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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ukrainian revolution continues as negotiations are in a deadlock

On the barricades in Ukrainian capital
(Image: Reuters)
Ukraine is witnessing a real revolution as protests are spreading outside of Kyiv, and people all over Ukraine are seizing regional offices and declaring People’s Councils to represent people’s power there.

After the second round of talks held between the oppositional leaders Vitaly Klichko, Arseny Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tyagnybok, and Yanukovich and his team failed, as Yanukovich is unwilling to hear the people’s demands, oppositional leaders and protesters have taken decision to leave the negotiations’ process and to continue fight for Ukrainian freedom and rights. The leaders though urged protesters to remain only peaceful and to preserve strict discipline. The territory of Euromaidan was also fortified with the new stronger and bigger barricades, tires are being burned in front of the riot police lines, and protesters are ready for the possible storming and dispersal.

Night was relatively calm, there were no clashes during the next day as well, as protesters and riot police had a ceasefire agreement. But the confrontations between the protesters and police resumed in the night, as police has reportedly started to shoot at the protesters. Protesters and police are currently throwing rocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at each other, there are injured.

Protesters on the barricades
(Image: Ukrainska Pravda)
Meanwhile revolutionaries all over Ukraine continue storming and seizure of the regional offices, and in 8 governorates the People’s Councils have been formed instead of the pro-Yanukovich governments, governors of several governorates have resigned. Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Chernivtsi, Khmelnitski, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Sumy are already taken by the revolutionaries, and the power of people is declared there. Kyiv City Council is also taken and being under control of the revolutionary forces since December 2013. Lutsk and Uzhgorod regional offices are under siege.  There were also reports about resignations of some police officials and “Berkut” soldiers in the Western governorates. Several members of Yanukovich’s Party of Regions have declared that they leave this political power. Journalists form the pro-government channels and media are also being resigned due to the censorship and pressure.

The situation continues to escalate, as Yanukovich is unable to hear his people and stop violence. The news that controversial figure, Andriy Klyuev, is appointed by Yanukovich as a Head of the Presidential Administration, sparked the anger too, as ex-Head of National Security and Defense Council is being accused of giving the orders to disperse Euromaidan and he allegedly stands behind the violence against the peaceful protesters.

Ukrainian women pray and ask riot police to stop violence
(Image: AFP)
During the meeting with the representatives of Ukrainian church Yanukovich calledon them to address the people to stop the confrontations. He also stated that he is very sad over the recent events in Ukraine – a statement which is simply beyond any comments unde current circumstances and in light of today’s Ukrainian events, as Yanukovich is actually the first President of independent Ukraine, in who’s time peaceful citizens are being killed, tortured and humiliated in front of the whole world.

Meanwhile one of the parliamentarians representing ruling Party of Regions has registered in Parliament a draft law to cancel the scandalous 16 January dictatorial laws, as these laws seriously restrict Constitutional rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens.

Western countries continue to follow Ukrainian events and express their condemnation of the violence and brutal forces used by Yanukovich against his own people. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a phone talk with Yanukovich yesterday urging him to stop violence and to start the real negotiations. Mrs. Merkel also stated Germany is ready to mediate. Though on Friday Germany along with France have summoned their ambassadors from Kyiv due to the recent events in Ukraine.

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Police Stefan Füle has arrived in Kyiv on Friday and had talks with Yanukovich, oppositional leaders and activists and representatives of the civil society. Catherine Ashton is expected to visit Ukraine next week. European politicians are calling on Ukrainian authorities to stop using force against protesters and remind that the current behavior of Ukrainian government is unacceptable, and the relations between EU and Ukrainian authorities will be revised. Personal and financial sanctions could be also imposed against some Ukrainian officials.

Ukrainian priests on the barricades
(Image: Den')
Thus, Elmar Brock, Head of Committee of Foreign Affairs of European Parliament, has stated that Yanukovich failed to hear his own people and the situation must be immediately resolved, but in should be resolved in a peaceful and lawful way, through the real negotiations between the sides. Western countries are ready to play a mediation role during these talks, said Mr. Brock, adding that European politicians and diplomats will visit Ukraine for the talks and consultations during the following 10 days. In case the situation will continue to escalate, EU could impose personal sanctions, visa restrictions and arrest financials assets and bank accounts of some Ukrainian high officials and oligarchs, and the lists of these persons are ready.

Thus, the situation remains tense, as the clashes between the protesters and riot police resumed, and the ceasefire seems to end. Regional offices are either taken and controlled by revolutionaries, or under siege. People in many regions of Ukraine have joined an uprising, so the statements of the government that there are only several thousand people from three Western regions protesting in Maidan are totally untrue, and there is no doubts about is anymore.