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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ukrainian protests continue. Temporarily ceasefire was reached during the talks between Yanukovich and opposition

Maidan (Independence Square) in the morning of Thursday,
after night's attack
(Image: DPA)
Confrontations between Ukrainian protesters and activists of Euromaidan and “Berkut” and security forces are ongoing in Kyiv and in other Ukrainian cities as well, as opposition and Yanukovich have failed to reach an agreement during the Tuesday’s negotiations.

Ministry of Health reported about at least 30 killed people, though the eyewitnesses and doctors working on the ground and in the hospitals claim there are more casualties and thousands of wounded, most of them with the wounds caused by live ammunition and bombs.

Maidan though continues to hold its defense lines despite the lines of armed riot police and security forces. More and more people arrive in Kyiv downtown, as there are serious threats of the night attack of riot police against protesters. Several military troops have been deployed on the scene already, according to the earlier statement made by General Lebedev, Head of Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Yanukovich in his turn has made a statement addressing to the people in the morning and accused opposition and protesters, whom he labeled as “extremists” and “terrorists”, of escalation of conflict and called to leave Maidan and go home. He stated that there will be no talks with opposition until people will not leave the protests’ sites. But late in the night Yanukovich has asked oppositional leaders for the next, currently seventh round of talks.

Protesters on the barricades of Maidan
(Image: Den')
Negotiations between Yanukovich’s regime and oppositional leaders have lasted during more than hour. The regime’s side was represented by Yanukovich himself, Olena Lukash, Andriy Portnov, Andriy Klyuev, who had reportedly consulted with the oppositional leader Arseny Yatsenyuk previously, and Volodymyr Rybak. Opposition was represented by the traditional trinity of Arseny Yatsenyuk, Vitaly Klichko and Oleg Tyagnybok.

As a result of the talks agreement about the temporarily ceasefire between the protesters and security forces was reached, thus, the attack on Maidan and attempt to disperse it, planned for tonight, was cancelled.

Yanukovich though remains defiant and it seems he is sure that he is right and he is also confident of his powers, as he refused to listen to any compromise variants of the opposition. He and his team refused to discuss the issue of his resignation, early presidential elections and Constitutional reform and rejected totally the proposals regarding EU and US meditation in the talks between the authorities and opposition. Opposition in its turn refused to consider protesters being extremists and terrorists and rejected the idea of Russian participation in Ukrainian talks.

Next round of negotiations is expected to happen on Thursday, 20 February, early in the morning. Parliamentary session is also expected to be held on Thursday, and this session seems to be the last chance for the MPs to resolve the crisis peacefully and in a legitimate way.