Ukraine: Protests continue after the death of 26 people with EU pushing for sanctions

bbc

Ukraine crisis: EU sanctions push over Kiev bloodshed

February 19, 2014

Europe’s leaders are to consider urgent sanctions against Ukraine after the worst violence in months of unrest claimed at least 26 lives. Violence that began on Tuesday continued through the night as police tried to uproot the protest stronghold in the capital Kiev. President Viktor Yanukovych blamed opposition leaders and Russia spoke of an attempted coup. But the EU said it expected measures to target those behind the “repression”. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso spoke of the responsibility of “the political leadership” while several EU countries said they had no doubts that the Ukrainian authorities were to blame. With an emergency meeting due to take place on Thursday, EU leaders have been expressing concern:

  • At a joint news conference, French President Francois Hollande said those responsible for the violence “will be sanctioned” while German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed the threat, saying they were “side by side with the men and women who suffer”
  • Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk said: “I will today hold talks with the leaders of the biggest EU countries and European institutions, and persuade them to impose sanctions – personal and financial”
  • Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said President Yanukovych had “blood on his hands”

Police launched two assaults on Kiev’s Independence Square, also known as the Maidan, in an attempt to regain control of the sprawling area that has been in the hands of protesters for several months.

Source = BBC News

telegraph

Ukraine protests: ‘Both sides have decided this is the showdown’

February 19, 2014

Ukraine’s political crisis turned deadly on Tuesday, with at least twenty-five people reported killedand scores injured in violent clashes between anti-government demonstrators and police in Kiev. The clashes outside parliament erupted after the opposition accused the government of ignoring its demands in the nearly three-month long protests. The Health Ministry said 25 people had been killed in the fighting in the capital, of which nine were police officers. Many were killed by gunshot and hundreds of people were injured, with dozens in serious condition, with reports that the police are using live rounds. The Telegraph’s Roland Oliphant reporting from Kiev, said while Ukraine has been rocked periodically by political turmoil since last year, it has never experienced violence on this scale.

Source = The Telegraph

74cc8-guardian_logo

Ukraine crisis: violence leaves 25 dead and more than 200 injured

February 19, 2014

The bloodiest night in independent Ukraine’s history left at least 25 people dead and more than 200 injured, after further violent clashes in the centre of Kiev. Armed riot police clashed with protesters armed with clubs and molotov cocktails as they tried to take back Independence Square, the hub of the protests against President Viktor Yanukovych’s government over the past three months. By morning, they had taken back about a third of the square, which has become a scene of charred devastation. The health ministry said 25 people were dead, including nine police officers.

Yanukovych said the political opposition leaders had “crossed a line” by not condemning the violent protests, and spoke of stark consequences for them if they did not distance themselves from the violence. “I again call on the leaders of the opposition … to draw a boundary between themselves and radical forces which are provoking bloodshed and clashes with the security services,” said the president in a statement. “If they don’t want to leave [the square], they should acknowledge that they are supporting radicals. Then the conversation with them will already be of a different kind.” Crowds have occupied parts of Kiev for nearly three months, with the focus on Independence Square, a huge space in the centre of the capital. Previous attempts by the authorities to clear the square with riot police used enough force to radicalise the crowds and energise the protest, but not enough to disperse them entirely, and over time the tents, barricades and fortifications have become more entrenched.

Source = The Guardian

IOC bans Ukraine’s athletes from wearing black armbands at Sochi

February 19, 2014

The International Olympic Committee has banned Ukrainian competitors at the Sochi winter Games from wearing black armbands to commemorate the deaths of protesters and police in Kiev.  The country’s Olympic association said in a statement that it had asked the IOC if its competitors could mark the “deep pain over the loss of fellow countrymen” by wearing black armbands. “The answer was received from the IOC that in accordance with the Olympic charter it is not possible to do this.” Sponsor logos are everywhere at the Olympics, but the IOC regularly bans anything it deems to be political. It has also banned helmet sticker tributes to Sarah Burke, a skier who died in a 2012 accident, at Sochi. Sergey Bubka, the Ukrainian pole-vaulting hero and leader of his country’s delegation to Sochi, appealed on his Twitter account to both sides to stop the violence: “I want to bring Olympic truce to my country. Dialogue is power, violence is weakness,” he wrote. “Our athletes are competing hard in Sochi, but peacefully and with honour. Violence has no place in the World.”

Source = The Guardian

Kiev Ukraine News

After 25 Die, Protesters Prepare To Stand Their Ground In Ukraine

February 19, 2014

After the deaths of 25 people in clashes a day earlier, Ukrainian protesters are prepared to stand and fight again Wednesday. Police want to clear them out of central Kiev. Some of them died trying to stay put — using projectiles and burning barricades to keep security forces at bay at Kiev’s Maidan, or Independence Square. It was the deadliest day in the months-long standoff between the government and opposition leaders. Thousands of demonstrators have packed Independence Square since November, when President Viktor Yanukovych reversed a decision to sign a trade deal with the European Union and instead turned toward Russia. The unrest intensified after an anti-protest law went into effect. Throngs of demonstrators took to the streets to protest the law.

“Some of them had broken hands, and blood was flowing down their faces,”

Police and protesters were among Tuesday’s dead. A journalist and a government employee died, too. More than 240 others were hospitalized, Ukraine’s health ministry said. Overnight, demonstrators stocked up, passing stones hand to hand, filling Molotov cocktails and stoking flaming barricades with wood and tires. They prepared a makeshift compressed-air cannon to catapult the projectiles into police ranks. Hundreds of others came out to give moral support to those holding the square and to add their numbers to the throng wanting to keep the opposition movement alive. Corporate lawyer Volodymyr Solohub was one of them. Whenever police threaten to clear the Maidan he goes there. Tuesday, he watched as protesters rushed injured people from the front lines to medics.

Source = Kiev Ukraine News

January 25, 2014

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