Ukraine’s president in hiding has former PM Tymoshenko is released

EuroNews

Ukraine’s parliament dismisses President Yanukovych

February 22, 2014

Ukraine’s political landscape changed dramatically when the parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych in a special session on Saturday. Members of the parliament, which decisively abandoned Yanukovich after this week’s bloodshed, stood, applauded and sang the national anthem after they declared the president constitutionally unable to carry out his duties. They voted for new presidential elections on the 25th of May. It was by a more than two thirds majority, which makes the decision legal under Ukraine’s constitution. The lawmakers also voted to replace the head of the security services and the prosecutor general with supporters of the opposition. And the replacement for the defence minister is the former chief of staff of the armed forces, who was dismissed by Yanukovych just days before for refusing to send in troops against the demonstrators in Independence Square.

Source = Euro News

SKY NEWS

Yulia Tymoshenko: Ukraine’s Cancer Has Gone

February 22, 2014

Ukraine’s opposition icon Yulia Tymoshenko has told anti-government protesters they have removed a “cancer” from the country, after she was earlier freed from prison. “You are heroes, you are the best of Ukraine,” the former prime minister said, before breaking down in tears. She told the 50,000-strong crowd in Kiev’s Independence Square they had no right to leave the area “until you have concluded everything that you planned to do”.

“Don’t stop yet,” she implored them.

Sitting in a wheelchair, Ms Tymoshenko said President Viktor Yanukovych should be forced to come to the square, the focal point of demonstrations against him. Mr Yanukovych has since gone into hiding after Parliament voted to oust him. She was earlier freed from prison after being given a seven-year sentence for abuse of power and has pledged to stand for president. Demonstrators took to the streets last November over Mr Yanukovych’s decision to have closer ties with Russia rather than Europe. Clashes between protesters and police have killed 82 people, the worst violence since the country gained independence. On the subject of ties with Europe, Ms Tymoshenko is “sure” Ukraine will join the European Union “and this will change everything”.

Source = Sky News

Mirror

Ukraine police have opened fire on Red Cross medics – shocking pictures

February 23, 2014

A medic writhes in agony after being shot in the leg by Ukraine security forces, accused of deliberately targeting Red Cross workers as they tend to wounded protesters. Other images show armed riot police dressed all in black, known as Berkut, taking aim at others wearing bright high-vis jackets marked with a cross. The latest victim was hit on Friday. Colleague Lyana Bilous, 24, called for those responsible to be brought before a United Nations tribunal. “He was a legitimate health worker wearing a bright orange jacket, part of the Ukrainian Red Cross,” she said. “There is no way you could have mistaken him for anything other than a medic.”

Professor Robert Van Voren, a Dutch human rights activist who has helped medics over the three months of violence in Kiev, added: “We saw Berkut beating up medical staff wearing red crosses.” Expat IT worker Chris Taylor, 37, from Southport, Merseyside, said in January, riot police smashed up a medical centre and beat up one of the doctors. Human Rights Watch have documented incidents of criminal abuse of medics by security forces and called for those responsible to be prosecuted as it breaches the Geneva Convention.

Source = The Mirror

BBC News

Ukraine ex-PM Tymoshenko calls for protests to continue

February 23, 2014

Ukrainian former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has urged opposition supporters in Kiev’s Independence Square to continue their protests. Tymoshenko, who has a back injury, addressed crowds from a wheelchair after being freed from detention. “Until you finish this job… nobody has the right to leave,” she said. Her speech came at the end of a dramatic day that saw President Viktor Yanukovych removed by MPs and fleeing Kiev, but refusing to stand down. Tymoshenko broke down in tears as she told cheering supporters late on Saturday: “You are heroes.

“Because nobody could… do what you have done,” she said. “We’ve eliminated this cancer, this tumour.”

But while she was hailed by many in the audience, she does not enjoy universal support among the opposition, says the BBC’s David Stern in Kiev. Before she went into prison in 2011, her popularity ratings were dropping and many Ukrainians blame her in part for the chaos of the post-Orange Revolution years, or see her as a member of Ukraine’s corrupt elite. Dozens of people walked away in disgust when she appeared on the stage, the BBC’s Tim Wilcox in Independence Square reports. A vote by parliament on Friday paved the way for her release.

Source = BBC News

telegraph

Ukraine revolution: West urges calm and quick formation of a unity government

February 23, 2014

The US and France have urged Ukraine to move swiftly to form a unity government and help restore order after a spate of deadly violence. Months of protests turned violent this week, with scores killed in clashes between demonstrators and police. Under a European-mediated plan, protest leaders and President Viktor Yanukovych agreed on Friday to form a new government and hold early elections. By Saturday, protesters had taken over the capital of Kiev and seized the president’s office as parliament voted to remove him, hold new elections and release his chief rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, from prison. Mr Yanukovych called it a coup and insisted he would not step down.

Urging calm, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the US was keen to see the prompt formation of a broad, technocratic government of national unity. “We have consistently advocated a de-escalation of violence, constitutional change, a coalition government, and early elections, and today’s developments could move us closer to that goal,” Mr Carney said in a statement. “The unshakeable principle guiding events must be that the people of Ukraine determine their own future.” The US also welcomed Ms Tymoshenko’s release from a prison hospital. “We continue to urge an end to violence by all sides and a focus on peaceful, democratic dialogue, working pursuant to Ukraine’s constitution and through its institutions of government,” Mr Carney said, adding that the US will continue to work with its allies, Russia, and European and international organisations “to support a strong, prosperous, unified, and democratic Ukraine.”

Source = The Telegraph

EuroNews

Tymoshenko hails “heroes of Maidan” and calls for more protests

February 22, 2014

Ukraine’s opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has called for continued demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital. Her powerful and passionate plea for further protests against the ousted President Viktor Yanukovych capped an extraordinary day of events. It came hours after parliament approved a measure allowing the former prime minister to be freed after spending 30 months in jail for abuse of power. “Glory to Ukraine. My dears, I was dreaming of looking into your eyes, I was dreaming of feeling that strength that changed everything. I was dreaming of touching every single one of you to support you in this difficult moment. You are the heroes. You are the best asset of Ukraine,” she said.

She paid special tribute to the 82 people now known to have died in this week’s violent clashes. Tymoshenko, 53, also broke down in tears several times, asking the crowd to forgive her and other politicians for failing them. “We must do a few important things together. Firstly, we have to ensure that Yanukovych and all that garbage around him are brought here to Maidan,” added Tymoshenko. Her words were welcomed by most in the crowd but some people whistled and booed, a sign perhaps that Tymoshenko remains a controversial figure.

Source = Euro News

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