YANUKOVYCH AGREES TO TALKS AS CRISIS DEEPENS

20.01.14



One of the buses burned last night during angry protests in Kyiv. Photo: BBC.

AUGB. Over 100 protesters and 70 militia were injured as clashes continued into the night on Hryshevska street in Kyiv.  Two vehicles and four buses belonging to the militia were burned as protesters hurled stones at militia and "Berkut" riot officers in response to a barrage of tear gas, smoke bombs and stun grenades being fired into the large crowd. Reports this morning indicate that rubber bullets were also used.

The stand-off began yesterday afternoon after right-wing leaders not aligned to any of the opposition parties announced that they would head for Ukraine's Parliament building. Their route was blocked by security forces.  

Opposition leader called for calm but were unable to prevent thousands of protesters from making their way to Hrushevska street where amid the smoke and chaos they chanted slogans calling for the resignation of the authorities.

Last night UDAR leader Vitaliy Klitschko met with President Yanukovych who rejected the idea of calling fresh elections but agreed to holding urgent talks with opposition leaders and representatives of the ruling government in a bit to avert the crisis from escalating further.

As the stalemate on Hrushevska Street continues this morning and militia continue to fire smoke and tear-gas, one political commentator said that by agreeing to hold talks, Yanukovych may either be simply buying time to bring reinforcements into Kyiv from around the country or he could genuinely be attempting to resolve the conflict.

Tensions rose last Thursday after the ruling Party of the Regions and Communist Party voted in a raft of anti-democratic and anti-constitutional laws which would allow the authorities a free hand to stifle all forms of opposition. President Yanukovych signed the laws on Friday.

Pavlo Rozenko MP (UDAR) said this morning that the authorities can no longer ignore the crisis.  He indicated that some members of the ruling Party of the Regions were themselves unhappy with the new laws voted in last week and believed that these could yet be overturned in Parliament.

Latest reports indicate that security forces attacked and injured a Radio Free Europe cameraman and have prevented journalists/photographers from reporting events close-by.  Radio Free Europe live streaming from Hrushevska Street has been suspended.

The number of protesters on Hrushevska Street is increasing by the hour.

SEE ALSO:

FT: Viktor Yanukovich agrees to Ukraine opposition talks

DAILY TELEGRAPH: Ukraine government 'to meet opposition' in bid to end unrest

SKY NEWS: Ukraine: Stun Grenades used in Kiev Attacks

BBC: Ukraine's President Yanukovych in talks pledge after clashes


article-facebook.jpg                                    article-twitter.jpg                              

 

 



Ukrayinska Dumka

IN THE LATEST UKRAYINSKA DUMKA

Great Britain The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain has many branches throughout the country. Select a branch below to find out more information.