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25 Killed In Ukraine In (Anti-Russian) Protests

From the Associated Press:

Ukraine: 25 killed, 241 injured in Kiev clashes

By MARIA DANILOVA and YURAS KARMANAU | February 19, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — As thick black smoke rose from the barricades encircling the protest camp in central Kiev, a tense calm descended Wednesday over the capital and the European Union threatened sanctions against Ukraine following deadly violence between riot police and protesters in which at least 25 people died and 241 were injured.

Thousands of defiant protesters faced rows of riot police who have squeezed them deeper into the Kiev’s Independence Square, known as the Maidan, which has been a bastion and symbol for the protesters, after overnight clashes that set buildings on fire and brought sharp rebuke from both the West and Russia.

The violence on Tuesday was the worst in nearly three months of anti-government protests that have paralyzed Ukraine’s capital in a struggle over the identity of a nation divided in loyalties between Russia and the West, and the worst in the country’s post-Soviet history…

The Kremlin said it put the next disbursement of its bailout on hold amid uncertainty over Ukraine’s future and what it described as a "coup attempt"; it criticized the West for the escalation of violence.

President Viktor Yanukovych on Wednesday blamed the protesters for the violence and said the opposition leaders "crossed a line when they called people to arms."

The European Union appears poised to impose sanctions as it called an extraordinary meeting of the 28-nation bloc’s foreign ministers…

The protests began in late November after Yanukovych turned away from a long-anticipated deal with the European Union in exchange for a $15 billion bailout from Russia. The political maneuvering continued ever since, with both Moscow and the West eager to gain influence over this former Soviet republic.

The latest bout of street violence began Tuesday when protesters attacked police lines and set fires outside parliament, accusing Yanukovych of ignoring their demands to enact constitutional reforms that would limit president’s power — a key opposition demand. Parliament, dominated by his supporters, was stalling on taking up a constitutional reform to limit presidential powers.

Police responded by attacking the protest camp. Armed with water cannons, stun grenades and rubber bullets, police dismantled some barricades and took part of the Maidan. But the protesters still held their ground through the night, encircling the camp with new burning barricades of tires, furniture and debris.

On Wednesday morning, the center of Kiev was cordoned off by police, the subway was shut down and most shops on Kiev’s main street were closed. But hundreds of Ukrainians still flocked to the opposition camp, some wearing balaclavas and armed with bats, others, in every-day clothes and with make-up on, carrying food to protesters.

A group of young men and women poured petrol into plastic bottles, preparing fire bombs, while a volunteer walked past them distributing ham sandwiches to protesters from a tray. Another group of activists was busy crushing the pavement into pieces and into bags to fortify barricades.

"The revolution turned into a war with the authorities," said Vasyl Oleksenko, 57, a retired geologist from central Ukraine, who said he fled the night’s violence fearing for his life, but returned to the square in the morning, feeling ashamed. "We must fight this bloody, criminal leadership; we must fight for our country, our Ukraine." …

The Health Ministry said 25 people died in the clashes, some from gunshot wounds, and Kiev hospitals were struggling to treat hundreds of injured. Activists also set-up a makeshift medical unit inside an landmark Orthodox Church not far from the camp, where volunteer medics were taking care of the wounded.

Meanwhile, in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, where most residents yearn for stronger ties with the EU and have little sympathy for Yanukovych, protesters seized several government buildings, including the governor’s office, police stations, prosecutors and security agency offices and the tax agency headquarters. They also broke into an Interior Ministry unit and set it on fire. The building was still smoldering Wednesday morning and some protesters were driving around town in police cars they had seized during the night.

Tensions continued mounting. The government imposed restrictions for transport moving toward Kiev, apparently to prevent more opposition activists from coming from Western part of the country, and at least one train from Lviv was held outside Kiev. Several highways toward into Kiev were also blocked by police.

Acting Defense Minister Pavlo Lebedev told the ITAR-Tass news agency that he has dispatched a paratrooper brigade to Kiev to help protect arsenals. He refused to say if the unit could be used against protesters, the agency said…

The protests in Ukraine are becoming even more dramatic and deadly than those in Venezuela. But they are quite similar. — In both countries the people are trying to escape the yoke of socialist totalitarianism. In both cases the protesters are demanding legal limits on Presidential powers. (Meanwhile, we are heading in the opposite direction, unfortunately.)

But this article avoids reporting what the conflict in Ukraine is really about. The AP pretends this is just about Ukraine people’s desire to join the EU. But that is just a symptom. In a nutshell, the people of Ukraine, who know the joys of Soviet totalitarianism all too well, are fighting to prevent a return to it under Putin. And they’re fighting the machinations of Putin’s puppet, their current President, Viktor Yanukovych.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “25 Killed In Ukraine In (Anti-Russian) Protests”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Egypt .. Libya .. Ukraine .. what’s next .. USA?

  2. Petronius says:

    Imagine the people demanding “constitutional reform to limit presidential powers”?

    Wow. Who do these Ukrainians think they are? Angry racist arsonist terrorist Tea Party hobbits?

    The question naturally arises whether current events in Ukraine might foreshadow America’s future?

    But I am inclined to the opinion that those events do not. They do not because here in America the Liberal Death Wish is far too strong, far too deeply rooted, especially among the older indigenous, but now meaningless and inert, host population of American-Americans.

    And most particularly among those lobotomized great white slugs, the Chamber-of-Commerce Republicans, who are far too busy worrying what’s left of their minds over a $10.10 hourly minimum wage for their migrant guest workers. Wondering whether they might instead pay everyone a $10.10 wage without regard to their duties, skills, productivity, gender, or pigmentation? And whether the IRS has sufficient apparatus of coercion and repression to make them all work for $10.10?

    Yes, the mere sound of Nerobama’s voice sends a shiver of delight through the bottoms of those lobotomized Republicans who so relish the smack of firm government.

    Yes, nothing can stop the decline, once the will-to-live is gone.

    Going, going. gone.

    Does anyone still remember when the American flag was actually waved, not burnt?

    So perhaps the Syrian model is a better fit for America after all.

    That our fifty-years experiment in multikulti and sectarian competition for parasitical space will end in a bloody civil war among the various rebel political/racial/religious/documented/undocumented/foreign-fighter/pro-Sharia/anti-Sharia/LGBTQ/Ninety-Nine-Percenter/bomb-throwing hippy/Woody Allen-pedophile/ugly femi-Nazi/trade unionist/hunchback-dwarves/social worker/Harvard-professor factions and our strongman Bolshevik president.

    Yes, there’ll be no more rubber bullets then. Just the real McCoy.

    • Right of the People says:

      DHS and the IRS have plenty of those (bullets that is).

    • canary says:

      With Obama making gun and bullet laws with a simple phone call for the next 3 years and his spying and owning the media, it will take brains. The old people will die since treating them for cancer or fixing a hip bone will not be cost effective.

      I noticed Yahoo is back to writing their own news adorning Obama, already excited about Hillary, and it will take people with money to pay for some advertising made to appear like news.

      And I’d hate to see what is happening in Syria happen in the USA as it would mean Al-Qaeda with big guns.

      Plus, if there was a civil war all these countries would come over to America and try and take over.

  3. Astravogel says:

    This would not have occured under the Czars.

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