EuroMaidan in Kharkiv gets attacked

Feb. 23, 2:35 a.m. In Kharkiv EuroMaidan rally was attacked by unknown men. The men drove two cars into the crowd of anti-government protesters and started shooting, reports local news website ATN. The people ran to the building of the governor’s office to hide. At least two are wounded. — Olga Rudenko

Tiahnybok hopes for unity among opposition

Feb. 23, 12:58 a.m. Oleh Tiahnybok, the Svoboda Party leader on the release from prison of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko:

“If she weren’t released the victory couldn’t be complete. No one ever crossed Tymoshenko out. When I’ve been asked about presidential options I would always remind that there is Tymoshenko factor and it will play soon.

“Tymoshenko can be a candidate from opposition, but may not be. This is not decided yet. But I am sure that we’ll find the formula of new Ukrainian politics.

“As a doctor I can say that she is physically depressed but energetically she is very strong. We exchanged just a few words, congratulated each other.

“She thanked us for the Svoboda fight and I thanked her for her own fight.

Maybe there will be several candidates from opposition, but we haven’t discussed it yet, nothing has been discussed yet.

“Give us at least a couple of days – we need to do a political and personnel layout now. There are still a presidential election ahead, still government appointments ahead and then parliament. I hope we won’t fight among each other and will coordinate our positions just like we did before, god helps us with this.” — Daryna Shevchenko

Turchynov says Yanukovych resigned, then backtracked

Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m. Oleksandr Turchynov, the opposition leader now appointed as parliament speaker and acting prime minister, said that Viktor Yanukovych had agreed to resign as president. But then after consulting with advisers, he disavowed the decision and even a pre-recorded resignation statement. Turchynov said that Yanukovych abandoned his duties and his location is unknown. Therefore, parliament went ahead to impeach him for leaving his post and set early presidential elections at May 25.

Valentyn Nalivaychenko unanimously appointed head of Security Service of Ukraine

Feb. 22, 5:32 p.m — Valentyn Nalivaychenko, who head the state’s powerful Security Service of Ukraine under President Viktor Yushchenko, won unanimous approval by parliament to take the job again.

Parliament votes 328-0 to impeach Yanukovych 

Feb. 22, 5:19 p.m. — Accusing him of massive human rights violations and abandonment of his duties, parliament voted unanimously today to impeach Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine’s fourth president. The vote came as reports surfaced that Yanukovych had resigned and even pre-recorded his resignation statement, but then changed his mind and issued a defiant video promising not leave Ukraine or resign.

Rinat Akhmetov says Ukraine has to stay united

Feb. 22, 5:05 p.m. — Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest billionaire, released the following statement: “My position remains unchaged: I am for a strong, independent and united Ukraine. Today I place  a special focus on the word “united” as this has never been more important.”

Army says it will honor oath to people

Feb. 22, 5:03 p.m “In this difficult time for the country we, the employees of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, strtess that were and remain loyal to the military oath, the Constitution of Ukraine and continue to follow the requirements of the statutes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the laws that regulate the activities of the Defense Ministry. We deeply mourn the loss of life and hope that this will never happen again in our country,” said the statement released on the Defense Ministry website.

No coup d’etat in Kyiv, says Sikorski

Feb. 22, 4:50 p.m. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in his Twitter that there is no coup d’etat in Kyiv, and backed most of the decisions taken by Ukraine’s parliament. “No coup in Kiev. Government buildings got abandoned. Speaker of Rada elected legally. President Viktor Yanukovych has 24h to sign 2004 Constiturtion. into law.”

Yanukovych says speaker Rybak attacked, Party of Regions lawmakers defected due to threats

Feb. 22, 4:19 p.m. In televised interview today, a defiant President Viktor Yanukovych said that he has not resigned. He said, apparently from Kharkiv or somewhere in eastern Ukraine, that parliament speaker Volodymyr Rybak  was attacked and that lawmakers from his Party of Regions defected due to threats made against them. He likened the moves by opposition lawmakers and others in parliament today to coup d’etat. –– Christopher J. Miller

Poroshenko says Yanukovych changed mind about resigning

Feb. 22, 4:05 p.m. Opposition leader and businessman Petro Poroshenko in parliament has said that President Viktor Yanukovych has changed his mind about his earlier decision to resign. — Katya Gorchinskaya

 



Opposition member of parliament Oleh Liashko on Feb. 22 addresses a crowd that has formed outside the Verkhovna Rada. With reports that President Viktor Yanukovych has fled Ukraine, parliament moved to fill the leadership vacuum by freeing ex-Prime MInister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison and appointing Oleksandr Turchynov, her former deputy, as acting prime minister. Parliament is also set to consider Yanukovych’s impeachment today

Yatseniuk adviser confirms opposition leader spoke to Yanukovych and the president had resigned

Feb. 22, 3:43 p.m. Ostap Semerak, an advisor to Batkivshchyna leader Arseniy Yatseniuk, confirmed to the Kyiv Post that the opposition leader had spoken to President Viktor Yanukovych, who said he had resigned. — Katya Gorchinskaya

EuroMaidan guard: Job not finished yet, but will give Turchynov, Avakov chance



Maidan Self-Defense member guard parliament on Feb. 22.

Feb. 22, 2:13 p.m. — A member of the Afghanistan veterans who is guarding Independence Square in Kyiv says the national revolution will continue. “Everyone in the government and parliament must get away. It’s too bad that President Viktor Yanukovych ran away. He should have been caught and brought here, to Maidan.” When asked about Rada’s latest decisions, making Oleksandr Turchynov acting prime minister and Arsen Avakov interior minister in charge of police, he said: “Let’s give them a chance and we’ll see. Someone has to take care of the mess now.” — Olga Rudenko

 



Journalists gather outside the Presidential office in Kiev on February 22, 2014. Ukraine’s embattled President Viktor Yanukovych has left Kiev, opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said on February 22, amid reports that the president has fled the country altogether following a week of deadly violence. “He has left the capital,” Klitschko told parliament, also calling for early presidential elections before May 25. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY

Yanukovych left behind documents at Mezhyhyria

Feb. 22, 2:12 p.m. — On his way out of Mezhyhyria this morning, President Viktor Yanukovych evidently tried to get rid of a lot of documents kept at the luxurious estate. Opposition leaders who are now in control of the mansion say they fished documents out of the Kyiv Sea that leads to the Dnipro River and are drying them in a hangar. Some of them reportedly involve journalist Tetyana Chornovol, who blames Yanukovych for ordering her Dec. 25 beating in retaliation for her investigative reports of his alleged corruption. The treasure trove also reportedly includes expense invoices for construction work at Mezhyhyria, a blacklist of journalists and a list of license plate number of cars that Chornovol drives— Vlad Lavrov

 



UKRAINE, Kiev : (FILES) — A file photo taken on February 25, 2010 shows Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych holding the presidential certificate after he took oath in the parliament in Kiev. Yanukovych has left Kiev, opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said on February 22, 2014, amid reports that the president has fled the country altogether following a week of deadly violence. “He has left the capital,” Klitschko told parliament, also calling for early presidential elections before May 25. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ANASTASIA SIROTKINA

Tymoshenko daughter speaks to Kyiv Post at parliament, says releasing her mom won’t be easy

Feb. 22, 2:11 p.m. Speaking to the Kyiv Post, Yevhenia Tymoshenko, daughter of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, says that today’s vote in parliament to free her mother was a win. However, she admitted that the actual act of freeing her mother will not be easy.

 

Parliament breaks until 4 p.m., expected to vote on impeachment of Yanukovych

Feb. 22, 1:44 p.m. Svoboda Pary’s opposition leader Oleh Tiahynbok suggests the Verkhovna Rada needs to vote to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from power today and also to disband the Berkut riot-police officer and form a “new, truly patriotic structure” that will defend people. Parliament voted to take a break and resume their work at 4 p.m. today –– Katya Gorchinskaya 

 



A bunker at President Viktor Yanukovych’s Mezhyryia estate which is now controlled by the opposition. Journalists are being taken on a tour Feb. 22.

Tymoshenko freed with 322 votes; opposition member of parliament Arsen Avakov interior minister

Feb. 22, 1:33 p.m. — Parliament voted with 322 votes to immediately free ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison in Kharkiv. She is expected to come to Independence Square in Kyiv once she is released. Parliament also voted to name Arsen Avakov as interior minister in charge of the nation’s police. Parliament also voted to replace Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka. — Katya Gorchinskaya

 



Opposition member of parliament Arsen Avakov has been appointed acting interior minister, in charge of the nation’s police forces.

Turchynov appointed acting prime minister

Feb. 22, 1:12 p.m. — In another sign of how the nation is changing power, 314 out of 450 lawmakers voted to elect Batkivshchyna Party opposition leader Oleksandr Turchynov as acting prime minister. Serhiy Tigipko, a member of parliament who defected from the pro-President Viktor Yanukovych Party of Regions, says the appointment of interior minister should await decision by a new parliamentary majority. Yuriy Miroshnychenko, Yanukovych’s representative in parliament, warned Ukraine is in danger of creating parallel power structures. — Katya Gorchinskaya

 



A file photo taken on May 10, 2012 shows Oleksandr Turchynov, first deputy of Yulia Tymoshenko’s “Batkivschyna” party, speaking to journalists as he was called to the main investigating agency for interrogation in Kiev’s Department of the Interior. The right-hand man of Ukraine’s former premier Yulia Tymoshenko was elected parliament speaker on February 22, 2014, a day after lawmakers voted to amend a law that could see the jailed opposition icon freed. “Ukraine authorities are resuming their duties to stabilise the situation,” the newly-elected Verkhovna Rada speaker Oleksandr Turchynov told lawmakers upon his election to the leadership post. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY

At Mezhyhyria estate that Yanukovych has abandoned, a circus starts

Feb. 22, 12:46 p.m. The crowd of more than 1,000 people who has gathered at Mezhyhyria, the multimillion-dollar estate abandoned by President Viktor Yanukovych, say the complex belongs to the people. Activists, journalists and others are there and allowed to tour the grounds, but not inside the buildings now guarded by the opposition. Guards who refused to be identified said that four helicopters came and two armored personnel carriers came to the complex at 2 a.m. today, the last time they noticed that Yanukovych’s security were still in chage of the place. Journalist and opposition activist Tetyana Chornovol — who has published many investigations into Yanukovych’s alleged illegal acquisition of the former state property — is on the scene. She is talking to EuroMaidan security guards about creating a system not to allow vandalism. No one with masks will be let in. She is calling for calm until the grounds can be opened to the people. Small groups will be let in, accompanied by member of the anti-government “people’s self-defense.” There is a suggestion to make it a Museum of Corruption. — Mark Rachkevych, Vlad Lavrov and Jakub Parusinski

Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee head in Kharkiv

Feb. 22, 12:42 p.m. — The Voice of America Moscow is reporting that the Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee head Aleskei Pushkov is in Kharkiv. — Christopher J. Miller

Turchynov elected speaker with 288 votes, could possibly become acting prime minister; other posts to be decided today

Feb. 22, 12:27 p.m. — With 319 votes out of 450 people, parliament approved a law to prevent separatist movements. It is also expected to appoint Oleksandr Turchynov, the former deputy prime minister and loyalist of imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as speaker of parliament and also acting prime minister. In President Viktor Yanukovych’s absence, this could mean that he would run the nation. Other key posts, such as interior minister — who is in charge of the nation’s police — are expected to be decided today also.

Yuriy Miroshnychenko, Yanukovych’s representative in parliament, said that parliament must serve eastern Ukraine, not only western Ukraine.

Turchynov asked members of parliament from all groups and factions to form a coalition government after return to the 2004 constitution in which parliament has greater powers. — Katya Gorchinskaya

 

Interior Ministry appears to disavow Yanukovych

Feb. 22, 12:28 p.m. The Interior Ministry website posted the following message to all police officers in Ukraine: “Police serve the people of Ukraine and share the people’s craving for changes. We bow our heads in memory of the dead.” It calls on the public to work with police to keep order. — Olga Rudenko

Parliament members want to know where Yanukovych went

Feb. 22, 11:55 a.m. — Rostislav Pavlenko of Vitali Klitschko’s opposition Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party says that parliament has requested information from Ukra-aero-rukh, the nation’s air traffic regulator, on the whereabouts of President Viktor Yanukovych and await response. Parliament is also preparing to vote for a constitutional act that would enact 2004 constitution now, regardless of presidential signature. after that they will proceed to appoint cabinet, particularly law enforcers. — Katya Gorchinskaya

Yanukovych loyalists flee party 

Feb. 22, 11:44 a.m. Ukrainian Parliament Deputy Speaker Ruslan Koshulynsky has announced that more parliamentarians have withdrawn from the Party of Regions faction. In particular, Oleksandr Volkov, Yuriy Polyachenko, Vitaliy Hrushevsky, Volodymyr Dudka, Yaroslav Sukhy, Artem Scherban, and one more parliamentarian, whose name Koshulynsky pronounced unintelligibly, had left the Party of Regions faction. Koshulynsky later announced the names of four other deputies who left the Party of Regions faction, i.e. Viktor Zherebniuk, Ivan Myrny, Hennadiy Vasylyev, and Nver Mkhitarian. He later added Larysa Melnychuk and Serhiy Katsuba to this list. Hence, the Party of Regions has lost 41 deputies, including 28 on Friday and the other 14 on Saturday. The Party of Regions parliamentary faction earlier included 205 members. There are a total of 450 seats at the Ukrainian parliament. — Interfax-Ukraine

Parliament still seeks 300 members to take action out of 450-seat body

Feb. 22, 11:34 a.m. — The following is a summary of some of the comments from today’s emergency session of Verkhovna Rada, in which members of parliament are considering President Viktor Yanukovych’s impeachment.

1. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko: early presidential elections, not later than May 25.

2. Opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk: calling for deputies to come to parliament to have 300 votes for impeachment; calls for heads of fractions to gather for meetings.

3. Oleh Lyashko: The Verkhovna Rada has to pass impeachment law, as Yanukovych is not capable of fulfilling his presidential duties. This is the one single most important decision that the Verkhovna Rada has to make today. Lyashko registered the bill for early presidential elections for May 27. He proposed to change the composition of Central Election Commission to ensure an honest vote. He calls to ban Yanukovych’s participation in the next election, as the person who led country to collapse.

4. Opposition leader Stephan Kubiv: We have political and moral default in the country today. Not to let economic collapse happen, we need to stabilize the government and make it working and functioning. 130 people lost lives. Calls for minute of silence to commemorate dead. I call for churches to calm the population down. God and Ukraine are main values.”

5. Former Verkhovna Rada speaker Volodymyr Lytyvn: The Rada bears full responsibility today; we need to do everything not to let third parties to play their card in Ukraine in their interests. We need to decide on the question about the position of interior minister, Security Service of Ukraine, Ministry of Defense and the composition of government. Bill on constitutional order will have to be passed to ensure peace and stability in the country.

Vyacheslav Kerilenko calls for deputies to come to parliament- it is safe to come- Rada is being guarded by state police + Maidan self Defense. Call for ministers and civil servants to return to their work places. All of those who think that you can save your stolen money throughseparatism, you are wrong. We are united. There is no separatism. Those spreading separatism moods will end up in jail.

Andriy Ilynko of Svoboda Party said: Mezhyhyria is open to visitors. It is great that Rada finally resembles Rada, however, the price we paid for that is too high. There are still a lot of people, who call themselves deputies who are not here and don’t want to make decisions, most likely out of fear. This is not the time to talk about political ambitions, future plans. The only question today is about saving the country. There is no separatism in the country. And if there are people, who’ll be trying to create the separatist moods outside, they will be punished.

Mehalchshyn, Svoboda Party: it is critical task not to let criminals to fly the country; we need to locate the heads of special forces, who opened the fire on peaceful civilians. If there at least one deputy general prosecutor, they should issue a arrest order. We need to make sure NOONE escapes from Ukrainian judgment. Calls for at least one deputy prosecutor to come to Rada.

Shvaika, Svoboda:  Kharkiv is being pushed to be a new Severodonetsk. We have only ONE task today: securing the unity. 247 policemen in Kharkiv announced their readiness to move on the side of people.

Averchenko, Udar. We made a huge mistake 3 years ago. We elected a person who even now doesn’t realize his responsibility for the country and us.   He is father of the nation. What father kills his own children? We call for immediate impeachment and trial.

Ginka, Udar. All the lost lives- huge loss for all of us. I am also responsible for this loss, as I was calling for people to come on Maidan.  I am againstany behind-the-scenes talks. From now and on everything will have to be discussed transparently, in front of people, those people died for that. — Kyiv Post

Herman says Yanukovych in Kharkiv, has not fled Ukraine

Feb. 22, 11:22 a.m. — Regions Party member of parliament Hanna Herman, another loyalist of President Viktor Yanukovych, says he has not fled Ukraine, but is rather in Kharkiv. She says, however, that Yanukovych will not take part in any separatist initiatives promoted by Kharkiv’s mayor and governor. — Katya Gorchinskaya

Rybak resigns as speaker, Svoboda Party’s Ruslan Koshulynsky takes charge

Feb. 22, 11:17 a.m. — Verkhovna Rada speaker Volodymyr Rybak, a President Viktor Yanukovych loyalist, has resigned and was nowhere to be seen at the parliament’s emergency session on Feb. 22. Oppsoition Svoboda Party’s Ruslan Koshulnysky was presiding.

Presidential elections will come early

Feb. 22, 11:16 a.m. Ihor Miroshnychenko: It’s clear to everyone that no presidential election will happen in November or December. They will happen as soon as possible.

Yanukovych’s Mezhyhyria estate abandoned, open to journalists

Feb. 22, 11:03 a.m. – The sprawling multimillion-dollar estate that President Viktor Yanukovych exerted much effort into hiding is reportedly abandoned and a tour has been organized for journalists to inspect the premises. It’s not clear who is in charge of the tour or the residency.

More Regions deputies defect

Feb. 22, 10:59 a.m. —Deputies Olexander Volkov, Olexander Dudka, Artem Shcherban, Viktor Zherebniuk, Vasiliev, Nver Mhitaryan, Ivan Popesku left the Party of Regions. The exodus is picking up steam and means that an anti-Yanukovych majority has formed in parliament.

Member of parliament pleads for no attack on National Bank of Ukraine

Feb. 22, 10:58 a.m. Member of parliament Mykola Rudkovskyi calls on self-defense groups not to attack National Bank of Ukraine as the country need sustainable economy.

Lytvyn calls for appointment of interior minister

Feb. 22, 10:56 a.m. Former Verkhovna Rada speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, now a member of parliament said: “I support the idea of Rada taking over the power and responsibility. We must appoint new interior iinister. Some of our colleagues here have experience that fits.”

Oleh Liashko says Yanukovych has fled nation

Feb. 22,  10:52 a.m. Oleh Liashko of the opposition Radical Party: “The president left Ukraine, he’s out of the country. So now the Verkhovna Rada needs to oust him because he’s unable to fulfill his presidential liability.”

Yatseniuk seeks 300 votes in parliament

Feb. 22, 10:45 a.m. Opposition leader Arseniy Yatseniuk said that parliament needs 300 votes today to take action because President Yanukovych didn’t sign the laws which were passed to him yesterday which means that now we need to vote for his resignation.

Tiahynbook calls for new presidential election no later than May 25

Feb. 22, 10:30 am.. — Oleh Tiahnybok, leader of the we need to vote for the new government, set the new date for presidential elections, it should be no later than May 25. Rada need to vote for the transformation of central election committee and start judicial reform.

Turchinov says Yanukovych, most ministers have fled 

Feb. 22, 10: 28 a.m. — Former Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov sats that most of the ministers disappeared as well as Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and President Viktor Yanukovych. “The only one legitimate body left is the Verkhovna Rada – so we are here to vote today. The major tasks for today are: to vote for the new speaker, prime minister and interior minister.”

Klitschko said Rada is ready to vote for impeachment 

Feb. 22, 9:30 a.m. — Vitaly Klitschko, UDAR party leader, took a stage on Maidan Nezalezhnosti to announce that he’s about to join opposition parties in Verkhovna Rada now.

“I don’t have much time, but I want to announce you that I’m going to Verkhovna Rada, where the opposition will vote for  the impeachment of the president of Ukraine,” Klitschko said from the stage, while the anti-government activists burst in applause. The bill on impeachment was registered by a member of Parliament Mykola Rudkovsky on Feb. 21. — Olena Goncharova

 



Anti-government protesters, one holding the Ukrainian national flag, drive a military vehicle at the Independence square in Kyiv on Feb. 22. Amid unconfirmed reports that President Viktor Yanukovych has fled the nation, Ukraine’s parliament is seeking to take charge, appoint new leaders and schedule a new presidential election by May.

Lutsenko explains tactics of riot police

Feb. 21, 9 p.m. In a brief interview outside the parliament, former interior minister and opposition leader Yuriy Lutsenko shed some light on details of the Feb. 18 crackdown on EuroMaidan. Specifically, Lutsenko explained the tactics used by the riot police on Feb. 18 to make the protesters retreat from the government quarters so quickly.

According to the former police minister, when the riot police units started using firearms against the protesters people started running away.

“Berkut was so obsessed by all this blood that it didn’t stop at the first line of the barricades (on Institutska str.) as it was order, but jumped on Maidan,” Lutsenko said. “It took over both October Palace and European Square without any order.”

Lutsenko explained that once Maidan’s self-defense unit was able to stop the retreat and stabilize the situation, Berkut was able to access the top floor of the Trade Unions House through the roofs of adjacent buildings, which enable to be in direct vicinity to the stage.

“They stopped because we had several pieces of firearms,” Lutsenko said. “I personally heard the communications of interior troops officers, who when ordered to attack would respond in Russian (with an expletive). When Berkut was ordered to attack, they would say ‘we haven’t been paid for this.’ The danger of death has stopped them.” — Mark Rachkevych, Vlad Lavrov

Several Party of Regions lawmakers leave the party

Feb. 21, 6:48 p.m. Tens of lawmakers from President Viktor Yanukovych’s ruling Party of Regions left the faction on Feb. 21, signaling that the presient was loosing his grip on power and influence over those once loyal to him.

At least 28 Party of Regions members of parliament were reported to have left the faction, according to Interfax-Ukraine news agency. — Christopher J. Miller

Parliament votes to suspend Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko

Feb. 21, 6:20 p.m. — In another unanimous vote today, 332 members of the 450-seat parliament voted to insist on the suspension of the nation’s top cop, Vitaliy Zakharchenko, as part of a political compromise. Zakharchenko is blamed for the violent police crackdowns on protesters that have killed nearly 100 people and injured thousands since November. — Brian Bonner

SBU warns against separatist movements

Feb. 21, 6:12 p.m. — In a bid to tamp down pro-Russian separatist sentiment in Crimea and eastern Ukarine, the Security Service of Ukraine — the security services known as SBU — said on Feb. 21 that “it will use severe measures to prevent any action taken against diminishing the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.”

The SBU noted that “certain politicians, local government officials, leaders of civil society organizations, and radically-inclined individuals have attempted to create grounds for escalating the civil conflict, and have spread autonomous and separatist attitudes among the people, which could lead to the demise of our as a united nation and loss of its national sovereignty.”
In addition, the statement said that certain lawmakers of every level have begun separatist negotiations with representatives of foreign nations.

“Open consultations are being held on the possible division of the country into separate parts in violation of the Ukrainian constitution,” read the statement. “This could lead to an escalation of conflict between different sectors of society, inciting ethnic or religious hatred and military conflict.” — Mark Rachkevych

 



Police troops leave their position around the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev on February 21, 2014. Ukraine’s deputy army chief has resigned in protest over government attempts to involve the army to put down unrest rocking the country, after Kiev erupted in unprecedented deadly violence. “Today the army is being involved in the civil conflict, which could lead to the mass deaths of civilians and soldiers,” General Yuri Dumanski, deputy head of the army’s general staff, told Channel 5 television in comments broadcast Friday. AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOV

 

Protesters on offensive, occupying private businesses, retaking government buildings

Feb. 21, 5:42 p.m. — In the wake
of the latest and bloodiest clashes between police and demonstrators on Kyiv’s
Independence Square, protesters have expanded their control over several parts
of central Kyiv.

The
violence began on Feb. 18 when protesters organized a “peaceful offensive” on
parliament and began throwing stones at lines of riot police. Soon thereafter,
police launched a counter-offensive, firing live rounds
of ammunition into crowds of protesters. The clashes left more than 75 dead and
hundreds wounded.

Beginning
on Feb. 19, the second day of the three-day confrontation, protesters retook
control of government buildings and private businesses along Khrehyshatyk Street — many of the same buildings they briefly abandoned on Feb. 17, when an amnesty law went into effect that called for release of protesters in exchange for demonstrators vacating government buildings.

Protesters
have reoccupied City Hall, the Ministry of Agriculture, the exposition center
Ukrainian House, and several other government buildings in the center of Kyiv.
Though the state Trade Unions building was scorched in the recent skirmishes,
protesters have since moved in and attempted to clean the interior.

Many of the
occupied buildings serve as medical stations, as many protesters fear seeking
treatment in state-run hospitals. Over the past several weeks, demonstrators
have been arrested by police officers immediately after being released from the
hospital.

Medical supplies now line the windows on the
first floor of the café “Coffee Time,” which serves as an impromptu hospital to
treat wounded protesters. Organizers are using the café’s food and kitchen appliances
to serve men in dressed in army fatigues and helmets taken from riot police
officers.

On the second floor, organizers have
transformed dining booths into cots for demonstrators to sleep on.

Bohdan
Gobovei, who is helping to coordinate activities in Coffee Time, says that
there was no conflict with the owners of the business when the protesters first
set up camp. “We are a peaceful people.
We simply asked him if we could use the building, and then we had an
agreement.”

Next door,
the paramilitary group Maidan Self-Defense occupied Raiffeisen Bank.

With the
exception of a few street stands, commerce has stopped in the city’s
center.

Several
hundred meters away on Independence Square, another Coffee Time is closed.  A sign on the front door says it is closed
for “technical reasons.” There, an employee who asked to be identified only by
her first name, Alla, says the owner closed because he feared that it would be
destroyed in future skirmishes.

Since
authorities closed metro and bus routes to the center of the city on Tuesday,
the business has been losing money: “we need to pay our personnel, we need to
pay for the services of the restaurant, but how are we supposed to pay without
any customers?” — Isaac Webb 

Parliament votes to revert to 2004 constitution

Feb. 21, 4:55 p.m. — Parliament today unanimously voted, 386-0, to return to the 2004 Constitution, one of the pre-conditions for ending the anti-government EuroMaidan protests. This follows the signing of a compromise agreement between President Viktor Yanukovych and political opposition leaders to end the nation’s political crisis. However, it’s still not clear whether the compromise — which also calls for December elections — will be enough to end the standoff.

Still parliament cheered upon the vote for the 2004 constitution, while Verkhovna Rada speaker Volodymyr Rybak congratulated the parliament members and all sang the national anthem.

Borys Kolesnikov, the former vice prime minister: “Unfortunately, in our Slavic countries it does not work to have a president with the powers like Bruce, the almighty.” Kolesnikov said the nation’s regions need more autonomy, particularly over budget.

Yaroslav Sukhoi, a Party of Regions member of parliament, said: “We’re taking on a commitment to vote” for all those things in the list
“we need to involve into the investigation of the bloody events of European, foreign special services because the bullets that killed the soldiers and that were pulled out of people’s bodies, are the same.”

The return to the 2004 constitution, which lessens presidential powers and strengthens parliamentary ones, is only one aspect to a compromise agreement that also calls for presidential elections no later than December.

Here is the full text of the compromise reached between Yanukovych, opposition leaders and members of the Maidan Council

More complete list of EuroMaidan casualties since Feb. 18

Feb. 21, 4:21 p.m. — This is the latest list of the more than 75 people killed in Kyiv since Feb. 18. The Health Ministry says the casualty count is 77 people, while 76 people are on this list. The source is here.

Heorhiy Aratunian, around 50, Rivne

Serhiy Baydovsky, 22, Novovolynsk, Volyn region , trunk pipeline
“Druzhba”worker

Valeriy Brezdeniuk, 50, Vinnytsia, artist

Serhiy Bondarchuk, 53, Starokostyantyniv, Khmelnytsky Oblast, physics
teacher , was shot on February 20.

Serhiy
Bondarev, programmer  at Global Logic

Bohdan
Vaida, 49, Letnia village, Lviv Oblast

Vitaliy Vasyltsov, 37, Bila Tserkva, Kyiv Oblast, was shot on Feb. 19. on Velyka
Zhytomurska

Roman Varenytsia, 35, Yavoriv Rayon, Lviv Oblast

Vyacheslav Veremiy, 32, Kyiv,
Vesti newspaper journalist

Nazar Voytovych, 17 student of
coperative
college of Ternopil.

Roman
Guryk, 20, Ivano-Frankivsk

Ustym Golodniuk,
20, Zbarazh, Ternopil Oblast, student,
volunteer

Roman Tochyn, 45, Khodoriv, Lviv Oblast, died on Feb. 20

Eduard Hrynevych, 29, Derevky, Volyn Oblast, member of “Volyn sotnia”

Anatoliy Zhalovaha, 34, Lviv

Volodymyr Zakharov, 57, IT specialist, died durning storming of
the Party of Regions office on Feb. 18 on Lipska St.

Antonina Dvorianets, 62, Brovary, Kyiv
Oblast, did
not take part in the rally. Received a gunshot wound accidentally

Andriy Dygdalovych, Sokilnyky,
Lviv Oblast, died on Feb. 20

Serhiy Didych, 44, Horodenka, Ivano Frankivsk Oblast, leader of local VO “Svoboda” branch

Mykola Dziavylsky, 56, Shepetivka,
Khmelnytsky Oblast,geography and
biology teacher, a member of “Svoboda”

Ihor
Dmitriev , 30, Kopanku village, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast

Anatoliy
Zherebnyi, Rudki village, Lviv Oblast

Volodymyr Zherebnyi, Vyshnia,
Lviv Oblast

Yakiv
Zaiko, 41, Zhytomyr, People’s deputy, public figure, journalist, died from
heart attack while running away from Berkut

Oleksandr Kapinos, 29, Kremenets, Ternopil Oblast, farmer

Serhiy Kemsky, 34, Kerch, Crimea, expert at the Institute of political and economic
risks and opportunities.

Volodymyr Kishchuk, 58, Zaporizhia Oblast

Anatoliy
Korchak, Havrilovtski village, Khmelnytsky Oblast

Andriy Korchak, Stryj, Lviv Oblast

Ihor Kostenko, 22,
Lviv

Vitaliy Kotsiuba, 22, Lviv –

Ivan Kreman, Kremenchuk, Poltava Oblast, was found in Hotel Ukraine

Volodymyr Kulchytsky, 65, Kyiv

Vasyl Moisey, 21, Kivertsi, Volyn Oblast, member of Kivertsi VO “Svoboda” city organization

Andriy Movchan, 34, Democratic
Alliance, worked as stageman at Kyiv Ivan Franko Theater

Volodymyr Naumov, 43, Schevchenko
village, Donetsk Oblast, was
found dead on Trukhaniv island in Kyiv

Roman
Nikulichev, 21, Kyiv.

Valeriy Opanasiuk, 42, Rivne

Dmytro
Pagor, 21, Khmelnytsky

Volodymyr
Pavliuk,40

Yuriy Parashchuk, 48, Kharkiv, was
shot in the head on Feb.20

Yuriy Paskhalin, 30, Cherkasy , died from 3 gunshot wounds.

Oleksandr Plekhanov, 23, architect

Leonid
Polianskiy, 35

Andriy Sayenko, 42, Fastiv, Kyiv Oblast

Ihor Serdiuk, 40, Poltava Oblast, was killed near the Mariinsky Park on Feb.18.

Viktor Smilenko, 53, Borisovka village, Kirovohrad Oblast, the body was found in Hotel Ukraine

Vitaliy Smolynsky, Furmanovka village, Cherkasy Oblast

Bohdan Solchanyk, 29, Staryi Sambir, Lviv Oblast, teacher at the Ukrainian Catholic
University

Ivan
Tarasiuk, 21, Olyka, Volyn Oblast

Igor Tkachuk,39, Russia,  was found dead in Hotel Ukraine on Feb.20

Ivan Tur, Horodok, 41, Lviv Oblast,

Oleh Ushnevych, 32, Drogobych, Lviv
Oblast, Hero of Ukraine

Oleksandr
Khrapchenko, 27, Rivne, theater director

Zurab Khurtsiya, 54, Kirovograd,
didn’t take part in riots, died from heart attack

Vlad Chaplynsky, Obukhiv, Kyiv Oblast

Andriy Chernenko, 35

Viktor
Chmylenko, Borysivka, Kirovograd Oblast, farmer, activ member of Kirovograd
Euromaidan and Automaidan, was shot by sniper

Oleksandr Tsariok, Kalinin
village, Kyiv Oblast,

Serhiy Shapoval, 45 (or 46), Kyiv,  was found dead in House of Officers
building

Maksym
Shynko, 33, Vinnutsia

Yosyp Shyling, 61 (or 62), shot outside of the October Palace.

Oleksandr
Scherbaniuk, 46, Chernivtsi

David
Kapiani, Georgia, Died on Feb. 20 from two
gunshot wounds.

Police officers

Vasul
Bulitka, 28, Kyiv

Dmytro
Vasylenko, 32, Crimea

Vitaliy
Goncharov, 25, Crimea

Volodymyr
Yevtushko, 42, Kyiv

Oleksiy
Ivanenko, 37, Kharkiv

Petro
Savitskiy, 42, Kyiv

Sergiy
Spechak, Berdiansk, Zaporizhia Oblast

Ivan
Tepliuk, 21, Chernigiv

Maksym  Tretiak, 22,
Chernigiv

Andriy
Fediukin, 42, Crimea

Serhiy
Tsvigun , 24,  Zaporizhia

— Translated by Iryna Yeroshko

Fluid situation II – no matter what agreement is reached by politicians, public has to approve

Feb. 21, 3:17 p.m. — Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the militant Pravy Sector, has rejected President Viktor Yanukovych’s offer of a December presidential election. He issued this combative statement: “We have to state the obvious fact that the criminal regime had not yet realized either the gravity of its evil doing.”

He said Yanukovych’s statement is missing parts such as the urgent arrests of Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko, commanders of the killers in Berkut riot-control police and sniper killers, as well as the remove of the general prosecutor and defense minister, a legal ban on the president’s Party of Regions and the Communist Party “and guarantees of safety to participants of revolutionary activities.

Thus, we are inclined to see this statement of Yanukovych as another attempt at window-dressing. The people’s revolution continues, and it will end with full removal from power” of the criminal regime and formation of a truly democratic nation.  — Katya Gorchinskaya

 



Most of the people killed in the EuroMaidan clashes are from Kyiv or western Ukraine.

Fluid situation – perhaps there is a deal after all

Feb. 21, 3:04 p.m. — There are now reports that the three main opposition leaders — Oleh Tiahnybok, Arseniy Yatseniuk and Vitali Klitschko — may get behind a deal that calls for a return to a parliamentary form of government under a 2004 constitution, early presidential elections in December, an independent investigation of violence against protesters and formation of a coalition government that does not include Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka or Interior Minister Valery Zakharchenko. Whether Yanukovych will go for the deal remains to be seen. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to the talks reportedly refused to agree. Developing story. — Katya Gorchinskaya

Fireworks set off, possibly in celebration of opposition’s rejection of Yanukovych’s offer

Feb. 21, 2:50 p.m. — The explosions appear to be fireworks, possibly in celebration of the opposition’s reported rejection of the terms of President Viktor Yanukovych’s offer to end the national crisis. It appears that some protesters and perhaps opposition leaders may not accept anything short of Yanukovych’s immediate resignation at this point in the conflict. This is, of course, a developing story. No word this moment of a press conference with the visiting foreign ministers and opposition leaders. — Mark Rachkevych and Katya Gorchinskaya

Strange happenings on street as police pull back from their barricades

Feb. 21, 2:27 p.m. — Kyiv Post reporters on the street report that police are pulling back from their barricades in several locations. Rather than greet this development as welcome news, protesters are suspicious that the action signifies that a deal has been struck between President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders. “Out with them all!” some of the demonstrators chanted on Independence Square. Non-stop explosions are going on now near the base camp for thousands of ant-government EuroMaidan demonstrators. Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Polish Foreign Minister Radislaw Sikorski were meeting with opposition leaders and the Maidan Council as part of the West’s ongoing efforts to find a settlement to the political crisis. Any agreement between politicians will have to win the approval of protesters, or a good majority of them, to succeed. — Katya Gorchinksaya and Anastasia Vlasova

 



Ukrainian lawmakers clash during a Parliament session in Kiev on February 21, 2014. Ukraine’s embattled President Viktor Yanukovych said Friday he was calling an early presidential poll as the country inched towards resolving its bloodiest crisis since independence. He also said he was starting the process of changing the constitution and forming a government of national unity.
AFP PHOTO / MAKSYM MARUSENKO

Video of Feb. 20 clashes has more than 3 million views already

Feb. 21, 2:18 p.m. — It’s no surprise that this dramatic footage of protesters being shot dead by police on Feb. 20 in Kyiv is getting so many hits. This is an explosive 2 minutes, 42 seconds — Brian Bonner

 

Video of the deadly Feb. 21 clashes on Institutska Street near Kyiv’s Independence Square.

Three days of morning in Lviv 

Feb. 21, 2:08 p.m. — Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy has announced three days of mourning for the more than 75 people killed in Kyiv since Feb. 18. The city appeals to all public institutions to limit recreational activities. At the same time the city is hanging flags with mourning ribbons. — Iryna Yeroshko

Georgian citizen among those killed

Feb. 21, 2:07 p.m. — Georgian citizen David Kipiani died of two gunshot wounds to the chest on Feb. 20, EuroMaidan SOS reports, citing a medical forensic exam. — Mark Rachkevych

Two Democratic Alliance members among protesters killed on Feb. 20

1:57 p.m. Two members of Ukraine political party Democratic Alliance were among
the several dozen protesters shot dead by police during bloody clashes on Feb.
20 and some 75 killed since the violence began in Kyiv on Feb. 18.

Ustym Golodnyuk, a 19-year-old Democratic Alliance volunteer who had
been camped on Independence Square since the protest movement began in November,
was shot dead by a sniper early on Feb. 20 as riot police officers fired on
protesters who fought with the police on Institutska Street, according to a
post on the Democratic Alliance Facebook page.



Ustym Golodnyuk, a 19-year-old Democratic Alliance volunteer, was shot dead by a sniper early on Feb. 20.

Medics took his
body from the street to the main floor of Ukraina Hotel, which had been turned
into a makeshift medical center, where his father later identified him.

“I do not know whether (President Viktor) Yanukovych has to stand in front of
me on his knees, but I know exactly that he has to be brought in front of the
international tribunal for what he did to my country and to my son,”
Democratic Alliance reported Golodnyuk’s
father as saying.



The father of Ustym Golodnyuk points to a bullet hole in the helmet his son wore during the clashes after identifying his son’s body on Feb. 20.

The second Democratic Alliance member killed, Andriy Movchan, was also shot
dead by a police sniper bullet. His body was also taken to Ukraina Hotel.



Democratic Alliance member Andriy Movchan was shot dead by a police sniper bullet on Feb. 20.

Their two bodies were taken away in ambulances late on Feb. 20. — Christopher J. Miller

Yanukovych offer looks like a non-starter

Feb. 21, 1:38 p.m. — Early reaction to Presidenti Viktor Yanukovych’s deal is not good. Apparently, the foreign ministers from France, Germany and Poland left overnight talks with Yanukovych saying there was no deal. Then the Yanukovych this morning started leaking an outline of an agreement: coalition government within 10 days, change in constitution by September to a stronger former of parliamentary republic and possibly early presidential elections in December, only a month or so before the next regularly scheduled election.

Only opposition leader Arseniy Yatseniuk appears to be actively considering such a solution. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko has consistently pushed for much earlier elections, while opposition leader Oleh Tiahynbook took to the Independencd Square stage and asked the crowd “Do we agree to this?” The thousands of people assembled overwhelmingly shouted “no” in response.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the ruling Party of Regions member of parliament to see if more will quit the pro-presidential faction and create possibly an opposition-controlled Verkhovna Rada in the 450-seat parliament. — Katya Gorchinskaya

Yanukovych’s offer rejected by EuroMaidan demonstrators

 Feb. 21, 1:16 p.m. — President Viktor Yanukovych’s vague offer of early presidential elections and a coalition government today is not getting a warm reception from the anti-government EuroMaidan demonstrators. The Democratic Alliance’s international press secretary, Alisa Rubin, said that Yanukovych should immediately resign. The party also called for the arrest and prosecution of Interior Minister Valeriy Zakharchenko and all others responsible for the violence against demonstrators that has claimed nearly 100 lives since January and injured thousands of people. Yanukovych didn’t specify an election date. The next regularly scheduled presidential election is early next year.

Here is the English-language translation of Yanukovych’s statement:

Yanukovych’s statement today: Dear fellow citizens!

In these tragic days when Ukraine suffered such heavy losses when people
died on both sides of the fence consider it my duty to light the memory of the
victims claim – there is nothing more important on a human life. And there is
no such steps that we all would not have been done to restore peace in Ukraine.

I will announce steps to be done to restore calm and avoid these victims of
conflict.

I declare that I initiate early presidential elections.

I also initiate a return to the Constitution of 2004 with the
redistribution of powers aside parliamentary republic.

I call to the procedure of forming a government of national trust.

As the President of Ukraine
and the Guarantor of the Constitution today I do my duty to the people, to
Ukraine and the Lord God in the name of the State in the name of saving the
lives of people in the name of peace and tranquility in our land. — Christopher J. Miller and Anastasia Vlasova

 

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