Some 200 police in riot gear faced off with about 100 protesters on Lyutreranska St. near the presidential administration in central Kyiv on Dec. 9. After more protesters came up from behind the police, the unit boarded buses nearby.
© Anastasia Vlasova
Editor's Note: The Kyiv Post is providing continuous coverage of the protests in Kyiv and other cities following the government's decision on Nov. 21 to stop European Union integration and end pursuit of an association agreement. The rallies started on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) and are continuing after the Nov. 28-29 summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, at which Ukraine and the EU failed to reach any agreement. The events can be followed on Twitter using hashtags #euromaidan and #євромайдан or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EuroMaydan.
Read the coverage of the Dec. 8 events here.
Read the coverage of the Dec. 7 events here.
Read the coverage of the Dec. 6 events here.
Read the coverage of the Dec. 5 events here.
Read the coverage of the Dec. 4 events here.
Read the coverage of the Dec. 3 events here.
Read the coverage of the Dec. 2 events here.
Kyiv Post website slow or down for about four hours
Westerwelle supports European aspirations, condemns violence in Ukraine
Dec. 9, 10:55 p.m. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued a statement on Dec. 9 in support of Ukraine's European aspirations and condemning violence. Below is the text of the statement.
"The demonstrations over the weekend on Independence Square in Kyiv have shown once again that the Ukrainian people’s yearning for Europe is still very much alive.
It would be fatal for the peaceful protests to be undermined by pressure, threats or violence, no matter from which side.
The freedom of opinion and assembly must be protected by all government authorities; the protests must not be used as an excuse to perpetrate acts of violence. The law of criminal procedure is certainly not the right tool to apply in order to find a good solution." --Katya Gorchinskaya
Klitschko brothers face off with police, tractor
Dec. 9, 10:45 p.m. Both celebrity boxing brothers, Vitali and Volodymyr Klitschko spent the evening defending protesters on Shovkovychna Street, in the government block, where police attempted to push them off. Volodymyr Klitschko stopped a tractor from advancing towards the crowd of protesters, said the press service of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR), which is led by his older brother Vitali. --Katya Gorchinskaya
Some 5,000 people remain on Maidan
Dec. 9, 10:38 p.m. Around 5,000 people remain on EuroMaidan now, some go and change those who're on barricades, some just walking around, the access of traffic to Independence square is blocked from all sides of the square by buses and law enforcement officers. --Anastasiya Forina
Metros remain closed, police close in on Khreschatyk
Dec. 9, 10:20 p.m. Maidan Nezalezhnosti and Khreschatyk metro stations remain closed. Special police forces have closed access to Khreschatyk Street near Hotel Dnipro using police buses and officers with shields. On Institutska Street, police in riot gear have advanced their barricades some 600 meters closer to Maidan Nezalezhnosti. -- Oksana Grytsenko
US Vice President Joe Biden warns Viktor Yanukovych against violent crackdown
Dec. 9, 10:12p.m. US Vice President Joe Biden called Viktor Yanukovych, expressing “deep concern” about the political turmoil in the European nation and warning against a violent crackdown on protesters. “In a phone call today with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Vice President Biden expressed his deep concern about the situation in Ukraine and the growing potential for violence,” said the White House in a statement, media reports. -- Olena Goncharova
A second Lenin monument is down
Dec. 9, 10:00 p.m. Another Lenin monument was toppled in Ukraine last night, this time in the town of Kotovsk in Odesa region, Ukrainian media reported. It followed the first Lenin statue, which was brought down by Svoboda activists on the night of Dec. 8.
Shops and restaurants in central Kyiv are shutting down
Dec. 9, 8:13 p.m. Shops and restaurants in the center of the city are closed, including McDonald's restaurants. Their representatives are saying they are closing because of instructions they recently received from managers. Earlier, posts on Facebook and twitter suggested that retail and restaurant businesses were ordered to shut down at 8 p.m. -- Aleksandra Kovaleva
Police says attack on Batkivshchyna office was sanctioned by court
Dec. 9, 7:54 p.m. The Interior Ministry said the attack on Batkivshchyna's office was sanctioned by court due to two criminal cases, which involve alleged fraud and abuse of office. The police said a group of citizens reported to the police that a company, located on 19-B Turivska (an address on the same street as Batkivshchyna office is located) allegedly illegally seized computer equipment worth Hr 350,000. Moreover, they complained that officials from this company abused their authority.
During the search computer equipment and documents were confiscated as evidence in the criminal investigation. -- Interfax-Ukraine
Maidan stage is empty, protesters continue to arrive
Dec. 9, 7:35 p.m. The stage on Maidan Nezalezhnosti is empty, there are no speakers there. Not a lot of people, they are disorganized. People continue to arrive every minute. Soldiers of internal troops stationed here do not really understand what is going on. They were completely cut off from information for the last 2 weeks. No propaganda for the soldiers from the stage. Only a few protesters trying to talk to them. --Aleksandra Kovaleva
Berkut forces 'ready to attack'
Dec. 9, 7:35 p.m. Berkut special forces and interior ministry troops are just half a meter from protesters on Luteranska Street near the presidential administration. They have cut the barbed wire, and say they are ready to attack.
The general in charge said he was not responsible for Berkut riot police at the scene, just the Interior Ministry troops. He said that he received a court order to clear the way so that municipal services can pick up their property and take charge of their duties. -- Vlad Lavrov
Kyiv Post website has been down, a DDoS attack may be a reason
Dec. 9, 7:23 p.m. Kyiv Post website has been down for about an hour, a DDoS attack a possible suspected reason.-- Katya Gorchinskaya
Titushki help police disassemble barricades on Luteranska
Dec. 9, 7:00 p.m. A group of young people dressed titushki-style started disassembling protester barricades on Luteranska Street, right by the president's administration, apparently working in cooperation with troops. -- Vlad Lavrov
Yatseniuk says Bativshchyna's server room “a mess”
Dec. 9, 7:31 p.m. After SBU's takeover of Batkivshchyna's office, the server room is “a mess”, says Arseniy Yatseniuk.
"They've turned the server room into a mess… Searches are under way and the doors of the Batkivschyna Party's office are being broken down," Yatseniuk said at a briefing. "No parliamentarians are let into the office," he said. "All the equipment has been damaged.”
Yatseniuk says he believes that this has been done on President Viktor Yanukovych's personal order. However, he stressed that the opposition would not succumb to any provocation. There are neither provocations, nor clashes at the moment, he said. -- Interfax-Ukraine, Christopher J. Miller, Kyiv Post
Batkivshchyna office is taken over by SBU
Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m. A Kyiv Post reporter who was inside the Batkivschyna headquarters when law enforcement stormed the office through doors and windows says that masked men dressed in all black and carrying machine guns ordered people to stay where they were while the group physically removed the party's server. Meanwhile, a group of Berkut officers guarded a bus outside. Some of the men in black had "MVS" Ministry of Interior symbols on their uniforms. After removing the server, it was quickly loaded on the bus and then driven away.
The police said none of their troops are taking part in the takeover of Batkivshchyna. "The Kyiv police and the troopers of Berkut are not conducting any operations on Turoivska in the Berkut office," the police said in a statement. In the meantime, both Batkivshchyna and Svoboda websites were down. Svoboda spokesman Yuriy Syrotiuk said that he does not know what's happening to their office. "We're being attacked by the Verkhovna Rada. A male lawmaker and a female journalist were just injured (by special police troopers," he said. -- Christopher Miller, Katya Gorchinskaya
Special police unit carrying machine guns takes over Batkivshchyna office
Dec. 9, 5:50 p.m. Batkivchyna, the biggest opposition party, had its office on Turivska Street in Podil taken over by special security forces carrying guns. "In the corridor we have people with machine guns, trying to break through into server rooms," says Ostap Semerak, a Batkivshchyna member. -- Katya Gorchinskaya
Berkut commander: No plans to attack protesters at Independence Square
Dec. 9, 5:41 p.m. Andriy Tkachenko, the commander of a group of Berkut riot police from the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk told media that the group has no orders or plans to disperse protesters from Independence Square. -- Vlad Lavrov
Police demounting barricades by the Cabinet
Dec. 9, 5:17 p.m. Interior troops surrounded the protesters by the Cabinet on Hryshevskiy Street. Down the street there are two rows of interior troopers, each made up of 120 officers. Another 150 people are standing by on the sidewalk. Up the street from the Cabinet the street is blocked with police buses. All property, tents and barricades of the protesters are being removed by the police, but there have been no clashes. --Interfax-Ukraine
Expert: Situation between police, protesters could take drastic turn at any moment
Dec. 9, 5:13 p.m. As reports come in of clashes between protesters and police, Oleksandr Sushko, Research Director at Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, tells the Kyiv Post that there currently are not enough police forces on the ground to stage a major takeover of Independence Square and occupied government buildings, but that the situation could be changed at a moment’s notice.
“The overall picture is unpredictable,” he says. “Confidential sources say that (Yanukovych) wants to remove Maidan before (EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice-President Catherine) Ashton comes. That means probably at night.”
Ashton will arrive in Ukraine on Dec. 10 in order to help find a solution out of the current political crisis here, a source at the European Commission told Interfax-Ukraine in Brussels.
Ashton is expected to meet with all parties involved in the conflict, including the state’s leadership, the opposition and civil society.
“People will resist depending on the situation, but the main question is what happens the next day,” Sushko says.”As some people say, if we surrender, there will be Belarus, if not – Yugoslavia.” -- Christopher J. Miller
Police clash with protesters on Bankova Street
Dec. 9, 4:43 p.m. Clashes reported between protesters and police at barricades on Bankova Street, near the presidential administration. Police there are attempting to push protesters further back from the police line. -- Oksana Grytsenko
Opposition leaders to give press briefing
Dec. 9, 2:58 p.m. As a crowd of more than 1,000 people continues to grow at Independence Square opposition leaders are discussing whether to meet with President Viktor Yanukovych to negotiate a peaceful solution to the situation in Kyiv. Party heads Vitali Klitschko of UDAR, Oleh Tiahnybok of Svoboda and Arseniy Yatseniuk of Batkivshchyna will address the media at 4 p.m. inside the Trade Union building. -- Oksana Grytsenko
4 p.m. opposition leaders will
Opposition leaders tell protesters to remain calm
Dec. 9, 2:47 p.m. Opposition party leaders and members are asking protesters not to panic. “If somebody deicdes to apply force now, millions will come to the streets,” Svoboda party deputy Ihor Shvaika said. “Yanukovych is afraid of so many people.”
He said that some 1,000 policemen of the special Tiger unit are now in Kyiv. About 300 of them were moved to defend Mazhyhiriya, the president’s palatial estate outside the city. -- Oksana Grytsenko
Medical stations being set up in case of clashes
Dec. 9, 4:17 p.m. Teatralna metro station is opened, no explosives found say Kyiv police. -- Interfax-Ukraine
Dec. 9, 2:37 p.m. Andriy Posikira, a doctor on duty at Kyiv city hall said that he and other volunteer medical staff are ready to attend to those wounded by clashes with police if it should come to that.
“We’re setting up to receive lighter injuries here, and will try to evacuate the more seriously injured victims, if they allow us, of course," he said.
Posikira advised reporters on the scene and those coming to have gas masks.
More than 100 fighters inside city hall are armed with makeshift weapons, such as sticks, and many have padded mats cello taped around their arms and legs. Some are stationed by the window to watch for police advancement. -- Katya Gorchinskaya
US ambassador says demonstrations must be allowed to continue
Dec. 9, 2:29 p.m. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt took to Twitter to say that as long as protests remain peaceful, they should not be stopped.
"Peaceful demonstrations must be allowed to continue. Dialogue and non-violence key, world watching. Opportunity must not be lost," Pyatt wrote.
Meanwhile, hundreds of special police units in riot gear have gathered near protesters outside City Hall and around Independence Square. -- Christopher J. Miller
Protesters ready for attack, police presence growing
Dec. 9, 2:15 p.m. Special police units are blocking Khreschatyk Street at the intersection with Khmelnytskoho Street adjacent to the barricades of protesters. They appear to be standing by, waiting for orders. A priest is currently in front of the police and is holding a service. Protesters joke with police, inquiring about their parents and children.
By city hall, things remain peaceful but tense. Protesters there say there is a “high possibility” of an attack, due to the court-ordered deadline for them to leave the premises. They say they are prepared. A makeshift medical center has been set up with mats on the floor, medicine, cotton bandages. Furniture is set up near the entrace, making it easy to quickly barricade the front entrance. -- Katya Gorchinskaya
Protesters blocking exit and entrance of Khrshchatyk metro stop
Dec.9, 2:15 p.m., Protesters are blocking exit and entrance of Khreshchatyk metro stop. They fear that Berkut police officers will come from there to storm the occupied government's buildings. -- Vlad Lavrov
Four presidents to discuss situation in Ukraine
Dec. 9, 1:57. President Viktor Yanukovych is going to discuss the situation in the country with three Ukraine's former presidents, Viktor Yushchenko, Leonid Kuchma and Leonid Kravchuk. The meeting is scheduled for Dec. 10. Also, Kravchuk addressed Yanukovych asking him to held a meeting with representatives of government and opposition to find the compromise. Yanukovych's official website says "the president agreed to do that."
Dec. 9, 1:45. All live feeds from EuroMaidan, which includes Espresso TV, Svoboda.org, Hromadske.tv.are malfunctioning. -- Katya Gorchinskaya
Protesters ready waterhoses at city hall
Dec. 9, 1:42 p.m. Protesters are unraveling water hoses inside city hall, which they say they are ready to use to defend against an impending police raid. One protester told the Kyiv Post that they will spray them from the first floor windows. -- Vlad Lavrov
EU representatives come to the city center
Dec. 9, 1:35 p.m. David Stulik of EU Embassy says there are at least several representatives of European embassies by the city hall. "They're there and seeing it all," he says. --Katya Gorchinskaya
Jose Manuel Barroso admires Ukrainian youth
Dec. 9, 1:28 p.m. European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso just tweeted: "Those young people in the streets of #Ukraine, with freezing temperatures, are writing the new narrative for #Europe."