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Yanukovych says police beatings not his fault

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Nov. 30, 2013, 9:11 p.m. | Politics — by Oksana Grytsenko

President Viktor Yanukovych
© AFP

President Viktor Yanukovych issued a statement, saying he was “deeply outraged”  by the riot police who beat up peaceful demonstrators on Independence Square early this morning.

Some 500 police officers  broke up a tent camp at 4 a.m on Nov. 30, smashing heads and pummeling  hundreds of mostly young pro-European protesters in a brutal attack that shocked the nation. Opposition blamed Yanukovych of ordering disperse of the rally, whose participants were demanding president’s resignation.

Sergiy Liovichkin, Yanukovych’s chief of staff, resigned just in hours after the incident, Kyiv Post sources said. Two influential politicians, Inna Bohoslovska and Davyd Zhvania, left Yanukovych’s party in protest. Bohoslovska also call on Yanukovych to resin himself.

But it seems that Yanukovych would rather punish his subordinates.

“I condemn the actions that led to violent confrontation and suffering of people,” he said as was posted on his web-site. “Several days ago I declared to all the country about my support of civil nonviolent actions. Those, who didn’t hear the words of Constitution and president and who provoked by their decisions and actions the conflict on Maidan, will be punished,” Yanukovych added.

Yanukovych demanded prosecution to investigate the incident and promptly report to him and the nation about the results.

Yanukovych refused to sign a landmark free trade and association deal with the European Union at summit in Vilnius on Nov. 29. But he announced once more about his plans to move into European direction. “We are united in our common choice of European future,” he said.  

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