February 19, 2014

Violence in Ukraine

Violent clashes in Kiev with at least 25 dead have changed in one night completely the situation in Ukraine. From a deadlock to a complete breakdown.

Before the violence there were some hopeful movements. The protesters had evacuated the City Hall and they were waiting for the promised amnesty to their companions arrested during these months of demonstrations. But suddenly things changed. A 20,000 people march towards the parliament where the lawmakers were discussing change the Constitution and curb the presidential powers was the origin of the deadly clashes with the police. The Government set then an ultimatum to the protesters to disperse and clear immediately their main camp in Independence Square, but they instead went back and stood their ground setting fire to the defensive barricades and clashing with the police. There were 16 demonstrators and 9 policemen dead and a total of 240 injured according to the Health ministry.

After the clashes Vitali Klitschko, opposition leader met with president Viktor Yanukovych, but he said he decided to quit talks because the president made an unconditional demand that the central square in Kiev must be cleared. Something he wouldn’t accept. Klitschko demanded that the government “immediately withdraw troops and put an end to the bloody conflict, because people are dying”. “How can we hold talks while blood is being shed?” , he said.

In a letter published in his website, Viktor Yanukovych said that the opposition leaders have  “crossed the limits when they called people to arms. And it is a blatant violation of the law. I have some advisors who try to persuade me to the use of force. But I always thought the use of force as a wrong approach.”

Some EU Countries warned with possible sanctions against Ukraine if the violence continue.

So, no talks, violence, recent deaths, people and police in the streets, and an ultimatum. Nothing good for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

Some analysts say that the recent meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president in Sochi has a lot to do with Yanukovych’s decision to give the ultimatum and order the clearing of the camp of the protesters in Kiev after months of demonstrations.

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About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

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Europe, World and Politics

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