have called on the policemen to stop their attack, but these calls haven’t been heard. Riot police was beating everybody regardless of age, sex and any other features.

The sit-in was dispersed during several minutes. According to the eyewitnesses security forces have been beating all the people even those fallen to the ground. Numerous protesters managing to escape the site of violence have been arrested and dragged into the police cars and buses and brought in the unknown direction. Policemen have been even following the people escaping Independence Square, what is fixated by the cameras installed on the buildings of the central streets of Kyiv. The square was cleared and sealed off by the security forces. All the entrances to the square are currently either blocked or strongly controlled by the police.  
One of the injured protesters
(Image: Українська Правда)

Unprecedented level of violence and hatred during the dispersal of the sit-in was shock to Ukrainians and to the international community as well. USA and EU officials have made the statements regarding the situation and strongly condemning the violent dispersal and using of the power scenario against the peaceful demonstrators. There were also statements that the relations with current Ukrainian authorities will be revised and the personal sanctions could be imposed against Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich and Cabinet of Ministers members.

According to the eyewitnesses and victims of the dispersal the soldiers attacking the protesters weren’t from Kyiv. This information was confirmed, Kyiv Independence Square was cleared with the help of the special military units of internal armed forces deployed from Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

Ukrainian Ministry of Interior shares currently conflicting statements as official spokesperson on Ministry of Interior refused to answer who gave an order to disperse the sit-in. Other representatives of Ukrainian internal forces declared the Square was cleared as the protesters have violated the laws and committed unlawful acts. In addition to that the official statement of Ministry of Interior says protesters have been attacking police forces throwing stones and fires in them.

Several videos of the ciolent dispersal of pro-European sit-in in Kyiv (videos: Mustafa Nayem, 5 Chanel):

There were reports that Lviv riot police has also received an order to disperse the sit-in in the city, but Lviv riot police and security forces have officially refused to obey these orders and stated they are planning to change in the civil clothes and join the protesters. Kyiv units of riot police are reportedly sent to Lviv, but the city administration along with the activists of the Lviv Euromaidan declared mobilization in the region with the squares being patrolled and all the roads leading to the city being blocked. All the cars and buses entering Lviv are reportedly being checked.

Independence Square after dispersal of the sit-in
(Image: AP)
Ukrainian oppositional leaders have strongly condemned the order to violently disperse the sit-ins and called for the people of Ukraine to gather on Sunday, 1 December, for the People Council in order to discuss the situation and to work out the plan of the further actions. Meanwhile tens of thousands of people have already gathered on Kyiv’s Mykhaylivska Square, in front of the historical Mykhaylivsky Cathedral, where the protesters pursued by riot police have been hiding during the night.

People gathered on Mykhaylivsky Square are demanding resignation of Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich and of his government as well accusing them in the state’s treason and using violence and power against their own people. The activists and oppositional leaders are calling for the national strike and civil disobedience in order to express the will and position of Ukrainian people and to fight for the changing of the power in Ukraine.

Thousands of people have gathered on Mykhaylivska Square
in Kyiv
(Image: Українська Правда)
Meanwhile oppositional leaders have stated they are planning to put the issue of Cabinet of Ministers resignation on the agenda of the Parliament on Monday. In addition to that the draft law about impeachment of Victor Yanukovich is already submitted to the Parliament as well. There is a constitutional way to impeach the President who committed national treason and lost his legitimacy.

Violence during the dispersal of the sit-in was condemned by numerous political figures and leaders including the representatives of pro-Yanukovich Party of Regions as well. Some parliamentarians have also left the Party of Regions and their positions. There were even the statements about the necessity of declaring of the state of emergency in the country and setting the new presidential elections.

Several ambassadors of European countries including Poland, Finland, Netherlands, Lithuania and others have visited demonstrators on the Mylhaylivska Square and supported them. Several European countries have also called their ambassadors in Ukraine for the consultations and explaining the situation.

Massive protests in Kyiv now
(Liga Net)
Meanwhile numbers of the protesters on Mykhaylivska Square are rapidly increasing. The rallies in support of European integration have turned into anti-government Revolution demanding the fall of the regime of Victor Yanukovich. The people are ready to remain in the squares and make the steps in order to change the system in the country and to achieve the new goals of the new Ukrainian Revolution.

Huge protests in Kyiv
(Image: TSN)
The situation in the country remains tense with the massive rallies spreading all over the country and demanding Yanukovich and his ministers to step down or to face impeachment procedures.

Terrible violence and attacks during the dispersal of the peaceful sit-in happened on 30 November 2013 was the unprecedented thing, which never ever happened in the history of Ukrainian independence. This attack and using of the power scenario against the citizens is the last drop and ends the legitimacy of regime of Victor Yanukovich and his government and turns it into criminal oppressive regime.