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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ukrainian opposition and public activists will form Transitional government. Opposition calls for the massive nationwide Sunday protests

Ukrainian anti-government and pro-European protests
(Image: AFP)
Ukrainian opposition and public activists and representatives of the protesters of Maidan have met on Friday, 6 December, on the press-conference and discussed their roadmap and the further steps.

Ukrainian activists, artists, journalists, intellectuals and prominent persons have signed a joint petition to Ukrainian opposition voicing the demands of the people protesting on Independence Square and all over Ukraine and containing propositions to the opposition regarding the next steps.

Ukrainian activists representing protesters call for Ukrainian opposition to immediately take all possible measures in order to free and release all detained activists being currently held in custody and facing trials, demand the withdrawal of all the Special Forces and riot police from the streets of Kyiv and other cities and to eliminate violence against the people protesting. Acticists also demand that all those responsible for the violent dispersal of the protesters and beatings would be arrested and punished.

Euromaidan protests in Lviv
(Image: Vidomosti UA)
This petition was signed by more than 1500 prominent persons and activists and it summarizes the demands of the members of Euromaidan.

One of the creators of the petition Yury Andrulhovych, prominent Ukrainian writer, stressed that they have been also criticized a little bit, because there is no demand of impeachment in this petition, but it is logical at the current moment, said the writer, as the promises and demands as well should be realistic. As the issue of President’s impeachment is an extremely hard task and practically impossible on the current stage, opposition and protesters should concentrate on the more realistic and more important issues mentioned in the collective petition.

Representatives of Maidan also wait that opposition will achieve, that President of Ukraine will lose his “dictatorial powers” given to him with the amended 2010 Constitution. Limiting of the presidential powers would be possible with the return to 2004 Constitutional reforms. Activists also waits that opposition will achieve signing of the Association Agreement with EU, implementing of the new electoral law and the law about lustration, first of all in judicial system, prosecution, Ministry of Interior and force structures.
Anti-government and pro-European protests in Kyiv
(Image: News Radio)

Ukrainian oppositional leaders Arseny Yatsenyuk, Vitaly Klichko and Oleg Tyagnybok stated the opposition totally supports the demands mentioned in the petition and that they will make everything possible in order to meet these demands, but oppositions doesn’t reject its goals and demands too. The main plan of the opposition for Euromaidan contains the following demands: release of all political prisoners, criminal accountability of Minister of Interior Vitaly Zakharchenko and his resignation, responsibility and punishment of the soldiers of special forces (“Berkut”) participated in the violent dispersal of Maidan and in beating of the peaceful protesters during the clashes near President’s office and resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his government.

But the opposition’s plan isn’t limited with these demands only, according to the statement of its leaders. Opposition will fight for the total reloading of the political system and will demand early parliamentary and presidential elections.

Oleg Tyagnybok, Arseny Yatsenyuk and Vitaly Klichko,
oppositional leaders
(Image: Vinnytsya OK)
Opposition and activists of Maidan took a decision to create Transitional government tasked with the preparation to the early parliamentary and presidential elections in Ukraine.
The document proposed by the activists should become the basis for the nationwide “People Council” to be held all over Ukraine on Sunday, 8 December.

Activists and also internationals observers and international politicians call for the national dialogue between opposition, protesters and government in order to find the solution to the current crisis and to avoid violence and use of the force. Ukrainian government claimed that it is ready for the talks and even ready to discuss the issue of the early elections, but opposition claims that till now Ukrainian authorities didn’t make any step in attempt to start the negotiations.

On the contrary, arrests and detentions of the activists continue in the country, the trials are being held in the nights and behind the closed doors, with no defendants allowed inside, detainees, who are currently in hard conditions after receiving serious injuries during the violent clashes on Bankova Street, are being held in custody with neither their relatives, nor MPs, nor their defendants allowed to see them.

Protesters near City Council, Kyiv
(Image: Radio Svoboda)
All of the detained were peaceful protesters or journalists covering the events, and all of them are being held in custody for two months and could receive from three to seven years in prison for inciting violence and provoking the slashes.

Presence of security and special forces in the capital of Ukraine is unprecedented, thus the situation remains tense. Several hundreds of activists in the city of Vasilkiv near Kyiv, where one of the military bases is located, are being blocking the buses with security and military personnel intended to be sent to Kyiv. Activists are blocking the buses to prevent them from moving.

Massive protests are also ongoing in Kyiv and other cities as well. Independence Square in Kyiv remains heart of the protests, with the tent city and the real infrastructure developed already there. Tens of thousands demonstrate there with several thousand people spending there the nights.

Protesters continue to block Administration of President, Parliament, Cabinet of Minister, General Prosecution, buildings of the courts where the activists are being tried, and the prisons where they are being held.

OSCE meeting in Kyiv
(Image: UN website)
Massive column of cars with protesters led by prominent Ukrainian journalist and public activist Tatyana Chornovil moved on Friday to the residence of Victory Yanukovich, located in the historic Mezhygirya near Kyiv. Though they weren’t allowed to continue their march as the police posts are on each 100 meters on the way to the President’s residence. Thus the activists decided to change their plans and moved to the airports of Kyiv “to meet President” who is expected to arrive in Kyiv today after his visits to China and Russia.

International politicians and diplomats have strongly condemned the actions of Ukrainian government and use of excessive force dispersing peaceful protesters. Citizens of a democratic country have the right to gather and express their views and demands and they shouldn’t be denied this right and suffer violent dispersal, according to the statements of the foreign politicians and diplomats. USA, Canada, European countries have expressed their support of the peaceful protests in Ukraine and of the aspirations of Ukrainian claiming the doors of Europe are open for Ukraine and Ukrainian society demonstrates that European values apply to it already.

Annual meeting of OSCE was held on Thursday in Ukraine and was attended by the ministers and representatives of 57 countries, and the meeting mostly turned to the arena of condemnation of the current government of Ukraine oppressing the peaceful protests of its citizens and justifying use of violence. Ministers and members of the OSCE meeting have called for the national dialogue in order to find the common solution and not to allow violence. They even offered their mediation in these negotiation through the specially formed commission.
Massive anti-government rallies in Kyiv
(Image: Radio Svoboda)

Meanwhile Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his government continue their fierce critique of the protests and blockings of the administrative buildings accusing demonstrators of disrupting the order and preventing the organizations and government from work. Prime Minister reminded about hard economic situation in the country and warned that the protests could cause stopping of social payments in some regions. In addition to that he stated that there will be some changes in government during the next weeks, with some ministers being replaced. Though these changes are possible only after deep and serious analysis of the current economic and social situation in the country, stressed Prime Minister.

As for the President he remains silent regarding the events in the country and continues his official visits acting as nothing is happening. After the planned visit to China, where Victor Yanukovich has signed several documents and memorandum about the further cooperation with China, but didn’t receive the expected credits, he arrived in Sochi, Russia, to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. There are no details of Russian visit of Victor Yanukovich, but it was reported by the press services of Ukrainian and Russian presidents that Mr. Yanukovich and Mr. Putin have discussed further economic and trade cooperation, gas deals and financial aid of Russia and the future signing of the Agreement about strategic partnership. Mr. Yanukovich didn’t get any credit from Russia too, according to the official reports. But the credit and serious financial aid from Russian could be possible after Ukraine will sign the documents granting its joining to the Custom Union, report some media sources.

Meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Ukrainian
Victor Yanukovich
(Image: Reuters)

Thus the situation in the country remains tense and unstable, with strange actions of government and refusal to take responsibility for the current events and with the call for the massive rallies all over Ukraine on Sunday. Opposition and activists call for a million-man march and expect bigger numbers of protesters then it was this Sunday. Though massive protests could possible start even on Saturday, as more and more people arrive in the capital from other cities.