CALLS FOR CONTINUED DIALOGUE ARE MET WITH VIOLENT ATTACKS BY UKRAINE'S RIOT-POLICE AND HIRED THUGS

27.01.14



William Hague during The Andrew Marr Show

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said yesterday that that it is important that repressive restrictive laws are changed in Ukraine.

Speaking during an interview on The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hague said that he had spoken with Ukraine's Foreign Minister on Friday and urged restraint in the use of force and advised that the recently adopted repressive laws should be repealed.

His comments came on a day of further unrest in Ukraine as riot police and "titushky" (hired thugs, provocateurs) attacked and dispersed protesters in Zaporizha and Dnipropetrovsk specifically.

Video footage from inside the State Oblast Administration (SOA) building in Dnipropetrovsk showed militia handing over missiles to "titushky" and providing them with instructions on how to use them.  The "titushky were then let loose on journalists and anyone with a camera while the militia attacked protesters and innocent passers by. Earlier in the day, some 4,500 people attended the funeral of Serhiy Nihoyan who was killed during protests in Kyiv last week. Later the mourners/protesters moved to a local park and then to the SOA where, in freezing temperatures, police sprayed them with water.

By late last night some 50 protesters had been arrested, among them a cerebral palsy sufferer, while "titushky" roamed the streets of Dnipropetrovsk into the night attacking anyone they beived to be a Euromaidan supporter.

In Zaproizha some 10,000 protesters had gathered earlier in the day outside the SOA. They were eventually dispersed and then pursued by riot police and "titushky". Those injured in the attacks were advised not to seek help from a local hospital where they were in danger of further reprisals.

There were also some severe attacks on protesters in other cities including Sumy, Cherkassy, and Donetsk.

Meanwhile in Rome yesterday dring his weekly Sunday Angelus prayers, Pope Francis called for an end to the violence in Ukraine and for dialogue between Ukraine's government and the opposition.

"I hope for constructive dialogue between the institutions and civil society, and that - without recourse to violent action - the spirit of peace and the search for common good may prevail in the hearts of all," he told crowds gathered in St Peter's Square.

The Head of the Catholic Church also said: "I am close in my prayers to Ukraine, in particular to those who have lost their lives, and their families.

Poignantly, two doves were set free as a symbol of peace from a balcony overlooking St Peter's Square but moments later, a seagull and a black crow swooped down and attacked the doves, pecking at them repeatedly, as tens of thousands of people watched on.


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