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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

By Victoria Butenko and Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times

KIEV, Ukraine — At least nine people were killed Tuesday in the deadliest day of the 3-month-old Ukrainian political crisis as security forces clashed with demonstrators and later stormed their encampment at Kiev’s Independence Square, local and international media reported.

Live television coverage carried by the Russia-24 news channel and nine live-streaming video cameras at the protest site and relayed by Ukrainian opposition broadcasters showed fiery explosions illuminating the grimy tent city in the capital after demonstrators ignored a warning from police to clear the square.

Clouds of smoke from fires and tear gas could be seen wafting over the chaotic scene, eerily backlit with an orange glow from the multitude of blasts, burning sandbags and smoldering debris.
Security forces began moving against the protesters’ camp with water cannons and stun grenades after giving them 15 minutes’ warning to leave.

But thousands of protesters remained in the square despite the caustic gas engulfing the nerve center of the uprising against President Viktor Yanukovich.

Opposition leaders told journalists in Kiev that they had requested negotiations with the government to defuse the escalating violence, and that Ukrainian leadership had agreed to meet with them Wednesday. However, police continued to set fire to the protesters’ tents and barricades well into the night.

Anti-government protesters have besieged the capital and key government buildings since late November, when Yanukovich unilaterally abandoned an association agreement in the works between Ukraine and the European Union in favor of maintaining close economic ties with Russia.

Opposition leaders had reported three deaths among protesters before the square was stormed about 8 p.m. An Interior Ministry report issued late Tuesday said two policemen had been killed in the clashes, as well as an official of the ruling Party of the Regions and six protesters.

Opposition lawmaker Oleksandr Bryginets reported three more protesters dead as a result of the later police attack on the square, although there was no immediate government confirmation of that higher toll.

Kiev officials appealed to protesters to stay away from the square “to avoid casualties” and authorities closed metro stations providing access to the area.

The surge in violence followed a short-lived amnesty agreement fulfilled over the weekend when authorities released the last 234 detained protesters and promised to drop criminal charges against them. In exchange, the opposition vacated Kiev City Hall and removed some barricades blocking traffic to the streets around the Supreme Rada, the national parliament.

Still vowing to press on with their demands for Yanukovich’s resignation and parliamentary action to curb presidential powers, protesters marched toward parliament Tuesday afternoon to press for restoration of the 2004 constitution that was amended after Yanukovich was elected in 2010.

The demonstration turned angry when the Party of the Regions postponed debate on the legislative changes demanded by the opposition and police tried to block the estimated 20,000-strong procession from entering the parliament building. Some managed to penetrate the security cordon around the legislature as well as the Party of the Regions headquarters, Kiev’s Channel 5 news reported.

Marchers pulled cobblestones from the streets to hurl at police, who tossed tear gas back at the protesters, Associated Press photos and BBC news coverage showed. Russia-24, which, like other Kremlin-controlled media, has cast the unrest in neighboring Ukraine as the actions of radicals, showed the escalation of violence under headlines proclaiming “revolution” and “massive disorder.”

The short-lived easing of tensions during the amnesty apparently fell victim to renewed signals from both sides that they intended to press on with their fight over the future of Ukraine.

AFP Photo/ Viktor Drachev

  • daniel bostdorf

    Agai I would like to point out who benefits from this crisis; Putin.

    Putin is behind this whole mess.

    He is attempting to create a “Eurasian Union” of formerly aligned Soviet states. Model after European Union.


    European Union represents Democratic values. Putin fears this because the protestors prefer a Democratic EU model…not same old repression…

    But the “Eurasian Union” is not. What is going on by Putin and his proxy in the Ukraine is the old KBG/Stalin style of organizing states.

    Ukraine is key because of its strategic natural resources.

    Russia’s economy is based on only digging things out of the ground. It has absolute no vibrant free market based economy lie EU. Russia is controlled by a handful of oligarchs who prop up Putin to keep exploiting the regions resources.

    “The Eurasian Economic Union is said to be the brainchild of Vladimir Putin in the wake of his third term as the President of Russia. If realised, it would comprise a number of states which were part of the former Soviet Union: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. At a November 2011 round table in Moscow organised by the ruling United Russia

    party, Russian political scientist Dmitry Orlov stated that apart from

    post-Soviet states, membership to the Eurasian Union could be expanded

    to include other countries that have been historically or culturally

    close, such as Finland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cuba and Venezuela,

    incorporating them into a common state body where Russian would be the

    common language of communication and economic cooperation. Vladimir Putin stated in November 2011 that the Eurasian Union would build upon the “best values of the Soviet Union”; however, critics claimed that the drive towards integration aims to restore the “Soviet Empire”.

    More here:

    Russia is behind the violence and eliminating those who reject the Eurasian Union.

    From the article:

    “But what began as a peaceful march by protesters to press parliament to take up legislation to reduce Yanukovich’s powers turned violent when deputies of the ruling Party of Regions postponed debate on the changes demanded by the opposition. Police tried to block the thousands of protesters from reaching the Supreme Rada building, sparking clashes that cast a pall of smoke over the city center that has been the scene of conflict for three months.”

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Actually, it is Vladimir Vladimirovich’s plan to be named “President for Life” of a restored USSR, or named Tsar of All Russias of a restored Russian Empire! This guy has no plans to ever step down as leader of his country. This means one of the following scenarios will take place.
      1. Like with Stalin, he has added and dropped “favorites” who could potentially succeed him. As a result, after his death there will be a similar period of instability like the old Soviet Union experienced after Stalin’s death, or like Venezuela is currently experiencing under Maduro, whose claims of legitimacy as Chavez’ heir anr in doubt.
      2. Through his “purges” of people he sees as potential rivals, he will eventually decide on the wrong victim, resulting in someone arranging an “accident”. Either that or the Army will outright have a coup d’etat against him and his cronies. This will result in mass executions of all FSB personnel, as well as others who have toadied up to Putin.
      3. A “rebellion” not only by separatist movements but by other former “Soviet Republics” tired of Moscow’s domination. This is the worst case scenario, as it will cost the most lives.

  • daniel bostdorf

    Breaking news: Purge of protestors has begun…


  • daniel bostdorf

    Latest news today:

    Ukraine leader denounces ‘coup’ bid as EU weighs sanctions

    At least 25 are killed as protesters torch cars and police fire into a crowd in central Kiev

    “”They can come in their thousands but we will not give in. We simply
    don’t have anywhere to go. We will stay until victory and will hold the
    Maidan until the end,” said a 44-year-old from the western region of
    Ternopil who gave only his first name of Volodymyr…….We will stay until victory. We want our children to grow up in a normal country where there are civilized laws not the laws of a prison colony,” said Vitaly, aged 36.


  • daniel bostdorf

    Monuments to Kiev’s founders burn as anti-government protesters clash with riot police in Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicenter of the country’s current unrest, Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. Thousands of police armed with stun grenades and water cannons attacked the large opposition camp in Ukraine’s capital on Tuesday that has been the center of nearly three months of anti-government protests after at least nine people were killed in street clashes. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)