His departure comes on the same day that parliament voted to rescind anti-democratic laws curbing free speech and free assembly. The adoption of those laws with no public notice and no roll call vote ignited public anger.
A tense standoff between police and protesters began Jan. 19 on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv, triggered by the Jan. 16 laws. The confrontation turned deadly with the fatal shootings of three activists as police tried to disperse the crowd. Up to 300 more demonstrators were injured that day. The standoff continues today.
Even with Azarov out of the way, a step that will force the resignation of all his ministers, the political opposition says the step won’t be enough to end the political crisis or stop the two-month-old EuroMaidan demonstrations.